Shared business service delivers efficient support services

Cleveland Police 

Pioneering technology is enabling business support transformation.

Challenge summary

Like all UK police forces, Cleveland Police has to balance the challenge of maintaining frontline visibility and reducing crime, within a reduced budget. To achieve this, the leadership team embarked on the process of appointing a private sector partner to deliver a broad range of services including back office support covering HR, finance, procurement and estates.

Key points

  • Move to a shared service centre with new systems and new electronic processes
  • Technology enabled self-service and a dedicated help desk
  • Experienced business partners to support the service delivery backed up by a dedicated transactional team
  • Reduced bureaucracy burden and faster business processes
  • Cleveland Police is able to maximise time and resources on the communities of Cleveland

The challenge

In addition to delivering cashable savings to help meet the Government’s financial challenges Cleveland Police was looking for a partner with skills, expertise and capacity to support it in driving more efficient business support services.

By outsourcing business support services the force wanted to reduce bureaucracy and achieve more efficient use of resources. This would allow senior staff to focus on more strategic activities and provide officers with more time to spend on frontline duties.

Our solution 

The Police Shared Business Service (PSBS) provides business support services covering: Finance and Accounting (F&A), People services including payroll and occupational health, learning and development, central business support, procurement, fleet management and facilities and estate management.

In April 2011 Sopra Steria opened a new shared service centre which houses the service desk, F&A, HR and the majority of services provided. It provides transformed business services based around new technologies and new electronic processes integrated with existing as well as upgraded technology.

Importantly, the majority of these services are being delivered by former Cleveland Police staff who successfully transferred across to Sopra Steria as part of the partnership agreement. This has enabled Sopra Steria to retain valuable knowledge and experience.

How we work together

To drive faster, more cost efficient business support services, our business transformation team has delivered streamlined, industrialised processes based on a proven Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning platform. Working closely with Cleveland Police, the team has introduced a wide range of new initiatives to improve access to services and remove unnecessary paperwork and delays in process.

These initiatives include the introduction of technology enabled self-service and a dedicated help desk to support officers in performing a range of administrative tasks such as booking leave and ordering equipment. The HR self-service, allows personal details to be updated online, rather than via a lengthy administrative process.

We have introduced a new business support model, delivering professional expertise to senior officers across the force area through experienced business partners. They are supported by a dedicated transactional team at the shared service centre. The services are delivered through a contractual outcomes based model. Sopra Steria is measured against agreed, benchmarked Key Performance Indicators and in the case of failure, we pay service credits.

In 2012 the Force and Sopra Steria procurement teams were recognised by the Association of Police Procurement Professionals for the best cross functional project. The fleet reduction programme was focused on reducing costs and achieved approx. £450,000 in savings.

Training is another example where we have worked with the Force to civilianise officer posts releasing them to take up operational posts.

F&A services are another important factor in Cleveland’s on-going business transformation and the Force is benefiting from more efficient service delivery  and increased levels of control through detailed, accurate and timely management information.

Results and benefits

The dedicated help desk is handling on average 4,000 enquiries per month and achieving a first time resolution rate of 63%. 90% of enquiries are resolved at initial point of contact or referred to the appropriate team for resolution within one business day.

Enhancing operational efficiency: by transferring heavily transactional or time consuming tasks to its own teams, we are providing Cleveland Police with more efficient, cost effective back office service delivery that is freeing up officers to focus on operational policing. It is estimated that the Force will gain at least 10% on average in time saved across its police officer community; time that can be put back into frontline police work.

Client view

“The strategic partnership with Sopra Steria is delivering more efficient and lower cost business support services which are helping us to maximise time and resources spent on the communities of Cleveland.” Iain Spittal, Deputy Chief Constable