Mitchell Shire Council unanimously approved a request for an additional $169,125 to deliver a new customer service system, already costing $490,160.
Councillors were required to approve the additional funding for the Customer Request Management, CRM, project because it was beyond the council chief executive Brett Luxford’s delegation.
Council is implementing a system with standardised processes, reporting and technology across the organisation to manage customer enquiries.
A variation to the current contract was proposed for an additional 75 days, costing $169,125 to support the project to September 30, plus two weeks contingency.
Officers recommended council approve an additional spend of up to $169,125 beyond the chief executive delegation to ensure the entire council operations is trained to use the system.
All customer-facing teams were expected to be inducted into the system by June 30, with teams providing internal services scheduled to be active by September 30.
Cr Nathan Clark said the system was important to council’s customer service operations.
“It is key IT infrastructure and will allow us to have consistent and uniform customer service across the organisation,” he said.
“I can’t emphasis how critical I think this is.”
Cr Bill Chisholm agreed the infrastructure was key to an efficient customer service system.
“This is a really critical system for council where we can follow through on customer requests or issues that the general public have,” he said.
“It follows the system right through so it’s really important we get this right and I’m really looking forward to it coming on board.”
Cr Rob Eldridge said it was a ‘really important system’ that staff needed to understand.
“As with all systems its success is very much dictated by the ability of the staff to actually utilise and optimise its use, so this is very important that it is rolled out,” he said.
“[The request] is a little bit of an operational thing to just entitle the CEO to go over his delegated authority but this is such an important thing it goes without saying it is necessary.”
Support for the project has been provided by LanLuas Consulting, and Mr Luxford said the system would provide people with tracking numbers and updates in regards to their requests.
Phases of the CRM Project in the future will be funded by the 2023-24 capital budget allocation of $150,000.