With a surface area of 99 square kilometers and a population in excess of 310,000, the municipality of Utrecht is one the five largest municipalities in the Netherlands. Besides the city of Utrecht, the municipality of Utrecht also includes the villages of Vleuten and De Meern. The whole is subdivided into 10 administrative areas.
Previously, files at Municipality of Utrecht could be lost, tasks were manually assigned and it was difficult to track the status of each case. Now that a grant management system has been designed and implemented using Lexmark process management tools, these problems are a thing of the past. Uniform documentation is captured and automatically sent to the appropriate staff member, who can easily retrieve all the information needed directly from their SAP application. And when grant applicants call with questions, they receive immediate feedback.
Content Publishing & Distribution, Data Capture & Extraction, Document Management
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Each of the municipality´s 310,000 inhabitants and hundreds of organizations and clubs may apply for a subsidy. Due to the vast range of subsidies, the municipality of Utrecht has subdivided the entire file into 10 programs. For example, there is a “Residents and Governance” program to promote tourism, an “Urban Development” program to maintain monuments, and a “Safety” program to address the problem of youth criminality, among other things. The municipality of Utrecht has earmarked EUR 126 million in subsidies for 2012
Various departments within a municipality determine whether an individual, club or organization is eligible for a grant. The “Environment and Sustainability” department assesses subsidy applications with the purchase of “green roofs”. The “Cultural Affairs” department grants subsidies to support projects in theater, dance, music and literature. And should an employer wish to apply for financial support to employ a person entitled to social assistance, it is the “Work and Income” department that will take up this issue.
Therefore, grant applications pass through many hands: mailroom employees, bookkeeping employees, evaluators, decision-makers, managers, administrative staff and perhaps even the legal staff of the “Objections & Appeals” department. Documents and attachments can easily be lost during transfer. Losing documents is not the only risk when so many people are involved. Response times may be exceeded by employees who are ill or on vacation. It might be difficult to answer customer queries without a complete overview.
Employees might have to wait for actions from their colleagues before proceeding with their work. Decisions can be inconsistent. Outgoing documents may differ in word and letter usage. The municipality of Utrecht was well aware of these dangers when it selected Lexmark to construct a new subsidy management system in early 2011.
Rien Kooij Senior Financial Advisor Municipality of UtrechtImplementation of the grants management solution from Lexmark exceeded our expectations. Grant applications are now handled with flexibility and control by the employees of the municipality of Utrecht.
The order to construct a new subsidy management system was clear. The municipality of Utrecht requirements included:
A modern case management system that satisfies the requirements of the new way of working -Cases must be available at all times, from any location - All personnel must be able to access the cases - Adding case information must be based on user authorization and case status - Activities must be uniform and unambiguous - Clear and automated deadline monitoring - Delivery of the system in August 2011
Several months after approval, the Grants management solution was delivered in August 2011. The municipality of Utrecht believes it was a successful implementation.
“We are extremely satisfied,” says Rien Kooij, Senior Financial Advisor of the municipality of Utrecht. Joost Bijvoet, Account Manager of Lexmark, who shares responsibility for the implementation process, explains more about the deployment process: “The implementation was a challenge. Building in extra functionality always requires more than you would expect and unexpectedly, a complicated link via Lexmark’s Integration Framework with SAP had to be implemented as well.”
With Lexmark’s grants management solution, the municipality of Utrecht has a flexible system with automated work distribution.
“Files do not sit on the shelf thanks to automated deadline monitoring,” Joost Bijvoet says. “Employees can immediately see the status of the application and the action that still needs to be taken.”
The municipality of Utrecht’s grant management process was easily created with Lexmark’s case management solution. Now that the infrastructure is there, the municipality of Utrecht can easily apply the benefits of Perceptive Process to other functional areas and departments. One such solution is “Complaints, Objections and Appeals”.
With the purchase of Lexmark’s grants management solution, the municipality of Utrecht has a grants management system:
With case files that are visible from every workstation and that can be viewed simultaneously by numerous employees - Where users have a good grip on the process and errors are minimized - That only has complete case files - With an automatic division of labor - That has both time tracking and deadline alerts - With uniform documentation - That provides a wealth of management information - That results in a visible decline in paper flow and costs - That can easily be linked to other user systems