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- 16 February 2012 17:27
Logan City Council Rolls Out BlinkMobile Interactive Following Successful Field Inspections Pilot
Logan City Council will extend its mobile strategy across more Council departments using BlinkMobile Interactive, an Australian Platform-as-a-Service provider which enables the rapid development and deployment of mobile business services.
The roll out follows a successful recent trial in which Logan City Council's Information Services (IS) team and its City Standards branch began working together with Rype, a Queensland-headquartered mobile and cloud integration consultancy, to provide a mobile data collection capability so that Council inspectors can spend more productive time out in the field rather than being back in the office attending to paperwork.
Specifically, Council officers trialled two inspection forms, one for food premises and one for nuisance trees. The goal was to provide inspectors with access to Council information while out in the field and to get newly-collected field data back into those same Council systems. Although users were equipped with Apple iPads, the IS team was conscious of ensuring that the system could work equally well with other devices so that Council would not be locked into just one piece of technology.
The BlinkForms module within the securely hosted Blink Mobility Platform enables the rapid creation and deployment of customised electronic forms that can be completed and uploaded to Council systems using a variety of commonly available tablets, phones and laptops. Equally important, other components of the Blink Mobility Platform provide the capability to build and deploy many different mobile services from the one management environment allowing Council to simply extend mobile services to improve it customer focus and allow Council to receive customer requests online in real-time from a mobile customer.
Specifically for the pilot at Logan City Council, Rype designed the processes and interfaces to take the critical inspection data recorded in BlinkForms along with the ability to upload it into Council’s Pathway system. At the same time, the process ensured that a complete record of the inspection (including photos and GPS location) would be saved in the enterprise document management system. None of this synchronisation required any additional input from the inspector, thus minimising the demands on training and staff skill levels while increasing the time inspectors could spend in the field.
Chief Information Officer, Jim Barclay says, “The team who trialled the mobile technology decided unanimously that the pilot was a success, delivering increased productivity and efficiency for officers. Inspectors found they were able to stay in the field for longer and didn't have to return to the office as frequently to input the data they had collected. This is something we've been working on for around ten years now and the Rype/BlinkMobile solution has been pivotal in getting us to this point. They've enabled us to develop a platform which allows mobile devices to have secure access to Council's systems with fantastic outcomes.“
Other benefits derived from the trial include enhanced customer service outcomes, improved communication with those same customers, immediate provision of electronic audit data to business owners, faster response time to customer requests, and reductions in paperwork and duplication of processes within Council.
“Our City Standards branch has seen demand for inspections more than double since the 2008 council amalgamations. Rype’s implementation of the BlinkMobile technology will ease this load by increasing the number of inspections officers can undertake. For example, in regards to food inspections, the likes of Eat Safe Logan officers will be able to increase their capacity from two inspections to three inspections per day. For nuisance tree inspections officers could perform up to an additional eight to twelve inspections per month.
“We will also look to roll-out the use of the mobile technology across all Council departments where officers are required to be out in the field and report information back to Council. Not only have we identified the ability to increase the number of inspections Council Officers can undertake there are also increased customer service and communication benefits. While out in the field attending to customer requests, having this technology allows officers to inform residents in real time. Over time we will look to utilise the technology for other groups such as Development Assessment, Animal and Pest Services, Road Infrastructure Management and Parks just to name a few,” Barclay adds.
Logan City Council is home to more than 280,000 people from more than 185 different cultures. Part of the city's appeal is its location. Ideally situated between Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast, it provides easy access to some of South East Queensland's premier business and recreational destinations.
About Blink Mobile Interactive
Blink Mobile Interactive develops and markets a mobilisation management and deployment platform that allows any organisation to provide rich mobile interactions and response mechanisms from their existing web based information and business systems. Focused on a corporate customer base and running a PaaS business model, BlinkMobile’s enterprise-grade services allow organisations to manage their complete mobile environment, while quickly and easily mobile enabling web services, dynamic web content and intranet/extranet applications. The platform, client services and end-user experience resulting from BlinkMobile’s services are internationally innovative. Visit http://www.blinkmobile.com.au or call 02 4340 5110.
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