Brampton, Ontario – Canada’s “Flower City” – is also Canada’s second fastest growing city. One-third of the population has moved in within the last ten years.
When a municipality grows rapidly the city services and support systems can suffer, or even collapse, without the proper leadership and support.
No longer a small town, Brampton needed to provide its constituents with big city services. A mandate came from the mayor and the city council for a new proactive approach to municipal services.
The mandate was given to the Senior Management Team, with Rob Meikle, Brampton’s new Chief Information Officer, as the lead. The focus was to overhaul the city’s customer service strategy, from top to bottom and move quickly to make the necessary changes. “One of the first things I asked my staff,” says Meikle, “was for metrics on the volume of calls and the type of calls coming to the IT Help Desk so that we could have a pulse on what was happening. Shockingly none of that information existed.”
Meikle described the key issue as not only generating statistics but changing the way the city government did business. He says: “I set a goal to create a culture of customer service that emphasizes that regardless of how small the item you are working on, or how large, the main thing is to provide pro-active, excellent service.”
Meikle adds, “We believe that customer service is an integrated delivery supply chain. So we describe our vision as a combination of providing excellent services to both internal city workers and to the external customers who deal with the city. You add those two together and you get excellent municipal services. This for me was a mindset and a cultural change.”
Meikle says one of the key changes was re-branding the IT Help Desk as the IT Service Desk. He adds, “a help desk implies, break, fix and react. Our goal now is to proactively manage our business so that the services that we deliver and enable continue in a seamless and more than acceptable fashion.
“I realized,” says Meikle, “that if I’m going to drive customer service transformation that I needed to start in my own backyard. The implementation of a robust IT service management system would be fundamental to our success.”
“We have approximately 70 locations across the city,” says Ann Perry, Senior Advisor, IT Service Management. “This includes everything from fire stations, transit locations, recreation centres, public facing service counters, works departments, etc.
“For the most part, IT systems support and enable our internal business partners to provide those services to the citizens which should appear seamless, unless, of course, something goes wrong. This is why it was critical to implement an IT Incident Management solution that could monitor and manage those incidents and requests with speed and accuracy.”
Says Ms Perry, “We had already implemented ITSM software from HEAT. However, to improve our internal service delivery with ITSM, we turned to Kifinti Solutions, an Ontario based company that specializes in helping customers implement and integrate ITSM solutions.
“Kifinti’s flexible approach worked well and helped our team understand what we really need to be more efficient and effective in our day to day operations. Kifinti has also maximized ITSM capabilities far beyond our expectations.
“Kifinti’s services have helped us integrate the HEAT ITSM modules to manage our Incident, Changes and Asset Management processes. This integration has provided us with a better understanding of our day-to-day operations and produced metrics to identify service gaps so we can focus our efforts on improvements to our IT service delivery and support.”
It’s a long way from those days when Meikle first arrived. Lots of information and analysis now exist that didn’t before.
The Kifinti implementation provides a host of reporting possibilities on a regular basis, all important for keeping the people who run Brampton up to date. The system provides analytical reports on a monthly basis and even an executive dashboard, a top of the screen panel that lets people see at a glance what’s happening and what’s changing.
Says Meikle “The strategy in Brampton is now to anticipate problems and fix them before they happen; to be proactive instead of reactive. And that is now our definition of success.”