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Environment Bay of Plenty regional council implements Objective for transparency, process improvements and shared services

  • 03 February, 2009 10:02

<p>Objective Corporation (ASX: OCL) today announced that its Enterprise Content Management solution has been implemented by Environment Bay of Plenty, one of New Zealand’s 13 regional councils.</p>
<p>Environment Bay of Plenty (EBoP) promotes the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities in the Bay of Plenty region. It is the regional council for the area, liaising with one city, six district councils and its various communities to create policies and set priorities. It manages the environmental attributes of land, water, coast and air, and also oversees economic development, passenger transport, harbour navigation and safety, regional planning and infrastructure such as roads and broadband.</p>
<p>EBoP produces collates, shares and disseminates a wealth of information to a diverse audience comprising urban and rural residents, land developers, farmers, local manufacturing industries and more. The organisation was seeking a solution that managed not only published documents, but also the process of producing information.</p>
<p>Almost entirely self-funded, EBoP maintains a strong commercial focus with a desire to continually improve its processes for greater productivity. Coupled with this, it sees its entire purpose reliant on its ability to make its work transparent and accessible to the communities it serves.</p>
<p>Managing the full document lifecycle through all business processes offered EBoP the opportunity for significant productivity improvements.</p>
<p>Mr Miles McConway, Group Technology Manager, EBoP said: “Unlike district or city councils, EBoP is not a catchment for mountains of incoming documents that require processing, such as development applications, dog registrations and parking permits.</p>
<p>“Our needs reside around document authoring and collaboration. For example, policy development, planning, collecting and collating research data and environmental reporting, and then providing access to this information to our partner councils and the public.</p>
<p>“If we can control the way we manage, process, publish and share our information we can identify opportunities to improve these processes. By understanding our workflows we begin to ‘know what we know’ and are also able to identify what we don’t know. We see Objective’s workflow as being a key enterprise tool to enable us to do this,” said Mr McConway.</p>
<p>As part of the planning for this implementation, EBoP have mapped hundreds of workflows around the organisation and will initially be implementing around 60 workflows using Objective. These will include:</p>
<p> Resource Consent processing – each year, EBoP grants more than 500 individual consents to people or organisations undertaking activities that impact the environment. This process will be managed using Objective integrated with EBoP’s bespoke Consent Management System and its Geographical Information System (GIS).</p>
<p> District Planning – EBoP will use Objective to share its planning documents with relevant districts and the collaborative process of inbound comments, input and data through to final release and publishing of documents.</p>
<p> Agenda Lifecycle Management – Objective will be used to assemble, approve, publish and distribute agendas for committee meetings. Delivering a single point of access to both agendas and supporting documentation delivers visibility to all key stakeholders and saves time. It will also improve consistency of work throughout the organisation and reduce the cost of printing, particularly in the case of multiple drafts.</p>
<p> Document and correspondence management – Objective will be the infrastructure layer for all of EBoP’s document management, providing version control, security, collaborative authoring, publishing controls and an ability to search and provide access to the corporate memory bank.</p>
<p>Integrating the ECM platform with EBoP’s existing business applications was seen as critical for optimising business processes and encouraging user uptake.</p>
<p>Mr Jim Fretwell, Principal Business Solutions Specialist, Environment Bay of Plenty said: “Objective’s Web Services architecture gives us the ability to build integrations to our line of business applications on a standards-based platform, delivering vast improvements to our business.</p>
<p>“For example, from the GIS layer we will be able to see that a Resource Consent is in process in a particular location, we can then retrieve all associated documents for that land parcel to build a complete picture of its status. It really is a centralised, single source of the truth,” said Mr Fretwell.</p>
<p>Other benefits EBoP expect to derive from implementing Objective include:</p>
<p> Internal productivity gains and business process improvements as a result of workflow modelling, allowing managers to monitor processes, identify bottlenecks, redundancies and gaps.</p>
<p> A platform for accessibility and collaboration with EBoP’s city and district councils.</p>
<p> An opportunity to implement shared services with its partner councils for both procurement advantages and service delivery.</p>
<p> Improved access to EBoP’s data, information and publications for organisations and people that depend upon it.</p>
<p>“While there was more than one product that could solve the problem for us, we selected Objective because their people were able to demonstrate the best understanding of our business and they had the ability to tailor a solution that met our specific business problems.</p>
<p>“We have established a true partnership with Objective. Our own application development team have worked very closely with Objective’s implementation team and we’re on track to deliver a solution that truly meets our project goals,” said Mr McConway.</p>
<p>-ends-</p>
<p>About Environment Bay of Plenty</p>
<p>Environment Bay of Plenty is the regional council for the Bay of Plenty region.</p>
<p>In 1989, the Government took 25 organisations and turned them into the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, now called Environment Bay of Plenty. As caretakers of our land, air and water, Environment Bay of Plenty monitors the effects of human activities on our environment. We also promote the sustainable management of our natural and physical resources for present and future generations.</p>
<p>For further information visit www.envbop.govt.nz.</p>

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