Coventry claims £3m finance refresh savings

Coventry City Council has saved £3m in less than two years through an efficiency programme which has involved replacing the ICT system for its finance department, it has said.

The council awarded a £1.2m contract to supplier UNIT4 in December 2012 as part of a programme to drive back office efficiencies.

And the council says that the programme – which analysed end-to-end finance processes across the council – has now saved £3.075m since going live six months ago.

Barry Hastie, assistant director of financial management, revenues and benefits at Coventry City Council, said: “We needed a new finance system. The incumbent was heavily customised and as a result so inflexible we couldn’t even upgrade it, let alone align it to the new ways of working suggested by Money Matters.”

The council replaced its existing Oracle finance system with the UNIT4 system which links an Agresso platform with 24 other systems.

It said that since the new system went live it has not had to spend any money on consulting, with any configurations made in house.

It said: “This is a big departure from Oracle, which required around £120,000 a year on consultancy costs just to keep it up and running.”

Joe Sansom, transformation programme delivery manager at Coventry City Council, said that the new system was making change easier across the council.

He said: “Speaking to a corporate manager in the finance team they mentioned the desire to move end of year reporting from June in 2014, to May in 2015.”

“With the old system we know that would have provoked organisation-wide anxiety, now however we feel confident we can manage the change ourselves in house.”

Colin Marrs

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