Local Government

Fife Council

From coastlines to care centres

Fife Council was founded in 1996 and is the third largest local authority in Scotland. It keeps the streets clean, educates young people and adults, provides public transport, swimming baths and leisure centres, cares for the vulnerable – and much, much more. With a population of around 360,000 people and with more than 500 square miles of lochs, mountains and coastline to manage, Fife Council needed a solution that would allow employees to be more mobile.

This investment in TotalMobile is going to pay for itself in quick time and the savings and efficiencies will be multiplied when the roll-out to other trades is completed in the second half of 2012.”
Fresh approach

With rugged seaside golf courses at St Andrews and the picturesque neighbouring coastline, Fife attracts millions of visitors every year.

Whether it’s cleaning up council land, speaking to local businesses or making home visits, Fife Council organise and deliver services across this vast landscape, every day.

With the size of its territory and the constant drive to make tight budgets stretch further, the Council has been looking closely at mobile working as one area of improving front line services and developing a more productive and streamlined workforce.

After analysing its working practices, the Council decided to trial a fresh approach to mobile working within its busy Housing Repairs teams – part of the Building Services department of Fife’s large direct labour organisation.

Staff within the repairs teams had followed a traditional work pattern for decades, arriving at depots across Fife, picking up work, travelling to each job and then returning to the depot.

The Council estimated that the paperwork created by even the most simple of jobs would pass through no fewer than 11 pairs of hands from the beginning to the end of the administration process.

When a small team of electricians began using mobile phones to report back to a central control at the end of each job and to receive details of their next job, the potential for improvements in efficiency and productivity was clear from the outset.

“Even using basic mobile communications we could see a huge opportunity to transform the way our people worked, from the number of jobs that could be completed each day to the way we procured supplies,” says Allan Barclay, Service Manager within the Building Services department.

“What we needed was a solution that gave us a robust mobile device with all the functionality we need and reliable connectivity across our territory. With the two combined we could then take full advantage of these opportunities.” opportunities.” recalls Allan.

Speed up procurement

When the Council began a full tender process to appoint a partner to implement a mobile solution, Vodafone was identified as an approved supplier under public sector procurement rules.

Using the IT Managed Service framework agreement, Vodafone developed an integrated Enterprise Mobile Working Solution, including ruggedised devices with SIM, combined with secure system connectivity and helpdesk support all underpinned by robust Service Level Agreements (SLA).

TotalMobile from Vodafone is a flexible, easy way for mobile workers to be productive and stay connected, wherever they happen to be. For Fife Council, it enables staff on the road to access back office systems through a simple to use application on the device.

“When we saw TotalMobile being demonstrated we knew absolutely that this was what we needed. After a full evaluation, we awarded the contract to Vodafone for an initial order of 350 handsets, applications and the full managed service solution.” says Allan.

The Council’s team of electricians was selected for the first phase of a rollout. “The team could see immediately that the handset was excellent, robust and easy to use,” adds Allan. “But it was a big transition for the electricians and at first they were concerned about losing control of their working day – but over time they realised that, in fact the opposite was the case!”

Value for money

The council saw benefits to the solution straight away.

“Almost immediately we saw productivity increase significantly with around 20% more jobs completed each day. The TotalMobile solution enables us to stay in touch with the team on the road and to send them directly to their next job without returning to the depot.


increase in productivity

We were able to identify which items in an electrician’s van were most frequently used and use this information to guide procurement decisions, buy items in the right quantities, standardise products and reduce waste. Scheduling, stock control, billing and timesheets are now all taken care of through the handset, the application and the network, enabling us to greatly reduce the internal resources previously committed to these areas.

Connectivity is excellent and it’s hugely reassuring to have the Vodafone organisation, network and managed service behind us. We know that we have their support should we need it.” says Allan.