The Borough of Croydon is one of London’s leading business, financial and cultural centres. The borough's local authority, Croydon Council, provides services to over 350,000 residents and has been using Huddle since 2016 to improve collaboration and secure file sharing across different departments and with external partners. One such service is the London Insurance Consortium (ILC), which provides strategic focus for Insurance and Risk management groups and supports collaborative working between its nine several neighbouring boroughs through joint procurement and information sharing exercises. This aims to reduce costs by combining purchasing power, sharing of ideas and the adoption of efficiency improvements and best practice.

Challenge

Prior to using Huddle, Croydon Council had been reliant on disparate systems, such as email and Microsoft SharePoint, to share and manage information regarding ILC procurement projects with other councils. This  resulted in vast amounts of paperwork and increased email traffic, creating  bottlenecks for the council and its partners, and delaying projects. Important information was being buried in emails, making it difficult to retrieve and collate critical information when required, and with multiple stakeholders working on the same documents across the nine London councils, it became increasingly difficult to maintain version control.

As a result, the team looked to find a solution - one that was able to consolidate as much of the documentation as possible into one centralised multi-agency platform.

In a move towards greater collaboration, security and transparency, the team at Croydon Council looked to Huddle – the number one collaboration and multi-agency platform for the UK government and public sector. 

Solution

Huddle has revolutionised how Croydon Council and the ILC work on joint initiatives such as managing tenders in which the councils come together to discuss and procure services for their boroughs.

Teams have gained greater efficiency in collating and sharing files, as they no longer need to waste time searching through disparate systems to find the information that they need.

Secure cloud-based workspaces-accessible from anywhere

Today, those involved in the ILC use Huddle to create cloud-based Workspaces for its various initiatives. Within these Workspaces, stakeholders can work on files together, automatically manage revisions, consolidate feedback, and even manage tasks and approvals, all in one secure space.

Maintaining an audit trail of activity

Huddle offers the benefit of giving those involved in the ILC service full visibility into how content is being used, and who can access it. Team-based permissions are used to control which content is accessible, and a time-stamped audit log automatically tracks all activity around the content. Not only does this ensure sensitive content is kept secure when it is being shared and worked on, but it also provides increased confidence to users who want to work quickly without compromising security

Collating information at speed

When the various councils need to collate reference materials in relation to joint, the ILC can use Huddle to request files directly from relevant stakeholders by using the File Request feature, saving time, administration and keeping projects on track. Huddle has enabled it to be able to request up to 500 files at a time, with assignees automatically notified of new requests, without having to worry about file size limitations. This has made it a lot easier for the councils to meet deadlines.

Streamlining operational efficiency

Document versions are automatically managed as they go through revisions, and features such as File Request, Tasks and Commenting ensure all work and communication can be contained in a single, auditable space which can be archived at the end of the inquest.

Automating the approval process, enhancing operational efficiency

Previously, the team was reliant on email to request and chase approvals. This could be slow and often resulted in approvals being missed. Today, Huddle’s Approval feature is used to automate the process. When collaborating with other councils, Croydon Council can set a deadline and send content for approval in seconds. The team can also check the status of their approval requests and rely on Huddle to automatically chase outstanding tasks and approvals. 

Outcomes

Since deploying Huddle, Croydon Council has been able to revolutionise the way that it collaborates with its partners and lead on best practice with regards to digital transformation. Its’ easy to use features enable team members to retrieve and archive documents relating to tenders and projects at the click of a button, which has helped enhance operational efficiency. As well as this, members of the Consortium find it extremely useful to be able to bookmark key documents which they can refer to later using its Bookmark feature.

Less time on document related activities 

Huddle’s easy to use multi-agency platform has enabled the team to streamline the amount of time which they spend searching for documents across multiple systems and more time achieving results. All of those involved in the ILC initiative have found it easier to work-on, edit, request and review files using Huddle. 

“Now that we have Huddle, the team no longer has to resend emails as everyone has access to the same material.’ –  Malcolm Davies, Head of Risk & Corporate Programme Office

Huddle has enabled us to transform the way we collaborate with our partners through its secure, agile, easy to use cloud based multi-agency platform. When working together on procuring services for our boroughs, teams can easily work on, edit, share, request, review and recall documentation without having to search through thousands of emails, which has saved hundreds of hours.”  –  Malcolm Davies, Head of Risk & Corporate Programme Office

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