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Citizens Advice Bureau

The Citizens Advice service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. There are 416 Citizens Advice Bureaux across England and Wales, and a further 22 bureaux in Northern Ireland, all of which are independent registered charities. They are all members of Citizens Advice, the membership organisation – also an independent registered charity. Microcare worked with the Wirral CAB who have 7 sites.

The Project

As part of the modernisation and expansion project for the CAB (Wirral) it was felt that having different phone systems in all of the 7 sites was not effective. There was a need to review and modernise the systems they had to increase efficiencies and improve the service that they offered.

The CAB agreed that they needed to link all 7 sites and implement one system across all sites. This would allow calls between sites to be free and to have a centralised call system that will ensure that they never missed calls as there would be capacity to deal with peak times. This was a huge change, commitment and investment especially given the nature of what they do and the fact that they are a charity. CAB put this challenge out to tender and Microcare provided recommendations accordingly.

As part of the pitch process Microcare invested time looking at the system they had, how they worked and how they wanted to link the sites. We took time to understand what they did and ultimately what they wanted to offer the people that used their services. Microcare then ‘Established Needs’ and created a report that showed the essential and non essential requirements.

This report then allowed us to review what was available in the market from our strategic partners and choose the solution that best suited CAB’s requirements. Microcare recommended an Avaya system and delivered a presentation that explained why it was recommended, what the benefits were and how much it would cost. The system was chosen because of its sophistication, flexibility and its strong applications that allowed easy ‘linkage’ which was key to the requirements across the 7 sites.

The Result

Following the tender Microcare were successful in winning the business based on our capabilities as a business, our pedigree, the professionalism and the way that we had demonstrated how we had invested time in understanding their requirements as a business prior to recommending a system.

Timescales were extremely tight for the implementation, all the project planning was provided so that CAB knew what was happening when and we successfully met their deadline which included in-house training. Again, this meant a seamless transition from old system to new.

As well as the new telephone system we also installed broadband connections to link sites and VPNs so that it all worked smoothly and correctly. We have also implemented ‘home workers’ to increase flexibility and efficiency as a service provider.

The client is extremely happy with the system and the benefits that it has brought to the business. It has resulted in a large reduction in operating costs and they see this as a positive result, as it allows them the opportunity to invest for the future. We have also reviewed their Network Services reducing line call and network costs and also helps the 7 sites to be able to communicate efficiently between each other – phoning colleagues, picking up voice messages and site to site calls.