Re-engineering Glasgow City Council’s back-office support services


Image via COSLA

Andy Macdonald, Head of Customer & Business Services at Glasgow City Council, describes the gold award winning ‘Tomorrow’s Support Services’ programme that is reinventing how support services are delivered across the organisation.

Tomorrow’s Support Services is an ambitious project to re-engineer Glasgow City Council’s back-office support services.

The City Council is the largest public authority in Scotland with a workforce of 19,000.  With more pressure than ever being placed on the delivery of support services, changing the way these services are delivered is a key element of the council’s strategic response to a reduction in budgets.

Tomorrow’s Support Services provided the platform to transform how these services are delivered for Glasgow.

Behind this approach is a shared services model which brings similar work together.  In years gone by, administration and transactional activities were carried out across the council family from different locations and by varying management structures.  Today, customer contact, common administration tasks and transactional activities are all delivered through central locations, which also automate processes where possible.  This single organisational model means that over 2,600 people from over 300 locations have transitioned into the Council’s Customer and Business Services.  The result has been better, more efficient processes – and significant savings.

This win-win approach has helped the Council reduce the money spent on support services while maintaining or improving services for both internal and external customers.  Over £5m of savings have already been delivered, which are being redirected to support council priorities and frontline services.   Not only that, but a range of other benefits have also been delivered, including:

  • A reduction and rebalance in workloads of staff working on administrative activities – taking work out of over 100 projects to date
  • Increase productivity and maintaining or improving service levels
  • A more flexible working approach which is expanding the capability and capacity of employees
  • New opportunities for innovation, and for sharing ideas and best practice

That impact simply wouldn’t have happened without the amazing energy and insight that staff have brought to the project.  In fact, the whole process is built around the changes they identified. And by making sure that employees were at the centre of change, those ideas have gone on to become some of the new service’s biggest successes.

In recognition of the huge impact of Tomorrow’s Support Services, this workforce transformation programme is already being rolled out across the Glasgow City Council family.    Many councils and public bodies are now also looking to emulate this approach too.  The team are always delighted to help share their journey with others.  If you would like to learn more, contact:

Agnes MacLean

Glasgow City Council

0141 418 1364

[email protected]