Counting the cost

July 14, 2012

A recent debate on the Socitm Linkedin group went back to the validity of channel shift calculation most recently raised in “Can channel shift be forecast?“. However, this has been an ongoing question for a long time as posts such as Channel accounting in 2009 will emphasise.

I continue to argue that end-to-end costs have to be assimilated, within reason, into such costings, and the major savings need to be revenue ones. A recent post on The Register revealed that 20% of the Information Commissioner’s Office budget went on IT. I wonder how many local authorities spend near that? This may be a reason why some LA’s are less able to respond in detail to some of the requests they get? Geoff Connell of the London Borough of Newham, an old acquaintance announced on the Linkedin forum that “Newham Council has saved £12M per annum so far through a major channel shift programme. Less than 40% of our customer services transactions are now carried out face to face. Over 30% go through our online self-serve portal and we have over 20,000 registered (and active) users. We have over 98% online purchases for parking permits, 30%+ for bulky items, green waste, etc, etc.”, which I wouldn’t argue with, knowing Geoff, but they have property to rationalise that will make a capital saving. There may be some revenue savings and these need to be the main component for any ‘calculator’ using the transaction cost figures that Socitm and others bandy about.

The debate will continue forever no doubt, but some of the presentations from the recent Socitm/Headstar #BPCW12 conference in Birmingham were revealed to be available at