Local e-Government Minister, Phil Hope has launched the CRM Academy website, a major plank of the CRM National Programme.
The CRM National Programme is one of the National Projects for local e-government supported by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Their aim is to provide templates for different technologies and processes that any council can pick up and develop without having to start from scratch. Tower Hamlets has been the lead local authority.
The CRM National Programme launched the Academy website www.crmacademy.org in response to demand from local authorities for advice and guidance in planning and implementing CRM.
The website makes available a portfolio of 41 tools to make planning and implementing CRM easy. This is 15 more products than were originally planned and these were developed as the CRM National Programme worked with councils to identify and address their particular needs.
So far 313 council representatives have registered to use 13 draft products - which can be found at www.crmacademy.org - downloading 2,337 copies of the products to help them implement CRM and meet Local e-Government Strategy targets by 2005.
"CRM is about a whole new outlook for managing councils relationships with customers and joined up service delivery" Hope said. "This project takes local government to the next stage of exploiting CRM".
Programme director Terry Dailey said "The Academy website is the culmination of a year long project to bring clarity and definition to the role of CRM in local government. More than half of English councils have recognised the value of CRM as a way of saving time and money when it comes to improving customer care.
"The tools we are launching will help local authorities at all stages of development of their CRM programmes, by providing guides to building the business case, producing specifications for suppliers and creating complex technical implementation strategies. We hope that councils will use these tools to speed up their CRM implementation and help them meet their e-government targets, on time and within budget".
The launch of the Academy website, at the Road to Excellence event on Wedneday, was also used as a fact-finding exercise by the Audit Commission which asked key local council representatives from across England about their CRM needs.
The findings will be included in a report for the ODPM’s office, which will form the basis of a proposal for the Project’s second phase.