CRM Goes Public

By Geoffrey James

If you thought CRM was only for businesses, think again. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM), an online research firm, predicts the public sector will represent the largest area of CRM growth over the next three years. The reason is simple. People want their governments to be as responsive as private companies to their complaints and concerns.

According to ISM, steadily increasing citizen demands for e-government is spurring many state and municipal government agencies to adopt new tactics for serving the public. A prime example of this is New York State’s Erie County, which is responding to citizen demands for responsiveness by incorporating mySAP’s CRM functionality into its existing IT infrastructure.

The CRM implementation in Erie County, one of the state’s largest county governments, is part of an ongoing strategy to reshape how the county manages its resources, and is expected to help 8,400 county employees improve delivery of citizen services. Features of the Erie County CRM system are an example of the government functionality that’s likely to become common elsewhere over the next few years. It includes the following capabilities.

First responder tracking and training. Erie County is developing a regional capability for alerting, incident management, first responder resource management, stockpile controls, emergency call center and emergency equipment inventory and deployment functions. This will result in more responsive and efficient emergency response centers giving personnel the ability to handle local accidents and emergencies by accurately tracking, identifying and dispatching emergency resources.

Centralized call center and case management for human services. The county is developing centralized regional call center and case management capabilities to assess eligibility, calculate benefits, track interactions with clients and manage involvement in social service programs. This is intended to ensure citizen inquiries are resolved quickly and will result in improved response rates to citizens’ questions regarding social service programs through case management functionality.

Automated plant management. Erie County’s plant management function will automate work orders and aid in managing assets, inventories, process inspections, warehouse controls and resource scheduling, as well as preventive maintenance across various departments including sewer, fleet, parks and public works. These functions will result in faster processing of citizen service requests to these departments.