Benefits of the Web Labs Service
- CMS provides internal control
- Good customer service
- User friendly CMS
- Excellent value for money
The Commission for Local Administration in England was established under the Local Government Act 1974, and runs the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) service.
LGO looks at complaints about councils and some other authorities and organisations, including education admissions appeal panels and adult social care providers. LGO's job is to investigate complaints in a fair and independent way.
Prior to the use of the Web-Labs solutions, LGO's website and the online intranet system were run by an external company. LGO had no direct control in running the website, making adjustments or providing updates. Any changes that were required, involved staff having to email the company provider of the site to make such adjustments. This proved time consuming and inefficient. Therefore, LGO went to tender to search for a Content Management System (CMS), which would enable the LGO staff to control the content and timeliness of their web site content and to use a second deployment on their network to provide a secure staff intranet.
In 2008, after a diligent tendering process, The Local Government Ombudsman went with Web-Labs to supply a Content Management System and design services which would power both the organisation's website and intranet network. By early 2009, the website was setup and went live. The intranet followed in 2010.
To date, LGO use the following Web-Labs products and services:
- Content Master (website and intranet)
- Forms Master
- A - Z Directory
- Advanced Search
- Electronic newsletter
With around 30,000 hits per month, the demand for up to date information on the LGO site has been of high importance. Since the implementation of the Content Management System (CMS), the LGO staff have been able to run their online resources themselves keeping the information available right up to date.
This internal control has allowed LGO to efficiently update the site regularly and instantly to provide the website's users with up to date and accurate information. However, when there have been queries, the Web-Labs staff have provided a prompt solution and guidance to most problems that have been encountered. For example, LGO produce annual review letters to over 400 councils. Rather than having to upload these manually, Web-labs provided a solution that – with a little input from Web-labs - means the letters get uploaded to the website almost instantly and this process is done now on an annual basis.
Since the installation of the content management system (CMS), Web-Labs have continued to improve and update the usability for LGO to make the site more user-friendly. The CMS still fulfils the staff and public users' needs. LGO also use the CMS to produce a regular newsletter for staff on the intranet. Since this was first implemented, LGO have been able to automate this service to provide a quick and timely update to the staff of the organisation.
We have found the CMS easy to use, and Web-labs have provided some innovative solutions to new features we have wanted to introduce to the website and intranet.
Communications and Records Manager at LGO
The Local Government Ombudsman also uses the Web-Labs eForms solution to power the complaint forms and publications order form on the website. These forms have provided a useful and straighter forward method of system allowing users to complete these forms online and send them through to be input into LGO's internal systems.
In recent developments, LGO is looking into publishing every ombudsman decision which increases the volume input through the CMS by converting the process into an automated system to provide maximum efficiency with the organisations processes. With this in working progress, the success of the operation is likely to determine the future of the Web-Labs, LGO working relationship.
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