How to save a million pounds through local government using mobile apps


Many local authority bosses are under increasing pressure with budgets being slashed and the threat of redundancy hanging over thousands of council employees. But is there another way?

It’s common in any organisation to wield the axe when costs need to be cut but often smaller, incremental savings can be a lot less painful and yet still make a huge difference. This is where mobile applications can come in.

We deal a lot with the healthcare sector where one such initiative is the Nursing Technology Fund. Money was put aside by the Government for the promotion of ideas for improving patient care and saving money through the use of technology. In order to get funding, healthcare trusts had to put forward a proposal which showed evidence of a strong return-on-investment. That ROI could include saving nurses’ time, whether an hour or a quarter of an hour.

The projects that were often put forward were those that saved money by looking at how small changes could make a big difference – a lesson that could be learned by local authorities. If you have to save £1m from your budget, can you cut £250,000 over four processes using mobile apps?

We created an app for a private waste disposal company which had an issue with people putting the waste in the incorrect bins. They had to sort through each bin after they were collected; costing them time and money.

So we built an app for them which their waste disposal managers use on site. The app gives them the ability to access the details of the particular contract they are working on. It allows them to check when the hoppers are being collected and check and record whether the right waste is in the right bins, taking photos with a GPS stamp where necessary. The app also made invoicing simpler and helped them to gain any owed money more quickly. On average the app saved them about £80 for each collection (i.e. re-sort time, admin time etc). Multiply this by the number of collections made per year (over 3000) and again the cost saving numbers start to add up very quickly. This model could easily be adapted to similar scenarios in the public sector.

That’s a very simple process in which mobile technology has had a positive and long lasting impact. There are so many others where technology could have an impact – saving money which could cut costs, increase efficiency and secure jobs.

If you are currently considering the use of mobile technology within your public sector organisation, or are looking at how you can expand your mobile strategy, then click here to see the work CommonTime are currently doing with public sector organisations across the UK.

To read more about the Waste Disposal app, click here to download the case study.