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Effective and efficient service

Staffordshire is one of the largest councils in England – stretching from the borders of Wolverhampton in the South to the Staffordshire Moorlands in the North. While much of the county is rural, most of the 800,000 people live in major urban centres including Stoke-on-Trent and Lichfield. Their challenge is to deliver services as effectively as possible across this wide region, within the constraints of a fiscally-tight future. 

A new platform

Staffordshire County Council (SCC) set about an ambitious plan to redevelop their customer service processes. This included putting in place a new CMS, web development process, and a suite of new websites.

The council chose Contensis. They were impressed with our ability to work cooperatively with organisations. And, we were able to support their team on the project while pushing forward the overall plan on their behalf.

As well as making necessary organisational changes for the new customer service agenda, the council needed to replace an existing installation of Microsoft CMS2002. Though it had served them for some years, it was no longer serviceable.

Using Contensis Blueprint tools, we identified thousands of webpages and documents from the council’s old CMS, and transferred the content into a brand-new structure.

"Contensis offers all the functionality you need for managing large scale websites within a complex organisation."

Ruth Woodbridge, digital & CRM manager

Familiarity breeds productivity

A set of cleverly built templates helps the council’s web team keep control over the structure and styling of the website. The Contensis templating system allows editors to create great looking page layouts using simple drag-and-drop controls.

There was a drive to make sure that authors publish accessible web pages and that they were happy working with the new CMS – ease of use is vital when engaging with a large group of non-technical authors.

The Staffordshire team needed to work on separate websites and be able to reuse site components, media and templates. So, it was important that a consistent working environment should be provided across more than one website project. Editors needed to be able to create a website from scratch and base it on the solid foundations of the main Staffordshire website.

Four star status

The project was delivered on time and on budget – just 6 months after we won the contract. Through consultation and the Contensis training programme, the Staffordshire web team quickly built up their own knowledge of the CMS – as administrators, editors and developers. To the great satisfaction of everyone involved in the project, Staffordshire.gov.uk rose to 4-star “Transactional” status in the 2012 Socitm Better Connected report, and retained it following an internal redesign in 2015. 

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