Town Hall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RS

Garden Waste Collection Process Review

Sevenoaks District Council have been looking to review their existing processes for the booking and payment of their Garden Waste service.



The booking and payment of a garden waste collection by Citizens of Sevenoaks District Council was a manual process with no automation or digital means of task completion.


The existing process was time consuming, paper based and inefficient. It was clear that by moving to a digital end-toend process it would remove the strong dependency on human intervention involved in the process, put the customer in control and allow efficiencies to be realised.


What we did


After our initial Discovery meeting with Sevenoaks District Council (SDC), the Smarter Digital Services Team (SDS) were able to ascertain the aims and objectives of the project.

It was critical to have a visual representation of volumes of service and how much Citizen contact was being experienced across all departments at that time. It was therefore important to gather the baseline data to build a picture of where Sevenoaks were in the present with the intention to use the data captured to evaluate progress in the future once a process redesign had been implemented.


Using the data collected for contact volumes as well as any process where there was a cost incurred (letters and permits for example), the SDS Team were able to carry out a cost-to-serve analysis.


As with any end-to-end process review where there is potential for change, it was essential to engage with the critical stakeholders early on in the project. SDS therefore facilitated a User Journey Mapping Workshop. This is where the existing end-to-end process is reviewed with all department representatives but through the eyes of the Citizen.


Once the existing process had been captured, further analysis of the process could then be carried out. With findings taken from the workshop combined with research into good practice from other Local Authorities, the issues and road blocks became apparent. Critically, the opportunities to improve also became clear.


What we found


1. The only methods of contact available to a Citizen to book and pay for the Garden Waste Service were either by telephone or post.


2. The methods of payments available to the Citizen were:


  • Card payment via the Contact Centre or Depot
  • Cheque
  • Direct Bank Transfer
  • Cash


3. Once the booking and payment of the Garden Waste service had been made by the user, there was a lot of manual internal processes that were both time consuming and expensive in order to complete the users request


Manual processes included:


  • Individual physical Permits generated manually
  • Physical copy of a Welcome letter
  • Physical copy of a calendar
  • Customer details held and updated within a spreadsheet
  • Manually create and send Renewal letters to users
  • Manually create a new expiry sticker for renewals the user has to place on their bin personally


SDS reviewed the findings from the further analysis they had carried out and developed and located potential solutions to the issues and road blocks.


When identifying solutions, SDS evaluate all the potential risks of implementing solutions as well as implementing a cost and benefit analysis to identify the best possible solution to put forward to SDC as final recommendations.


The SDS Team also provided the final endto-end process redesign maps to visually demonstrate what could be achieved in the future. This also provides a visual representation of the end goal to aspire and work towards.


The Future


Sevenoaks District Council are working towards implementing a majority of the recommendations made to them by the SDS Team.


The Online Forms will be available to access once Sevenoaks have completed updating their website, projected to be the end of March 2017.


SDC are also exploring the potential of using Direct debits and are currently in contact with a SDS recommended Direct Debit provider.


SDC are also currently awaiting approval for a request for funding to acquire and implement an In Cab Technology strategy.


Once work on the SDC website is completed by the SDC IT Team, attention will then turn to implementing the recommendations made by the SDS Team to integrate the existing CRM to both automate and offer a digital solution to existing manual processes.


22 December 2016
process review, service design
Sevenoaks District Council