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November 2018
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London Borough of Ealing relies on Cloud technology to increase efficiencies within hospitality and events team

Jane Coughlan from Ealing Council

Jane Coughlan from Ealing Council

With a potential capacity of over 100 events per week and operating 362 days per year, the Hospitality & Events team for the London Borough of Ealing manages almost 4,000 events a year on average and is growing.  All are hosted by the Council in a total of 16 halls and meeting rooms across two locations in the Borough including the historic Town Hall, a spectacular grade II listed Victorian building from 1887 and still serving the local community over 125 years later.

By moving to a cloud-based venue and event management solution, the busy hospitality and events team at the London Borough of Ealing now has greater flexibility and adaptability.  Bookings by phone or email are now managed by the team of 6 event managers and coordinators all using a solution from Priava (www.priava.com). In addition, access is provided to the Town Hall’s receptionist and porters as required.  The entire team take their duties providing important services to the community extremely seriously and customer service is at the top of their list of priorities.

Operational benefits and future-proofing

New features and functionality are now introduced as they become available.  This is in distinct contrast to the team relying on its contracted out ICT service provider to schedule updates into its own busy programme, which previously constrained the team’s ability to take advantage of new releases quickly.  In addition, of course, upgrades to the team’s original server hardware and operating system software, typically requiring capital expenditure approvals, have become a thing of the past.

The Results – Significant benefits, some anticipated and some unexpected

“Greater flexibility was anticipated and has proved a real benefit in that members of the team can now provide significantly higher levels of cover for each other as staff may work on the system from any location including from home in exactly the same way as they do in the office.

These benefits for the team have translated directly into improved levels of service for our clients.” says Jane Coughlan, Hospitality & Events Manager at Ealing Council.

Jane acknowledges the investment of both the Council and Priava working together to tailor a sophisticated, flexible and adaptable tool fit for purpose for the long term.

“An unforeseen benefit of switching is that there is now a very clear line of demarcation between the Council’s standard desktop PC and associated communication services and the provision of Priava’s application as a service, making problem resolution far more straightforward and effective”.

New time-saving features: doing more with less and providing even better customer service

A new feature that is proving particularly beneficial to the team is the ability to quickly and easily block book venues for regular hirers.  Ealing has over 40 regular clients amongst its local communities, including church groups and dance groups for example.  Many book weekly, fortnightly or monthly throughout the year. “Priava’s block booking feature was a long time coming but is now proving extremely popular with team members, saving hours of work when compared with booking each event individually as we previously had to do. A further positive outcome of block booking is a notable reduction in input errors, resulting in less rework and further improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the team” says Jane.

Multi-tasking – a big improvement

“A standard feature of the cloud-based system is multi-tasking.  The team can now immediately jump into the process of taking a booking or make changes to existing bookings when taking a call from a client, and then returning straight away to whatever they were doing previously on the system.  As well as increased efficiency we can at the same time substantially reduce call transaction times and further improve levels of service to the clients.”

Summary

The benefits that Ealing has achieved through the use of Priava so far include:

  • Multi-tasking between duties – can open different tabs/windows simultaneously
  • Improved customer service and value for money to public
  • Future-proofed solutions – new features introduced when available
  • No on-going capital investments required
  • Support for ‘Repeat Events’ saves hours of work
  • Better staff cover with support for remote working
  • Less training required as system is both intuitive and user-friendly
  • High availability and redundancy of system
  • Excellent vendor support

Jane concludes, “We now have a highly flexible system that helps the team to optimise our complex business needs, offering value for money for both the residents and businesses of the London Borough of Ealing in support of its “One Council” world class, customer centric approach.”

For further information on Priava visit www.priava.com

To download a free copy of ‘How venues can manage events more effectively’ visit: www.priava.com/resources/

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