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Rugby Council launches app for waste reporting


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Rugby Borough Council has launched a mobile app for environmental services that extends into its CRM system to create new workflows.

Mike Connell, interim project delivery and account management lead officer, ICT and information systems, said the council developed the app with Cloud9 Technologies, carried out a soft release in October and began to advertise its availablity in December.

The initial reporting functions are on fly tipping, dog fouling and noise nuisances – using Firmstep online forms – along with information on waste collection schedules, local councillors and council news and tweets.

So far there have been 2,500 downloads through the Apple and Google stores and the creation of 1,900 active subscriptions, and the council has been receiving around 30 reports per week through the app.

Rugby is now planning to extend the app to prompting workflows for other services.

“We were looking to get more information out to our residents in a more modern format,” Connell said. “Website access going down and people expecting an active facility through a smartphone.”

Integration with CRM

The development team has also created two APIs through which information fed into the app integrates into Rugby’s CRM to assign a case to a customer and create a workflow.  

One goes through Sphinx to take the email address and check whether the email address matches that in the CRM. It will either confirm it is on the system and show the unique customer reference number or create one if necessary.

The other is Start Thread, which creates a new case in Firmstep to begin the workflow, with the ability to alert the environmental health team’s Flare system and send an SMS to the user with the case number.

If a user wants to report an issue they can either indicate the location through the GPS on their smartphone, or if they prefer to keep it switched off they can pinpoint the spot on a map which is defaulted to centralise on Rugby Town Hall and can be adjusted to find the relevant point.

“At the moment we have three forms launched – for dog fouling, fly tipping and noise nuisance – and are actively moving forward to line up others,” Connell said, citing areas such as parks and recreation and planning applications as having potential.

Image from Cloud9 (cropped)

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