As an expert outsourced provider NSL Services Group (NSL) delivers a range of parking and traffic management services, including enforcement services, to nearly all major UK cities.
The organisation responsible for authorising taxi and private hire vehicle licensing for the Greater London area appointed NSL to manage the licensing and inspection service from 1 March 2013. The contract involves processing initial licence applications through to vehicle inspection tests, with two annual MOT tests now mandatory for taxi and private hire vehicles. A third party partner, Civica, supplies the operational system that contains all the licensing and inspection test data, and change++ was asked to develop the business intelligence solution that would enable both the client organisation and NSL to report on this data. Having worked with change++ to develop a flexible reporting and analysis capability for a Penalty Charge Notice processing system, also managed for the same client, NSL knew change++ had the expertise to advise on a reporting framework.
change++ recommended IBM Cognos Business Intelligence for the reporting solution as it offers the flexibility NSL and their client need. There is a requirement for ad hoc reports, queries and analysis of both operational and financial data as well as the delivery of standard reports from the operations database and the Microsoft Dynamics finance database. Additionally it is necessary to be able to report on the underlying history of the data and to report the status of a licence application or inspection test at any point in time. This had significant impact on the final solution.
The partners in the project needed to work very closely and communicate effectively to ensure that all systems and the reporting from them met the client’s exact requirements. According to NSL project manager, Kathryn Jackson, “What made this project complex was the number of data sources to be accessed, the variety of reports required and also the quantity of standard reports needed by various user groups – the count is approaching 100! On previous contracts NSL provided all reports to the client but this time they wanted self- service reporting - to create the reports themselves and have complete control over the analysis they carry out. Their head office analysts are highly skilled and confident at manipulating data to produce ad hoc reports whenever they want and we need to ensure they have a toolset with the functionality to do this.”
Security and business continuity were also priorities. To ensure business continuity a parallel infrastructure has been set up so all reports and analysis will be available in the event of a disaster.
Finally, reporting with IBM Cognos BI fulfils the client’s requirement to measure overall service quality against agreed performance indicators. Any deviation from agreed service levels is highlighted and addressed, so performance improvements can be planned and implemented and operational efficiency maximised.
Reviewing the success of the IBM Cognos BI implementation, Kathryn Jackson comments, “Once again the change++ team proved itself as a strong, reliable partner that works really hard, and in this instance, to extremely tight deadlines. This was a demanding project that called for a dedicated resource NSL could trust to deliver and change++ did. The client analysts are delighted with the IBM Cognos toolset and its capabilities. They appreciate why it’s a market-leading product as it certainly gives them all the flexibility they want for self- service reporting, queries and analysis.”
Della Payne, change++ Managing Director, says, “NSL is one of our major clients. We understand their business and the performance criteria by which they’re judged. The team had to pull out all the stops this time but we’re really pleased to have delivered exactly what was expected.”