Handling more than 43 million relicensing transactions a year, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is one of the busiest government agencies. Yet the licensing process relied mainly on post offices, manual transactions and paper checks.
As part of its commitment to the UK e-government agenda, the DVLA wanted to address inefficiencies within the licence renewal process. It decided to look for innovative solutions that wouldn't just improve efficiency, but also give customers greater access and choice - a 24/7 online service that could integrate insurers and other interested parties where appropriate. IBM Business Consulting Services was chosen as the DVLA's partner in this 12-month project.
Following an analysis and clear definition of the business strategy and objectives behind the idea, a team of 80 IBM consultants and 20 DVLA staff developed and implemented technical designs, integrating existing DVLA and external applications and infrastructure in order to support multiple channels to customers.
But would customers actually use such a service? As the new service was developed, it was tested with representative groups of customers to ensure that it met their needs, and once the service was operating, customers were sent personal invitations to try it out.
Customers can now go online or use a new automated system at any time to obtain a vehicle licence or make Statutory Off Road Notifications. Only minimal details about their vehicle need be provided, while integration with insurance and MOT databases supports the necessary legal and fraud checks, which are made in real time. A new licence is then sent out by post.
So far, 20% of eligible customers have opted to use the new service, and the DVLA has ambitious plans to drive up the level of take-up in line with the rollout of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency's MOT system.
The service is expected to cut the cost of vehice licence renewal by up to two-thirds, and shifting the emphasis from call centres to online self-service lets agents focus on resolving more complex enquiries, improving compliance and reducing crime.
In developing online relicensing, IBM and the DVLA has provided a model for e-government services; customer take-up is already 20%.
- Define clearly the strategy and objectives behind the project at the outset.
- Test customer reaction during development.
- Minimise risk with a soft launch and phased rollout.
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