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  • Success Story
  • Aberdeen

How Aberdeen City Council Drove Channel Shift for £250k in Annual Savings


Changes to the Blue Badge Scheme in Scotland expanded the criteria for eligibility of a blue badge to include those with “hidden disabilities.” With around 260 applications submitted a month to Aberdeen City Council, strain on the service was always going to increase. These changes were adopted by England in 2019 and many councils are now looking to online solutions to manage this demand.


  • 125 Online Forms Bespoke forms were built quickly.
  • 13 Hours Saved Weekly Automating processes is saving staff time.
  • 63% Reduction in Wait Time Aberdeen needed to reduce from 12–14 weeks to 4-6.
  • 260 Monthly Applications With many applications, Aberdeen needed process improvements.
Must have Granicus Solutions

An Opportunity to Improve

Like many other councils, Aberdeen was using Northgate’s Blue Badge Improvement Service (BBIS), but with no application capturing capabilities, staff relied on paper forms which were scanned, emailed, and rekeyed into the system. A spreadsheet was the only way to track the status of an application.

A gov.uk form was used occasionally but, with no upload ability, evidence required for the application needed to be posted to the council separately. Oversight was becoming difficult; a backlog was building with some applications slipping through the net and not receiving adequate response. With targets to reduce their backlog from 12–14 weeks down to 4–6 weeks, they needed to change their process quickly.


Automating Services With a Holistic Approach

To date, Aberdeen has developed 125 bespoke online forms with Granicus. However, their development team needed extra resources to meet the time and budget. Aberdeen turned to Granicus’ Blue Badge MyService to make this happen, going live on the 5th February 2019.

Developed in house, with best practice and user experience central to its design, the Blue Badge MyService is an end-to-end solution that allows citizens to check eligibility and pay for a blue badge. At the same time, it provides a simple back-office workflow to process applications. By offering tailored advice at the first point of contact through to checking the eligibility and taking a payment for the badge, the whole solution can be completed online.

“We do not think that our development team would have been able to prioritise building a process as complex as Granicus' Blue Badge MyService."
Angela Doyle, Programme Delivery Manager

Users who have signed up for an account with Aberdeen City Council will see their profile information already populate the form for a smooth user experience. Information entered is retained as users move through the form to avoid the same questions being asked multiple times. By logging into their MyAccount, they can check the status of their application and complete any extra stages at any time.

A holistic approach

Aberdeen wanted the MyService to become part of a holistic approach to Blue Badge services as part of a wider care package. Working with partner services throughout the area, the MyService is used as a vehicle to provide effective help and support. If an applicant is not eligible for a blue badge at the time of application, other options are presented such as being advised to apply for training on independent travel.

For some citizens, online services can be daunting. Aberdeen has provided help and support in local areas such as the library for those who require assistance to complete the form. Staff can help build the general public’s confidence in online services by helping to make an account and use the Customer Portal.

The Blue Badge MyService can also be used in conjunction with Service, Granicus’ CRM module, so that CSAs can submit the application form on behalf of an applicant.


Time-Saving Service for Residents & Staff

Aberdeen has saved up to 5 hours a week in eligibility where the solution checks eligibility automatically. Occupational therapists have been able to save almost 8 hours a week in admin time processing paper forms and chasing information missed in the original paper application form.

New staff were able to hit the ground running with the fresh, intuitive system. For older staff, a change in behaviour was managed so that the transition from the old system to Granicus was smooth and pain free.

The MyService is periodically updated with feedback and kept in accordance with the requirements from the Department for Transport, saving Aberdeen council both initial development time and time required to maintain the process.

We took a structured approach to implementation and the configuration of the solution. It was a few weeks from our initial consultation to implementing the process in the departments.
Angela Doyle, Programme Delivery Manager