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  • Success Story
  • Durham County Council

How Durham County Council Saves $310k+ Annually After Moving Services Online With govService

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Durham County Council in England oversees a population of 800,000. They struggled for years to move away from paper-based, in-person services. Through their initiative, Altogether Better Durham, they moved transactions and service requests online with govService. Durham County now saves $310k annually.


  • $310K Saved Annually Reducing paper and streamlining processes cuts costs.
  • 100,000+ Users The Council’s residents quickly adopted digital.
  • 90 Digital Services Popular services were automated quickly.
  • 300 Users Added Daily Citizens continue to adopt the digital service.
Must have Granicus Solutions

Seeking a Customer-Focused Digital Strategy

In Durham County, a previous initiative to move away from paper-based, in-person services had taken more than a year to implement. The result was a single new digital process. Even with that new process in place, only one percent of service fulfillments were completely digital.

Durham County’s 20-year strategy, Altogether Better Durham, relied on more sustainable and greener processes. With the first initiative not leading to the desired results, staff began a new initiative. It had three main objectives: give customers more choice, gain better resident insights, and improve efficiency.

To achieve those goals, Durham County needed to radically change their digital offering.


Launching 90 Services Simultaneously

Staff turned to Granicus and govService to make that transformation happen. More than 90 processes and forms were available online to staff in two call centers and a face-to-face contact center. Durham County’s branded self-service portal — MyDurham — also offers residents the ability to access services themselves instead of relying on the telephone or in-person interactions, freeing up those call centers to focus on supporting citizens with the greatest needs or special cases.

How do those 90 services work? An important example is Durham County’s trash and recycling collection program. Under the previous system, residents contacted County staff for information on the problem and potential remedy when there was a mistake. Staff were determined to make life easier for residents by removing the need for them to contact the city.

Now, trash collectors who experience a problem, such as a roadblock or traffic delay, send an SMS alert to all customers in the area to let them know that their trash hasn’t been collected and that a remedy is in the works. This proactive process is made possible via govService’s built-in Integration Manager. This unique feature enables easy integration of Durham’s internal and external back-office systems, including postal code databases, customer contact preferences, and alert providers.


Digital Services Save $310k Annually

Within 12 months, Durham saw exceptional results.

Every week more than 300 people sign up for a MyDurham account, and thousands of citizens log in each day to access information, pay bills, and request services. A dramatic shift from paper-based to digital services has already led to more than $309,000 in annual savings, a figure that will only grow as time goes on.

With more people self-serving online, the number of telephone and face-to-face contacts has fallen remarkably.

In addition to traditional metrics — customers served, number of accounts, money saved — County staff also collect qualitative feedback from citizens. Each day, 40 citizens share their feedback on services with staff. Those views, and extensive customer data gathered through the software, are shared widely among staff via govService’s easy-to-use reporting dashboard. Thanks to the software, County leaders now have the insights they need to make evidence-based decisions and policy.