How the City of Brampton safely re-opened during COVID-19

The City of Brampton, Ontario, was one of the many municipalities in Canada that initially imposed lockdowns during the first wave of COVID-19.

Fortunately, they were well-prepared and quickly shifted a workforce of 4,000 employees from working in the office to working from home.

Enabling employees to work from home is one thing, but what about continuing to provide essential services to the residents and businesses?

Brampton is a well-run city, focused on continuously improving the day-to-day operations of the corporation by streamlining service delivery to ensure timely and efficient customer service.

To make sure residents and businesses were provided with the same level of support, Brampton started using appointments and queue management software to manage the flow of in-person services.

Read on to learn how technology from FrontDesk helped the City of Brampton safely reopen its services to more than 700,000 residents and 78,000 businesses.

A brief background

 

The City of Brampton has many public-facing service counters in dozens of locations across the City.

The in-person customer interactions at counters are a focal point for the overall customer experience for thousands of Brampton residents each year.

Before implementing FrontDesk in 2019, the approach to managing the operations of these counters was unpredictable for both staff and residents, not knowing the volume at any given time of day.

Moving to appointment-based bookings has made serving the public far more manageable and predictable.

 

Safety by appointments

 

With public health and safety measures in place, delivering key services to the public must be done in a safe and efficient manner.

By having an appointment-based public service, the City ensured safety for both staff and visitors.

Being in control of visitor flow is an important factor. Physical distancing, contact tracing and COVID-19 screenings were simple, yet effective, tools to continue operating at a safe capacity.

Skip the Line

 

Adopting FrontDesk (branded as ‘Skip the Line’ in Brampton) well positioned the city during the COVID-19 pandemic and through the recovery to carry out the business of the people in a quick, safe and efficient manner.

Flexibility and autonomy during the pandemic 

FrontDesk is used across many different departments at the City of Brampton. This provides operational advantages as well as a professional citizen experience for the businesses and residents.

Any specialized employee who handles specific inquiries can continue to do their work with seamless transition from in-person to online.

Using FrontDesk, each employee can create and manage their own schedule, so they are not called out of meetings or have their work interrupted by unexpected appointments or walk-ins.

Additionally, employees are informed when citizens arrive for their appointments, so no time is lost waiting in the lobby.

Managing complex workflows and requirements 

 

In 2019, the City of Brampton’s Building Division decided to implement a queue management system to meet their custom needs. After looking at several solutions, the City chose FrontDesk.

The Building Division built custom workflows using FrontDesk for the specific services they offer. This allowed customers to take control of their own time, example: customer knowing when they will be served for their appointment. This also allowed the Building Division to efficiently staff their counters depending on needs.

The new process implemented with FrontDesk streamlined the interaction between staff and residents throughout different phases of the service appointment process.

Manage the day, safely and efficiently

 

With strict public health measures in place, the City of Brampton used FrontDesk to avoid peak hours and manage the number of reservations made every day. Using the online reservation tools, the City controls the flow of citizens coming into the building.

This is a win-win. The benefits – customers know in advance when they will be serviced and receive all relevant information before they arrive to their appointment. This ensures everyone remembers the required documentation and no-shows are prevented.

Residents and businesses embrace the system and employees take comfort in knowing who will arrive, why they are coming in, and when they arrive. In other words, the FrontDesk technology creates a less stressful day during a difficult time.

Quick Facts

3 Min
Average wait time for the City – and it keeps decreasing
125+
Building Division appointments per month since launch in Mid-2020
2,000+
New service appointments (Jan to May 2021)