West Suffolk Shared Services goes live on time and on budget with UNIT4 Agresso


  • Agresso Local Government ERP Platform supports services shared between St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council in West Suffolk
  • Specialist partner implements UNIT4 Agresso to reduce costs and improve services for the taxpayer
  • Sharing services has already made £3.5M savings to date

UNIT4 Customer Conference, Edinburgh, UK, 08 October, 2014. UNIT4, the global leader in software solutions that enable business change, today announced that the UNIT4 Agresso Local Government ERP Platform has gone live and is underpinning the shared services between St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council in West Suffolk.  Methods Enterprise, a UNIT4 Preferred Systems Implementation Partner, implemented UNIT4 Agresso on time and on budget to support the councils in their drive to provide better and more efficient services to taxpayers.

While both councils retain individual democratic arrangements, they share management, staff, offices, and the same terms and conditions, which has seen them make savings year on year of £3.5 million. As part of this initiative UNIT4 Agresso, which was purchased through Methods Enterprise, is being used to streamline operations, not only across finance and procurement for both councils, but also for all services through devolvement of processes.

Cllr David Ray and Cllr Stephen Edwards, respectively Cabinet members for Resources at St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council said, “In a time of public sector funding cuts, technology offers opportunities not just to make savings, but to do things more efficiently. Agresso is one of our key corporate systems allowing us to drive shared services and align processes and procedures. We know that continuing change is likely to challenge us with things we haven’t thought of, so having control and ownership of our platforms is going to be critical. We chose UNIT4 Agresso, implemented by Methods Enterprise following a rigorous selection process.”

Methods Enterprise used the ‘UNIT4 local government fast-start’ implementation template, a good-practice ERP and business process structure for local government. By taking this approach the councils have taken advantage of the considerable sector experience both Methods Enterprise and UNIT4 have in local government and kept the implementation timescales to initial go-live to just seven months.

The shared service avoids the complexity and expense of running individual systems by utilising a single technology platform, with a single database, using standard processes and accounting structures for both councils.  Staff have access to finance and procurement self-service, which helps the councils reduce administration costs, improve departmental collaboration and deliver employees the information they need to improve services. Additionally the flexibility of Agresso means that as the councils experience operational change the internal shared services team can, in the most part, configure the solution themselves, leading to a lower cost of ownership and a greater responsiveness when reacting to new business conditions. This flexibility supports the councils’ future aim of providing shared services to other organisations in the region that are looking to reduce back-office costs.

 “We are delighted to be partnering with the team from West Suffolk and Methods Enterprise,” said Anwen Robinson, Managing Director of UNIT4 Business Software Ltd. “Based on a proven track record of success, and its ability to adapt to change, UNIT4 Agresso is now the ERP of choice for shared services in the public sector. It enables organisations to quickly scale operations while also reducing the cost of change”

Already the leading provider of back office systems to local government, this latest deal follows considerable shared services success for UNIT4 with Agresso being selected to underpin a number of high-profile projects across the public sector.

About Methods Enterprise

Methods Enteprise is a medium sized firm, based in central London with offices in Nottingham and Edinburgh. We are and always have been UK based and have over 20 years’ experience in working as an independent profitable company.

Methods Enterprise is a service aggregator, bringing together solution components to meet complex functional requirements as part of an integrated services offering.

Methods have been working with the public sector since 1990 to help shape transformation programmes and deliver real outcomes, which enable clients to demonstrate quantifiable benefits and cashable savings. 

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