Computer Business Review

PDAs keep bailiffs in touch at Bristow & Sutor

by Janine Milne| 30 October 2009

10% efficiency gains through mobile usage

UK bailiffs Bristow & Sutor is able to deal with 10% more cases a day and has improved accountability to customers using Cognito’s PDA-based mobile applications.

Prior to adopting PDAs, the business was paper-based. Bailiffs wrote up reports by hand, which were then keyed in by office-based staff and provided to its local authority customers. But the system was too inefficient with too great a margin for human error and the local authority customers demanded an accurate audit trail of events, accounting for every penny recovered. 

“We were looking for standardisation. Different local authorities have their own guidelines and rules and previously we had hard copy print-outs of those rules which we gave to the bailiffs. We were looking for something that we could build in all that data. We were also looking for greater compliance and accuracy,” said Bristow & Sutor’s managing director Andy Rose.

Baliffs are now equipped with PDAs, running Cognito FormsPlus, which links them to the back-office systems. Automated scheduling and job allocations ensures that calculations of the fee to be paid and the appropriate local authority guidelines are followed far more easily and accurately. Addresses, for example, are verified through satellite navigation in the PDAs to reduce the risk of turning up at the wrong address. 

Local authority clients can view all bailiff activity via the company’s Client Web, and if necessary contact the bailiffs and send real-time updates of case notes.

“I had staff who had to try and decipher what bailiffs were saying. Now we grab work electronically, we sort it electronically and bailiffs work in a much more efficient way,” said Rose.

A GPS tracking system also ensures that head office can keep an eye on the location of bailiffs, which not only acts as an efficient measure of performance, but also provides extra security for bailiffs working alone.

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