Wirral Metropolitan Borough has saved £2.5 million on processes and staff costs using scheduling technology.

The council has been using Axway's multi-platform Automator system since 2000, and said it achieved a return on investment within the first year.

Jeff Ashworth, head of scheduling in Wirral Council’s finance department, said: "Once we realised how powerful Automator is we immediately exploited everything it has to offer. We let the software run everything for us throughout the night, eliminating the need to pay costly shift allowances as well as the necessary insurance in place to cover the shifts."

Wirral uses the system to integrate computing tasks across its Unix and Windows platforms, such as automated scheduling, data processing and the performance management of IT. The council implemented the latest release of Automator last November.

The council also automates processes using the system, and can react to monitored data exchanges in real time, as well as applying processing based on time or events.

Automator controls all the application jobs, batches, services and back-ups, and keeps everything running automatically, the council said. This allows Wirral to ensure application availability, provide service level monitoring and generate detailed performance reports on IT efficiency for senior council officials.

One of the added benefits of this approach is that Wirral’s IT department no longer covers 24/7 shifts, and can work standard 9-5 days.

Thames Water recently signed a deal with procurement firm Efficio to manage £2.5 billion of goods and services buying over five years, as it invests heavily in IT and processes, including performance management.