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Tower Hamlets modernises canvass process with Xpress Mobile Canvasser App

Tower Hamlets is a London Borough with a diverse, highly mobile electorate of almost 200,000. In 2015 they decided to trial the Xpress Mobile Canvasser App with the aim of reducing costs, increasing response rates and modernising their canvass process. Tower Hamlets Council purchased 40 tablets initially to be used for stage 2 door knocking. Out of 76 canvassers, 40 were given tablets and 36 used the traditional paper forms.

Results

  • 2.5 times as many HEFs and nearly 22 times as many initial registration applications were completed on mobile devices in comparison with paper forms.
  • £30,000 estimated net saving return on the council’s investment in the first year, after taking account of the cost of the App, hosting and tablets
  • £38,000 estimated savings for the following year after the successful introduction of tablets by all 107 Tower Hamlets canvassers at the door knocking stage.
  • Responses were automatically synced with Xpress Register so the canvasser did not need to return and handover paperwork for manual processing
  • Staff that previously needed to prepare and process forms were freed up for other operational needs
  • Canvassers completed their rounds faster.
Since its introduction our canvassers have embraced the technology, so much so they would not welcome a return to the ‘old paper’ process. MCA is a cleaner, more interactive system that allows canvassers to liaise with the office remotely and exchange data seamlessly. This has helped create a more efficient office environment.

As our canvassers have become more proficient in using the MCA, they work more quickly and are happy to take on larger areas. Over the years we have reduced the number of canvass staff we employ and, by changing the way we canvass, we will soon have reduced the number of canvassers by approximately 50%.
Rob Curtis, Head of Electoral Services, London Borough of Tower Hamlets