In an era where things move at lightning speed and multitasking is a requirement to simply keep up, the “one-stop-shop” has never been more appealing. One place to buy all of your holiday gifts. One place to pay all of your bills. Or in the case of the city of Rock Hill in South Carolina, one place to find performance management solutions for every department.
Rock Hill serves approximately 70,000 people and, in addition to the traditional governmental services, also provides electricity, water and sewer utility services. With so many different functions and processes, city officials were searching for a way to streamline among departments and improve data sharing capabilities.
When Assistant City Manager Steven Gibson was introduced to a cloud-based performance and planning management platform called Anaplan, he knew it was the right choice for meeting the city’s needs.
“When looking, we didn’t see too many [other options] because of the versatility of this software. We identified six or seven things we wanted to build using the software and while some of those had natural relationships, others didn’t,” Gibson explained. “We could have found six or seven different software applications, but instead we found one that will do a good job of getting them all done and then sharing information between them. It’s important that these apps are sharing the same data.”
Among the key projects the city will use Anaplan for are creating a budget and developing a capital improvement plan to outline major city projects. The city also plans to update its performance appraisal system (previously done manually) for its 900-plus city employees to improve efficiency and accuracy.
“It occurred to me that we could use Anaplan to build our new appraisal system," Gibson said. "We can use the tool not only to evaluate and rate our employees’ performance, but also allocate funding that may be awarded that my pay for performance increases for employees."
While Anaplan’s ability to support planning across all departments was a major selling point for the city, the cloud-based software is also key.
“If you’re dealing with your own server, you’re dealing with inconvenience, but this is agnostic so it will be the same regardless of your work station,” Gibson said, also noting that using cloud-based software means less overhead costs for the city. “If this was a large system that resided here, we would have to hire staff and equipment to support it.”
The city plans to roll out its initial projects in early 2017 and has long-term plans to use Anaplan for future projects, including succession planning. As Anaplan's Jerome Feltracco points out, this is a key example of the way the software can help to improve connections among city employees.
“The public sector is notorious for not being able to attract or retain their talent,” said Feltracco, the company's vice president of Public Sector and Higher Education. “So I’m very excited about their focus on succession planning because that’s exactly what that app does — it attracts people to the right jobs, and helps retain and grow people and promote them at the right time so they have a nice upward trajectory in their career. We’re excited about being able to bring that with Anaplan.”
While there’s still much work to be done, Gibson said he's excited about the way Anaplan will help to streamline operations for the city of Rock Hill and improve confidence in the city’s overall communications.
“Anaplan is very well suited to provide that standard lens so they know where to look for what’s being asked of the city, how many jobs are being created and where taxes are being generated," Gibson said. "If you know where to find that, it increases your confidence.”