Just a warning. This post is a rant!
I’ve just received a letter from the Department of Transport here in the Isle of Man to renew my resident parking permit. Fair play to them, the permits are issued for a year, need to be renewed. There’s no charge anyway, so it’s just a formality to confirm I’m still resident in the area.
The thing that gets my goat is that the form asks me to fill in details about my name, my address, my car registration, it’s make and model, the zone my permit is for and my permit number. Now I’m pretty sure they have all this information about me already, because I supplied them when I originally applied for the permit, so why are they asking me to fill it in again?
To make matters even worse, the form is at the bottom of a standard letter which already has my name and address at the top, so how hard would it have been to prefill the form for me. Not to mention the fact that it is printed on dark green paper making the whole thing really hard to read.
The other interesting point is that there’s a box saying “For Office Use Only” with the steps in the process this paper form is part of. The steps are “Utility Bill Submitted”, “Utility Bill Returned”, “Permit Issued”. Presumably some clerk will have to put initials next to each one as confirmation that the step has been done? Then the paper will be filed away for eons to come. I shudder to think what has to be done if someone wants to find out how many permits are issued at a particular moment in time. Presumably someone will need to spend the day counting dark green papers.
Come on guys, it’s not hard to set up a database to do this, why are we still stuck in the paper world? It wouldn’t be hard to set up a database of permits and some sort of workflow to deal with applications and renewals. You need to start thinking about your client, the citizen and the service you are offering him. This is definetly neither service driven nor customer led, so why are you using such an archiac system.
Okay, I feel better now, rant over