Growth Hubs are tasked to co-ordinate business support in their LEP areas. The Black Country Growth Hub is a partnership between the local authorities of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, the LEP, the University of Wolverhampton and the Chamber of Commerce. Employees in these organisations provide the officer resource to engage with businesses, signpost to the most relevant business support and monitor its success.
Since it began, problems resulting from the way engagement activity is recorded have become apparent. The Delivery Board has explored options to overcome the proliferation of Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) not only across the seven different partners, but within each of the partners themselves, in particular the functions that engage with businesses (business rates, environmental health, trading standards, economic development, planning, procurement) and individuals looking to start businesses (libraries, adult services).
Partners are resistant to merging CRMs. Co-ordinating the procurement of new systems is difficult, and partners have put their hope into an expectation that data can be shared by other means. Until now we have been unsure whether this is a realistic possibility. Sandwell Council estimates the cost of sharing one CRM is £100,000; a figure of £400,000 for the four Councils is not unreasonable.
- Digital leadership training (for council leaders, service managers or senior executives)
- Digital and agile awareness
- Introduction to user research
- Introduction to service design