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Executive Summary

Leading the charge to sustainable development, Jeddah Municipality is undertaking strategic initiatives to e-transform its internal processes and operations in a quest for greater productivity and better services for its citizens. As part of this endeavor, ITWORX custom-developed the Correspondence Tracking System (CTS), a web-based process monitoring application for tracking governmental transactions, and integrated it with its Microsoft-based e-services platform. The result? Average executed transactions per day multiplied leading to a significant rise in the number of daily submitted requests and increased credibility of the Municipality’s operations and performance.

The Customer

Jeddah Municipality (Amanah of Jeddah) is the local authority responsible for handling and managing public services provided to Jeddah constituents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Municipality’s mission is to support Jeddah’s urban, cultural, and economic development. The Municipality creates and implements strategic plans that cater to the current and future needs of Jeddah and its governorates.

The Challenge

The Municipality of Jeddah is reforming all facets of public administration to become more streamlined, practical, organized, and transparent. Leading the charge to sustainable development, the Municipality is embracing e‐government solutions and undertaking multiple initiatives to e‐transform its internal processes and operations in a quest for greater productivity and better services for all. Jeddah Municipality manages a wide variety of requests from employees, management, and public users, whether individuals or companies. Previously, follow up on any of these requests, such as an employee vacation request or a building permit request, took place through a legacy desktop‐based system that relied mainly on manual updates. This system was not web‐enabled and thereby inaccessible outside the Municipality. It was also not workflow‐based and as such inadaptable to system changes and process modification. Service and performance tracking were complicated, lengthy tasks due to a lack of procedures that accurately estimate the time required for service fulfillment. The Municipality was determined to replace the old system (based on Oracle Forms) with a new web‐  based system built on a Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework. Having a centralized location where services are published, the new system would be enriched with new features and multiple‐process workflows to facilitate request issuance and tracking for citizens, as well as request processing for employees. The Municipality entrusted ITWORX with this responsibility.

The Solution

ITWORX developed the Correspondence Tracking System (CTS), a web‐based request monitoring application, for tracking Jeddah Municipality requests and their transactions from submission till closure. When a request is submitted by a user, such as an employee or a citizen, CTS generates a tracking number that acts as a unique identifier for this request. Tracked information and aggregated measurements are searchable and represented in a set of reports enriched with performance indicators that reveal process adherence and deviation and organizational productivity.

Through a user‐friendly interface, CTS supports inbox/outbox model to facilitate receiving and routing requests and their document attachments. CTS administrators define types of services, users/departments, timelines, tabs, escalations, actions, documents, and delegations of each request and transaction. For example, an administrator can define request‐specific process activities, including expected timeline and escalation path for delay. Accordingly, CTS follows transactions and updates request status, triggering an escalation if the defined processing duration is exceeded at a critical point. Through the interface, users can access and toggle tabs to manage assigned requests and create custom tabs. ITWORX developed a set of actions applicable to each request per transaction type and authorization level.

Examples of actions are: create, clone, copy, modify, merge, transform/assign, activate, hold, export/export to Excel, add note, recall, and escalate document; create document from portal; and e‐  service inquiry. These actions aim to facilitate inter‐departmental communication, smooth the progress   and flow of transactions, and track all in‐between activities to allow for future business process optimization. CTS enables the Municipality to create unique user profiles. Each profile includes all requests issued by a user, whether a Municipality employee, individual citizen, or building owner. Accordingly, the Municipality has a 360° view of all requests issued by any single user at any point in time. CTS is built on the Municipality’s e‐services platform, created by ITWORX, which manages request workflow and activity, allows integration with third‐party systems, holds all business process data, contains shared libraries (such as Data Access Layer, Security, Logging, Notification, and others), and includes extensibility pluggable modules. Through this platform, CTS integrates with the Municipality’s e‐government portal, where portal users can create a request and query while viewing general comments. CTS tracks other automated e‐services and their workflow through the e‐services audit trail. CTS integrates with Outlook to enable faster and easier document transfer. Users receive CTS transactions in their Outlook inbox; CTS database is updated through Web Services triggered upon sending an Outlook message. CTS also integrates with EverSuite DMS, the Municipality’s Document Management Services system, and its advanced features. When hardcopy documents are scanned and archived, their tracking number is registered in EverSuite DMS. Through the e‐services platform, CTS points to these documents, and associates them with created transactions. According to security settings, CTS users can fully manage (view, replace, delete, and add) attached documents and can upload softcopy documents directly to EverSuite DMS for archiving.

To ease request management, CTS generates a bar code based on the created tracking number to be tagged to each request’s hardcopy file. CTS features complex security. ITWORX developed an ultra‐sophisticated five‐dimensional security matrix that manages authorizations assigned per department, user, and service, as well as defined by request privacy levels and type of action carried on the request. With this in mind, and in consideration of the substantial number of daily requests and transactions expected, ITWORX extensively tested and delivered a high‐performing system. ITWORX provides on‐going support for CTS and the Municipality to ensure maximum application availability and stability.

The Benefits

Exponential productivity
CTS helped Jeddah Municipality boost organizational productivity. Automated workflow tracking facilitated performance measurement and improvement. System bottlenecks were identified and resolved, required time for each service accurately estimated, human errors eliminated, and processes streamlined. As a result, the number of transactions executed against requests increased dramatically.

Impressive servicing and transparency
Jeddah Municipality improved the quality and accelerated the rendering time of services offered to public users. Companies and individuals submit more requests that are routed to the appropriate employees. Requests are closed in record time and users can monitor their status at any time. The average number of daily submitted requests multiplied in comparison to recorded numbers prior to CTS. Users can monitor the progress of their requests and view the department processing their request, boosting the Municipality’s credibility in exposing internal operations for the ultimate benefit of Jeddah citizens.

Custom‐tailored security
ITWorx handled Jeddah Municipality security management requirements with impeccable accuracy. CTS was designed and built to meet the highly‐sophisticated, multi‐level security and access requirements of the Municipality. CTS security supports rights assignment for specific document actions, as per defined privacy level. This eliminates the risk of an employee receiving a request by error or performing the wrong action on a request.

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