Award-winning innovation for better journeys


East Sussex Council needed a contractor with customer expertise to manage a 7 year integrated highways contract. CH2M partnered with Costain to create a joint venture called ‘East Sussex Highways’ in order to provide East Sussex Council with the full range of skills and expertise required for the contract. CH2M is a global programme management and design consultancy with over 25,000 employees, who acquired the Halcrow engineering business in the UK in 2011. Costain is one of the UK’s leading engineering and construction solutions providers, operating in energy, water and transportation. The joint venture won the bid to manage all of East Sussex’s highways for the next 7 years, a project that is worth £300m to CH2M and Costain.

The challenge

There are 30,000+ highway-related defects reported each year in East Sussex. However, no platform existed for the public to report the enormous amount of problems on the county’s highways and roads, ranging from potholes to dead animals and more.

CH2M and Costain created a joint venture called ‘East Sussex Highways’. Having embarked on a year-long tender, they eventually won the bid to manage all the roads in East Sussex county. The main objective of East Sussex Highways was to provide a unique experience for the public that was entirely customer focussed. The industry in general was using older, redundant technology for highway management and they wanted something more sophisticated to solve the problems at hand.

Their vision was an “Uber or Amazon experience” for highways. The joint venture looked at everything from the customer’s perspective and set out to create a platform to achieve this. The idea was to offer a positive experience for all road users, even when there were traffic delays; and to provide instant access to information with up to date feedback on existing road issues.

“Working with makepositive and Salesforce was a great experience”

The solution

The solution is a world first! It was developed through Salesforce’s and makepositive’s advise, researching the Salesforce AppExchange and trying new ideas. It’s a solution that has never been achieved before in the UK, or for that matter, in the world!

The client chose makepositive because we’re a Platinum Salesforce Partner who demonstrated evidence of successful implementations, innovation and providing solutions. Our proof of concept was also instrumental in helping the joint venture win the project bid!

makepositive proposed Salesforce as the technology platform to provide East Sussex Highways customers with an end-to-end customer service solution. The solution included social and mobile elements, namely Salesforce Chatter and a mobile app. East Sussex Highways were impressed with the proposed solution and Salesforce technology.

The solution had wide Salesforce Ecosystem breadth and consisted of:

  • Salesforce Service Cloud (150 licenses),
  • Salesforce Chatter,
  • NewVoiceMedia’s Contact Centre solution in their call centre,
  • Click Software package (a workforce management app from the AppExchange),
  • Formyoula (offline forms integrated into Salesforce),
  • a Customer Community (for senior stakeholders, including MPs and Councillors) and
  • a public website integrated into Salesforce through an API for the public to report road problems.

The solution manages a large network of service staff who can be deployed to fix any problems with the county’s roads. These problems can be reported to East Sussex Highways either by the public via a call centre and website, or by senior stakeholders via a Customer Community. Engineering crews can respond to customers from tablet devices, log follow-on tasks, complete risk assessments, log vehicle checks and capture measures and photographs against any task.

The benefits

The timeline was critical and makepositive delivered on time and within budget. The new contact centre was established and all 150 agents were enabled to use the intuitive tools that came with the solution.

“Working with makepositive and Salesforce was a great experience,” said Garry Nash, project manager, CH2M. “We have seen a massive uplift in customer service. East Sussex Highways increased the number of cases managed per agent by 60 percent and resulted in a significant channel shift from telephone and email, to web forms and web chat.”