About the city of Surrey
Surrey is the second largest city (after Vancouver) in British Columbia, Canada. It borders the United States and has unique economic growth potential. With a population growing by more than 10,000 people a year; Surrey is set to become the most populated city in Metro Vancouver by 2020.
Surrey’s city hall employs more than 2,100 people and handles multiple city services, including building and law. It serves more than 8,000 visitors every month. Consequently, it needs a modern queue management system.
The need for a modern queuing system
Surrey opened its new city hall on February 17, 2014. It is a modern, energy-efficient building located in the city centre, and has become an architectural landmark.
In Surrey’s previous city hall, employees used a ticketing system that resembled the setup you would find in a bakery. The system added no value to the city’s operations and did not provide statistics about visitors.
The city needed meaningful, precise, real-time statistics so that, based on customer demand, it could adjust skill sets according to day, month or season. It wanted a modern, innovative and future-thinking queue management system.
Qminder is available at counters where employees deal with longer transactions. The waiting area is L-shaped to promote efficiency and accessibility.
To speed the queuing process, Surrey set up two Qminder printers. The city uses these printers as ticket dispensers where each customer selects the service he or she needs. Visitors find that their interactions with the ticket printers are easy and engaging.
Three Smart TVs with Qminder are placed throughout the waiting area. These TVs display line information so that visitors can determine when they will be called.
At the counters, clerks use Google Chrome with the Qminder dashboard to call the next person in line. The city did not need to buy additional hardware or software.
The main reason city staff members implemented Qminder in the new city hall was because they wanted to modernize the building and ensure improved performance for customers.
"Our main goal for integrating Qminder was to make it more efficient for our customers." — Steve Kish, Desktop, Mobile and Telecom Services Manager.
Most of the other solutions the city considered were costly and didn’t provide customizations that would meet visitors’ needs. These solutions required the use of host servers and databases, and would lead to extra work and worry for the city’s IT team.
"There was no desire to spend a lot of money on a system that has no redundancy by design and that doesn’t let us design our own screens. In addition, other systems required that we host their own servers and databases." - Steve Kish.
The city’s IT department came upon Qminder and used our free trial to test the service. It was everything they had been looking for.
"Qminder was everything we were looking for to get up and running in the new city hall." — Don Kidd, Audio and Visual Specialist.
Qminder can be set up quickly and is easy to use. Just connect the device to the Internet. That’s it.
"The Qminder solution is complete. We got literally up and running within a couple of days." — Steve Kish.
City hall customers reported that the Qminder printer is engaging and easy to use.
City clerks picked up on Qminder quickly, despite the fact that they were not tech savvy. Clerks can replace the paper in the ticket printer themselves.
Qminder is affordable and offers features that other solutions just can’t match. Cloud solutions and the Software as a Service (SaaS) pricing model are where businesses are heading.
"The value proposition was a surprise. Compared to other solutions out there, Qminder was pretty compelling. The SaaS pricing model is fair and affordable." — Steve Kish.
With Qminder, the city of Surrey can generate meaningful, precise and real-time statistics about its customers—an ability it didn’t have before—and use those discoveries to make changes in the way it does business.
"We need to adjust the ratio between customers and employees." — Steve Kish.
Because British Columbia maintains strict laws about the use of personal information, Surrey officials can’t implement the Qminder name solution for iPad and remote queuing through mobile app. If these laws ever change, city officials would be interested in using this service.
"We wanted to use the Name device but couldn’t because of privacy laws. It would be great to have a queuing system and not waste any paper." — Steve Kish.
The city of Surrey provides a prime example of the ways in which a modern-thinking city management can improve its services and enjoy cost efficiency through the use of Qminder.