29 November 2020, by Blueriq Nieuws Article

Application form for coronavirus support goes live within a week

The Municipality of Tilburg is a frontrunner in terms of digital services. They can do that thanks to their independence in the field of IT. And thanks to Blueriq, they can now build most of their applications themselves. With excellent results, as they showed at the start of the corona crisis.

Tozo scheme goes live in rapid time
When the corona crisis started early this year, many businesses didn’t know which way to turn. The Government quickly announced economic measures to support them, including the Temporary Bridging Scheme for Independent Entrepreneurs (Tozo). That meant having to react quickly, and the Municipality of Tilburg did just that. The application form for the scheme had to go live as soon as possible. Not an easy task, but the team was one of the first municipalities in the Netherlands to get the form online. “It was an exciting time,” says Aron Hardiek, Application Manager at the Municipality of Tilburg, referring to the development of the application. “We felt an enormous drive to do it quickly and accurately. Businesses were counting on us as they waited for financial compensation.”

Marc van de Ven, Application Manager: “One great advantage of Blueriq is that you can make changes to your design very quickly. When we started building and designing, the scheme didn’t yet have a definite structure. That would only become clear during the week. As new information came in, we were easily able to integrate it into our design.”

Exceptional performance
We had to work day and night, but they managed to get the application form online in just one week. An exceptional achievement considering how complex the Tozo scheme is. “It was a race against time,” Aron adds, “but we did our best to keep the form simple for the applicants. We did that by going through all the possible situations and asking ourselves: what are the relevant questions here? For example, if someone isn’t generating revenue from foreign trade, you can use decision tables to avoid asking them questions on this subject.”

The first Tozo scheme was followed by Tozo-2. This time, there was less pressure but the scheme had become much more comprehensive. Marc: “Tozo-1 was an emergency scheme, while Tozo-2 is a lot stricter. For example, unlike Tozo-1 a partner’s income does count for Tozo-2. For us, that meant more work and more links. But here, too, our focus was always on ease of use. Users who had already applied for Tozo-1 didn’t have to fill in everything again or re-scan their passports. We kept looking for these kinds of ‘tricks’ to make it as easy as possible for applicants.” 

“It’s fantastic what Marc and Aron have achieved with the Tozo application despite the urgency and complexity,” says Joost van den Berg, Customer Success Manager at Blueriq. “I’m amazed that they managed to build such a good product independently. They deserve so much credit.”

And their achievement didn’t go unnoticed. In a random survey by ZIPconomie – an independent online knowledge platform – the Tozo application form from the Municipality of Tilburg was voted the most user-friendly. Aron: “That’s a great compliment, especially when you consider that we were competing against all the big cities. It makes us proud. I can say for certain that we've really benefited from the fact that we can build applications independently. Every municipality in the country suddenly needed this type of application form. Thankfully, we didn't have to queue up at our software supplier’s.  That’s because we can control the process ourselves. Blueriq allows us to design forms exactly the way we want them. To put it bluntly, we don't have to settle for uniformity. We were able to give it our own look and feel from the start; but also to incorporate the clarity and simplicity that we find so important in Tilburg. That really comes through in the forms.”

Collaboration between IT, business and services
Marc and Aron build all the digital forms for the Municipality of Tilburg’s website themselves. The secret? For one thing, the intensive cooperation between IT, business and services. Marc: “For every form we build, we put together a team consisting of two IT people, a business expert and a media director. The business expert has the professional knowledge and knows what needs to be communicated. The media director decides how we can communicate this to the public as clearly and transparently as possible. We make a customer journey together. This results in a logical process sequence, a clear step-by-step plan, relevant questions and, last but not least, legible texts. Aron and I can then build everything quickly and easily in Blueriq. Modelling is actually a better word. The software consists of modelled ‘blocks’ that you can stack as you please. This enables us to independently convert complex regulations into an accessible digital form.”

The collaboration between the Municipality of Tilburg and Blueriq
Marc: “What we like about it is the fact that you have enormous freedom and also get support from an expert when you need it. At Blueriq, we have a regular consultant who we can contact if we have any questions. He’s always there when we need him. If we get stuck – and that has really happened to us in the Tozo process – it usually takes just a phone call to solve the problem.” Joost: “For us at Blueriq, it is great to see that this working method is turning out well in practice. We prefer to see our relationship with the customer as a partnership rather than a classic supplier-customer relationship. Together, you know more and you can do more. The Municipality of Tilburg is living proof of that.”

More information

Like to know more about our collaboration with the Municipality of Tilburg? Contact Joost van den Berg at j.van.den.berg@blueriq.com or on 06 11 86 52 36

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