In rolling out Oracle's E-Business Suite CRM modules, Cambridgeshire has become the first UK council to have a system that links directly with the technology used to calculate loans.
The new system, implemented by services provider ICL as part of a £11m contract, will allow student awards staff at the council to electronically track all interactions with people applying for student loans. The council deals with up to 12,000 applicants a year.
With the CRM system, the student awards team will be able to capture interactions whether they come from face-to-face meetings, telephone calls or e-mail queries.
This will ensure that any team member is able to process an application and tasks that are not assigned are automatically given to the team leader.
The system will generate reminders and team leaders will be able to see at a glance how busy their staff are.
Karen Smith, head of student awards at Cambridgeshire Council, said the CRM system should significantly reduce the team's workload during their busiest time of year.
"We will be able to see immediately where an application is in the system, improve customer service and also the management of team members," she said.
Smith said the system will be further developed to enable students to request application forms and information packs via the Internet and ask questions online.
"Once the students can access the system themselves via the Internet, lengthy phone calls to check the progress [of applications] should be a thing of the past," she said.
Cambridgeshire's £11m contract with ICL covers a number of other projects including the implementation of Oracle Financials software across the county council.