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Prioritisation Plan — summary

Drum roll, please… here comes the prioritisation plan

In the last update, we asked for help prioritising areas where technology could improve service delivery across Scottish CABs. Since then, we’ve conducted workshops with over two dozen people from across the network. (Thanks to everyone who gave their time.)

We’ve distilled these discussions down to 5 top priority areas and 5 worth further consideration.

Top Priorities


Some CABs have seen huge demand for webchat. In success, a chatbot can automate the routine parts of a webchat, freeing up advisors to focus on the part that require a human touch. Also, a chatbot provides an advice touchpoint out of hours.

We are building a prototype chatbot, based on Manchester CAB’s successful trial. We are looking for a couple of CABs who’d like to take part in the prototype trial. If you might be interested, get in touch.

“Younger people don’t want to speak to an advisor straight away. A chatbot could help us get younger cohorts into our system. We did a pilot of Live Person over a weekend. It was inundated.” — Benjamin Napier, CAED

CAS-wide document signing solution

Since the pandemic, CABs have switched to mainly giving advice remotely. When giving advice remotely, signing 3rd party mandates is a persistent pain point. Some CABs use Signable or similar tools. Could this be rolled out across the network?

If your CAB might be interested in document signing software, please take two minutes to complete this survey.

Currently we do it by post, or get people to drop forms at the office if they live nearby. It can take a week or more.” — Michelle Burke, Parkhead

Automate admin tasks

Almost all CABs use Office 365. Power Automate, included in Office 365, helps streamline repetitive tasks, for instance, holiday booking, document updating, or survey collection. Some CABs are already making great use of Power Automate: we’d like to further develop these successful automations and then roll them out across the network.

“No systematic way for doing many simple tasks. Lots of people still use Word docs for surveys. I don’t get it! How can we bring all the data together?” — Ash Kuloo, CAS

Integrations with CASTLE

CASTLE is right at the heart of most CAB’s operations. Many of the desired service improvements nudge up against CASTLE. Are there ways we can deliver service improvements without being constrained by waiting for custom CASTLE development?

Secure Upload

Rather than asking a client to email vital documents in, advisors need a standard, secure way to get documents from a client. Ideally, they would be uploaded directly in CASTLE.

“This would be a high priority. I know my staff would say the exact same thing.” — Christine Sinclair, Dumfries and Galloway

For Further Consideration

Unified Desktop

There’s a strong desire to receive all notifications in one place. The desire is for something more unified than merely a portal that allows you to log into multiple systems.

Voice AI

Using PolyAI for the national helpline has been a big win. What else becomes possible now that computers can understand human voices?

Trusted Resource

In particular, it would be good for there to be a standard way for each CAB to store its local advice and links.

CAS Pocket

A federated search tool allows advisers to use a single search bar to discover content from several sources.

Central repository of data about CABs

Like CABin but more dynamic.


If you are interested in more detail about this prioritisation process, get in touch: We’d be happy to share the full version of the report or discuss its conclusions.




SIDE = Social Impact Digital Explorers. We work at the intersection of social impact + no-code.

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Andy Bell

Andy Bell

Currently: starting SIDE— Social Impact Digital Explorers. Previously: founder @mintdigital & @boomf.

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