Mantis takes the wheel on QRoutes localgov comms campaign

Written by Eleanor Willock

I shudder to think how many public sector PR customer case studies I’ve written in the last 23 years. If you’ve ever written one, you’ll know that during the interview, you always ask, “what is the new system replacing?”.

The holy grail answer is, of course, a big fat competitor product which made users cry with frustration. But the usual answer is a ‘more cumbersome legacy system’. So far, so software.

When we started working with QRoutes, I knew we had a brilliant new client when Liz Davidson told me that the thing their software often replaces is “an office wall covered in maps and pins”. This is the sort of quantum leap in savings that the public sector needs and that Mantis loves working with!

QRoutes makes software that helps local authorities plan transport routes for funded school journeys for SEND and mainstream children. It also makes a nifty new tool to calculate eligibility for free bus passes for schoolkids, too. These are processes so time-consuming and stressful, that they are still done by planning teams with paper maps at local authorities up and down the country. QRoutes, of course, makes it happen in minutes, using secure data. Bus companies, parents and guardians and schools get a detailed picture of who will arrive where, and when. Education teams at councils see huge savings.

Our work with QRoutes, which is directed by Lilian Smit, will see us blending customer advocacy with consistent thought leadership over the next few months. Covid has given school transport planning another tricky, potentially budget-crunching edge. Good teamwork between local gov departments, such as transport and education, is going to be crucial. QRoutes’ capabilities, when shown on screen, provide a real ‘ta-da!’ moment, and Lily and I are very excited about the media possibilities.

As a side note, Liz and the QRoutes team have now become the sixth client, that, for pandemic reasons, we have only ever worked with virtually. As a Bristol firm, the fourth on our roster now, we’re very much looking forward to taking Liz for a welcome drink once we’re all happy to do so. Welcome to Mantis, QRoutes!

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