Posted on April 20, 2017

Dictation system within Democratic & Legal Services department increases productivity and efficiency


To eliminate the delays and inefficiencies associated with hand-held tape-based dictation devices. 


Introducing a faster, more efficient digital dictation system.


“The digital dictation system… ensures that dictations get where they need to be instantly, with no manual processes. As a result, we are much more productive and the services we provide are much more efficient.”
Lesley Gardiner, North Lanarkshire Council


North Lanarkshire Council, bordering the City of Glasgow and containing the Glaswegian suburban areas of Cumbernauld, Coatbridge, Airdrie, and Motherwell, is home to 340,000 people.

Prior to Voice Technologies implementing a digital dictation solution, the council’s Democratic and Legal Services department used hand-held tape-based dictation devices. These devices were excellent for recording dictated audio but they led to a slow and inefficient workflow.

When a dictation was completed, tapes were distributed by their authors to the secretarial team by hand. When transcription was needed urgently, folders containing tapes would be marked for immediate attention – often marked differently depending on the particular author.

Logging the dictations was handled manually by the secretaries. When the dictation tapes arrived in the transcription drop-off, one of the secretarial team would record the date in, name of the typist completing job, urgency and date out.

After transcription, hard copy documents were placed in the folder with the tape ready for uplift from the collection area. When a dictation was urgent, authors would be notified of the completed transcription verbally or by email.

With the Council wary of diminishing resources, and the need for greater efficiency, a digital dictation system was key to maximising the potential output of all members of the Democratic and Legal Services Team.

Achieving efficiency using digital dictation 

The digital dictation system introduced by Voice Technologies comprises Winscribe dictation management software and a mix of Philips and Olympus portable dictation devices, Philips tethered dictation devices, foot pedals and transcription headsets.

The system enables the Democratic and Legal Services team to manage their dictations effortlessly – avoiding a messy paper trail and the previous inconsistencies in prioritising and marking jobs as new, in progress, or completed. The efficiency of the system allows users to use their time more productively and, in doing so, provide a better service to council management and clients.

Benefits for authors

The system gives authors the ability to:

Benefits for secretaries

For the secretarial staff, the benefits of digital dictation include:

Benefits for super users/management

The main benefits of the system are: