Organisations providing Social Housing have many objectives to meet including financial, regulatory, industry and best practice standards. For example, The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) is committed to achieving savings of £274m, £550m and £835m in housing over the next three years in response to the Gershon review. To help the housing sector achieve these savings the ODPM are working with the Audit Commission's Housing Inspectorate to identify efficiencies within the management and maintenance practices of Local Authorities and Housing Associations.
An important initiative is the star rating system used by the National Audit Office (NAO) when assessing working practices and service delivery. To gain 3 star status the NAO look for organisations that have implemented the most efficient working practices available, to ensure that best value is delivered from income generated and grants acquired.
A further demand is the requirement for all properties to meet the Decent Homes Standard, which means properties must be of a certain standard for occupancy, checked and properly maintained to meet the set criteria. Maintaining an efficient and effective program of work via a well managed field workforce is fundamental to these objectives.
Specific functions and tasks have been identified for possible improvements where, in particular, the introduction of mobile workforce automation can bring cost reduction and increased performance. Areas which could be affected by these improvements are:
- Effective work planning
- Route optimisation
- Appointment based working
- Regular update of job status
- Efficient use of the working day
- Paperless job tickets
- First time fix ethos
- Minimise stock shrinkage
- Electronic stock update
- Electronic stock allocation/ordering
- Revision of bonus schemes
- Flat salaries
- Bonus to reflect tenant KPI’s
1st Touch in Social Housing
1st Touch is the only mobile solution supplier to focus on this market and to have proven expertise in this sector. Ready to use applications deliver best practice workflow and enable dynamic data capture whilst enabling management oversight of work and operative status. Over 15% of this market has implemented 1st Touch with more joining every month.
1st Touch has created a range of modules for mobile workforce automation for this market. These modules represent specific areas of functionality required within the Social Housing environment, following a best practice approach to workflows, security, user access and management oversight.
The software has been developed using the following key influences:
- The National Housing Federation best practice guidelines
- Feedback from customers
- Guidance from leading industry consultants
1st Touch Social Housing modules are ready to run, being well proven in the marketplace. Functionality is pre-configured so the solutions can be installed, up and running and adding value in a very short space of time. Current areas covered include:
- Responsive Repairs
- Gas Servicing (CP12)
- Stock Condition Surveys
- Resident Profiling
- Energy Performance Certificates
- Health and Safety Audits
- Outsourced Stores
- Van Stock
- Van Checks
Associated application areas that can benefit from 1st Touch mobile solutions are:
Tenancy Services /Estate Management
- Care Assessments
- Support Plans
- Support Plan Reviews
2010 Rotherham adopts 1st Touch Mobile for improved service delivery.
The establishment of 2010 Rotherham has enabled access to the resources required to tackle the maintenance, modernisation and improvement needs of the Council’s housing stock through the Government’s Decent Homes programme. Its aim is to bring the domestic housing stock up to the Decent Homes standard by 2010 - hence its name.
2010 Rotherham began looking at mobile solutions to deliver and manage work orders for its 300 operatives. Jon Cocker, IT Manager said: “The solution of utilising a highly skilled mobile workforce using handheld PDAs was seen as the natural solution to all our requirements.” In particular the organisation saw potential for improving response times for emergency repairs, the ability to meet agreed appointment times, and provide a value for money repairs service.