Housing Solutions Group provide homes for the elderly, and specialist housing for those in need of care and support. In order to develop a customer lead service, feedback from residents identified the need for faster response to emergencies, that jobs should be completed on first visit, jobs should only be recorded as completed with the resident was satisfied, and that appointments should be made and kept.
So they introduced a 4 hour emergency service that aims to complete the job in one visit, a 21 day completion target for all non emergency repairs (removing the urgent category), Saturday and evening repair slots, customer sign-off of jobs on a PDA, and if job was not fixed first time an appointment was made before operative leaves the site to complete it.
At the same time they changed the way they operated. They replaced 100% pay on productivity bonus system with salary and 15% bonus based equally on jobs completed in one visit, customer satisfaction, and productivity. They introduced a Home MOT – for customers that sign up, they get a full check on the first repair visit, and if they do not call out for repairs in the following 12 months they get a £100 rebate on their rent. Their Supported Housing is now maintained by a handyman service, who visit on a regular monthly cycle.
The Audit Commission was impressed. 93% of jobs completed in one visit, and faster average response times, with no increase in costs.
The Wrekin Trust benchmarked their services and concluded thattheyneeded to modernise the way their DLO operated. Tenants wanted a better appointment system. The Trust needed to reduce the cost of responsive maintenance.
The solution was to use mobile technology on PDAs coupled with a scheduling systems to make their responsive maintenance more efficient. When a tenant reports a repair, the call centre can offer them the next available slot in their area. Overnight the scheduler optimises the next day’s jobs to minimise travel time for each operative. Operatives start from home by logging in to get their first job. They record start and end of each job on their PDA, and get given their next job. This automatically sends a text to the next customer to say they are on their way. It also tells the call centre when the job was completed.
The call centre immediately phones 10% of tenants to get feedback, while they know the tenant is there, and the job is fresh in their minds. The back-office systems automatically updated with the completed job. The van stock is updated, generating a replenishment order to Travis Perkins where needed for delivery to the operative at home or on site the following day, or for collection from the local branch.
In the last year they saved £1.2 million in salary costs, £309 K in materials, and £80 K in admin. Customer satisfaction is up from 89% to 99%.
Bournville Village Trust set up a panel of resident volunteers and gavethem a programme of training and experience to empower them to play a leading role in determining the way maintenance was delivered. This involved members of the residents panel shadowing staff and contractors in their work to gain a better understanding of what they do.
The panel worked with the Tenant Participation Advisory Services, and visited other organisations that had earned a reputation as "beacons of excellence”.
Bournville Village Trust invested a large amount of time and effort and gave a very high priority to the success of this project. The judges were very impressed with this project. One of them commented that the idea of setting up a residents panel in this way was not particularly innovative. But the way they had gone about it was quite exceptional, and there were many lessons others could learn from them.
Congratulations to all those who entered.
The National Housing Maintenance Forum (NHMF) is an unincorporated trade body set up to represent organisations that are licensed users of the NHF Schedule of Rates (M3NHF Schedule of Rates) and related products