Colchester Borough Homes

22 December 2014

Housing and contractor management solutions - helping homes improve services for residents

Until 2008, Colchester Borough Homes was in partnership with an external company whose role it was to manage any repairs to the housing stock. Repairs were logged into the contractor's system which had to interface with Capita's housing management system to access current information on the tenants and homes.

Often information about particular jobs did not get through to field operatives because the data sharing was not working effectively. This could sometimes place them in difficult positions, for example, they may not be informed if a householder had specific needs such as a disability which may prevent them getting to the door quickly or was known to exhibit challenging behaviour. Similarly, because the system did not always update successfully there was the potential for repairs to be ordered on properties which had recently been sold.

After investigating the products that were available, Colchester Borough Homes decided that the best option was Capita's OPENContractor. The software fitted most closely to the aims of the organisation to provide a solution that would be fit for the future. It also integrated seamlessly with the Capita Housing software that they were already running.

The system allows repair jobs and resources to be tracked efficiently, and with a new schedule of rates to be introduced shortly, these can be costed and monitored accurately.
In addition, appointments can be booked, monitored and reported on. This provides Colchester with important business intelligence information which helps in understanding the performance of the business in responding to repairs.

Contractor also supports the use of mobile technology so field operatives can report on and receive jobs via PDAs.

OPENContractor has had a clear effect on the way Colchester Borough Homes works and made responding to repair jobs easier, safer and more effective.

The amount of time that an operative takes to complete a repair entry has now been reduced to 12 key stokes from 35,making it quicker to record repairs into the system.

The mistakes due to information not being passed between systems have now been eliminated as both the Capita housing management system and OPENContractor use the same data; no interface is required.

Read the full case study here