Improving productivity of the mobile workforce at mhs homes
As part of a drive to improve efficiencies and services for customers, mhs homes has overhauled its repair appointment booking process and the management of its mobile workforce. Now customers can organise appointments easily and detailed information about repair performance is available to identify where further enhancements can be made.
Logging jobs took too long and there was no dynamic scheduling to facilitate easy appointment making.
“We needed a solution that would give quick answers to our customers about the status of a repair or when an appointment could be made. It had to provide the operatives in the field with the information they need about their jobs for that day, and give us feedback about times and materials used,” comments Stuart Maclellan, head of ICT at mhs homes
After a comprehensive tender process, mhs homes selected OPENContractor OPENMobile from Capita and Opti-Time’s dynamic scheduling* to replace its set-up.
The new software handles works ticketing, job costing, personnel and stock management of repair parts. It also allows mobile communications with operatives in the field via personal digital assistants (PDAs).
“When a customer calls we can organise an appointment instantly and offer flexible times because staff can access the diaries of field operatives. They no longer have to spend time liaising between departments to check dates and then phone customers back,” comments Gloria Stedman, ICT project coordinator at mhs homes.
The software has enabled a central customer telephone number for repairs to be set up as all departments share the same system. Staff have immediate access to a customer’s record when they call. That means staff can give up-to-date details of their case. Customers receive a more professional service as a result and it is a more efficient process for the organisation as a whole.
“Using a mobile solution makes our staff more efficient in general because they have all the information they need at their fingertips. It does away with the need for paper which can easily be mislaid or lost. The system means we can provide first class customer service.
Field operatives can start their day from home with the first job arranged being closest to them. Time is not wasted by coming in and out of the office, so we are much more productive,” comments Stuart.
Responsive repairs partnering manager at mhs homes, Helen Farbrace says the system offers improvements in customer service and value for money.
“At mhs homes we are committed to offering excellent service for our customers and, like other housing providers, we are looking for cost-effective ways to deliver it,” says Helen.
“This technology not only makes the pounds stretch further but we have greater control over the way the service is delivered. We have more detailed, reliable information regarding job progress, operative feedback and appointed works which enables us to scrutinise what we are doing and make timely improvements when needed. This is ultimately helping us improve our customer service still further.”
*Opti-Time’s dynamic scheduling is a partner product provided by Xmbrace to complement Capita’s product suite
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