Ways of working have been disrupted and mobile working is now essential.
Digital transformation of mobile working is essential in delivering effective service to tenants. Increasingly Housing Associations are innovating to find cost effective methods of delivering services to their tenants. Every working hour spent in ‘patch’ needs to be productive.
Tracy Allison from Hyde Housing, Paula Leon at Network Housing Group and Neil Charlton of First Wessex provided delegates with an outline of their projects and their lessons learned.
Tracy Allison’s three step vision was reflected by the panel with different emphasis. The transformation process will result in a unified customer management and mobile working system. No more silos and no more duplication. Their suggestions covered several key areas:
1. Data - ensure data is accurate and potential conflicts are eliminated. When data is accessed in the field and new entries are integrated with back office records, assess and then remove any potential for record duplication or overwriting errors.
The goal is a ‘golden record' that is appropriately accessible to field and office teams. Once available you are able to share relevant sections with your tenants using a web-portal which encourages self-service and improves data updates.
2. Process – stop and assess, fully understand your processes before you start. If you can’t easily explain, if it needs a work around, or if there is a chance that different outcomes might result then immediately fill any gaps. Provide easy to use, step-by-step workflows before you move forward.
Top tip: is this process really needed? Or is this something you have always done? Objectively question and be critical of the ways of doing things. Fit-for-purpose processes deliver cost savings while they increase customer satisfaction.
3. Kit – there were many questions about finding the right kit for the job. The speakers were clear, no matter what you choose, ensure that your mobile working strategy is results and not device led. Don’t compromise when a device does not suit your processes. The short term cost of device change will be rapidly recovered with more effective working.
Top tip: Do a field test. Check functionality and ease of use of hardware for example keyboards and tablets. How comfortable are they to use and carry for a full working day? How quickly does it boot up? Does it require Wi-Fi connectivity, is there extended battery life or does it need to be charged ‘on-the-go’?
Consider running a pilot - all three organisations ran a 6 to 8 week pilot with a representative sample of their mobile workers.
“Understand that mobile working is NOT about electronic form filling” said Paula Leon. She continued “this is a business transformation project and NOT an IT project”. All speakers were clear this is a transformation process that will touch all tenant services.
Neil Charlton, showed how First Wessex began with repairs, which is now so successful it is in version three! Following a strategic approach, their journey now includes ten other essential services. An inspiring view of digital transformation.
Your digital transformation journey may start from a number of different points. It may begin with providing appropriate channel shift including self-service to tenants, or it may start with mobile workers to support Revenue Officers’ capacity to collect rent arrears more effectively. No matter where your team starts, ensure that you ask the following questions:
- Will system data seamlessly integrate and will we see a single view?
- Are we able to create a ‘golden record’ of all contacts, including tenant updates?
- Have we ‘driven out the drudge work’ and are we delivering more for less?
- Is real-time reporting available to supervisors and managers?
- Will our teams be able to manage the customer experience (CX) end-to-end?