A consortium of technology suppliers led by 1st Touch has helped Osborne, the property services, civil engineering and construction business, to win the Institute of Customer Services’ Best Application of Technology Award earlier this year. Osborne beat competitive entries from many leading UK companies, including Prudential, British Gas, RBS and Barclays.
The integrated maintenance and repairs system comprised 1st Touch for mobile data, Opti-Time (now renamed Xmbrace DRS) for dynamic job scheduling, Keyfax for diagnostics, and AccuServ for job management and costing, stock control and KPI reporting. The new system is already being used for Osborne’s 15-year contract with Ascham Homes.
Nick Sterling, managing director of Osborne’s Property Services team, said, “Maintenance and repairs require a strong customer services ethos, backed up by the technology and logistics to deliver it effectively. We are the only company from the social housing sector to be recognised at these awards and are pleased to have stood up to scrutiny against much bigger companies.”
Osborne reported that the four technology companies’ individual packages are seamlessly integrated and fast. This means that when the call centre takes a new call from a resident, the property is quickly located in AccuServ and Keyfax is automatically launched with the selected property already loaded. The call handler is then guided through the job diagnosis by a series of user-configured scripts which result in the correct priority and SOR codes. Once confirmed, the job is created in AccuServ and passed to Opti-Time, with the call handler immediately presented with the job in Opti-Time to be appointed, while the resident is still on the phone.
Osborne is now making almost 100 per cent of appointments on the first resident contact. The job is dynamically scheduled by Opti-Time, despatched to the operative’s 1st Touch PDA, and automatically updated in AccuServ, with variations to material and labour costs and SOR codes all captured at source.
Robert Dent, CEO, 1st Touch, said, “As outsourcing becomes more common, it’s imperative that contractors use the best technology in order to deliver better and more economical services for repairs and maintenance to housing providers. Mobile plays a big part in this because they can manage their workforces so much better.”