Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG), North Wales’s largest housing provider, is using Civica’s Keystone asset management software to manage its property assets, maintenance schedules and compliance requirements.
When CCG was set up in 2010, around 6,300 council homes in towns and villages throughout Gwynedd came under its management. To get a clear picture of the condition of its housing stock, CCG engaged a specialist firm to carry out a comprehensive survey.
Geraint Jones, head of ICT, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, said, “We knew that our housing management system wasn’t suitable for storing and managing all the data from the survey, so one of the first things we did was implement Civica’s Keystone asset management software.”
Using Keystone, CCG went on to plan a five-year improvement and refurbishment programme for its housing stock. With a budget of £136 million, CCG brought homes up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) by 2015. Details of all the improvements, from roofing and insulation to kitchens and bathrooms, were recorded in Keystone.
CCG now employs its own surveyors to inspect properties and assess requirements on a five-year cycle, using the mobile Keystone Foundation software on their mobile devices to record information and upload photos while they’re on site.
Jones said, “Being able to use and update Keystone in the field speeds up each stock condition survey by about 45 minutes. Adopting a mobile working approach helps surveyors reach our target of completing 1,200 surveys per year.”
Regular Keystone users include the finance team, for reporting on planned maintenance, and call-centre staff. The stock condition and planned maintenance data held in Keystone is always up to date, so agents can respond quickly and accurately to tenants’ enquiries.
Before CCG added the Keystone planned maintenance module, it managed the schedules in a separate system. Mismatches in information sometimes led to unnecessary expenditure, such as paying for a repair on a boiler that was still under warranty.
Jones said, “There was always a time lag, so we didn’t all have access to the same information at the same time. Now that all our data is consolidated in Keystone, issues like that are a thing of the past.”