City West Housing Trust went live in March with its new QL Housing system from Aareon, replacing the Saffron housing management system it inherited during the stock transfer from Salford City Council in October 2008.
As reported in the March issue, when CWHT took over the ownership of 14,600 homes around Greater Manchester from the council, it needed to implement a widespread cultural change programme, which included the deployment of new IT systems across the organisation.
As part of the overall implementation plan for the new systems, CWHT took the important step of involving its users from the start of the selection process, with the result that staff were enthusiastic about the new solution and how it would improve both personal and corporate performance.
Aareon was chosen by CWHT as its preferred supplier, specifying QL Housing as the core housing management system alongside additional Aareon solutions to cover customer relationship management, document management and e-business.
The new system has already reduced the average length of CWHT’s inbound calls from 17 minutes to less than four minutes as Aareon’s QL CRM system enables one person to deal with all queries rather than passing the caller from department to department.
Martin Barber, head of IT, City West Housing Trust, said, “As City West Housing Trust is a fairly new organisation, many of our customer profiles need to be updated so Aareon’s QL CRM module is vital for us. Any customer contact, whether via the phone, email or in person, can now be captured and help us shape our customer services in the future.
“On a personal note, I would also add that this has been one of the smoothest implementations I have been involved with over the years I have worked in IT.”
Diana Austin, Aareon’s implementation consultant, said, “City West Housing Trust had very realistic expectations. They completely understood the need to fully test both the set up and the data and because they undertook both tasks so thoroughly, they were fully prepared on the go-live date.”
The first completed phase of CWHT’s overall business and technology strategy has now been completed, featuring the development and implementation of strategic interfaces with CWHT’s Capita OpenAccounts and OpenContractor systems and with the Promaster asset management system. The second phase will include the implementation of Aareon’s i-Housing web integration module as well as its surveys, questionnaire and mobile working solutions.