The impact of a missed maintenance appointment due to no-access incidents can be huge; our housing customers tell us that each incident can cost a minimum of £100, and with an average of 67 appointments missed per day, the costs add up quickly.
Not only are costs incurred through the wasted time and mileage of the repair and maintenance operatives, but also through the administration involved in booking appointments and rescheduling them, and with one of our clients using over 160 operatives per day, each with a list of 8-10 jobs to complete, the costs that no-access incidents can incur can be considerable.
Implementing a repairs and maintenance management system into your operations can provide the answer to reducing the costs due to missed appointments as well as improve your repair and maintenance service and streamline your operations. Some of the ways in which this can be achieved include:
A simple yet surprisingly effective method, sending SMS reminders to tenants about their upcoming appointments has a significant impact on reducing the number of no-access incidents and therefore minimising the cost of missed appointments. With a digital management system, tenants receive an automated text message when the appointment has been confirmed, one the evening before the day of the appointment, and another when the engineer is on their way to the property. This reminder helps to minimise the number of appointments missed due to the tenant forgetting, and the information on when the tradesperson is on their way to the property means that tenants are able to ensure someone is at the property to allow access.
At Orchard, we’re currently working on enhancing this concept further by providing a live map view of where the driver is on the day of the appointment as well as an accurate estimation of when they will reach the property. This will allow tenants to plan their day around the appointment and the inconvenience of having to wait in for the tradesperson is eliminated, reducing further the number of missed appointments.
Repairs and maintenance management software offers a digital self-service option, through which tenants can book their own repairs and maintenance appointments and choose an appointment slot that works best for them. Using Orchard’s Digital Self-Service solution, customers are directed through a diagnostic system to identify the tradesperson required and are offered a series of appointment slots direct from Orchard AccuServ Repairs and Maintenance. Tenants can choose and book the appointment that works best for them as well as receive confirmation via email and SMS.
This system also helps to reduce the time spent managing appointments by your internal team, so that they can concentrate their efforts on dealing with more complex cases or providing personalised support to vulnerable tenants.
A repairs and maintenance management system also provides the opportunity for mobile working. Providing operatives with access to the system via a mobile device means that a large portion of administrative work can be completed immediately. Operatives can work with the tenant to book in further appointments where necessary, either for a return visit or for another tradesperson to attend, and can order parts that are not contained in their van stock and have them delivered to the property. Not only does this mean that administrative duties are completed quickly and accurately, it also provides excellent levels of customer satisfaction because tenants will know exactly what the next step is after each appointment, and have confirmation of their next appointment and what actions have been taken.
This also gives your internal teams, planners and schedulers an accurate view of exactly what your operatives are doing throughout the day and provides strong tools for planners to schedule emergency jobs and other appointments as they arise, which in turn can be instantly communicated to operatives out on jobs.
It also further relieves your internal staff of administrative duties such as booking future appointments and processing orders for parts.
As part of the Orchard AccuServ Repairs and Maintenance solution, you can automatically assign jobs to operatives, using the most efficient routes and minimising total mileage using integration with Google Maps. Google Maps is also used to ‘bulk assign’ tomorrow’s appointments and takes each operative’s home address into account to assign jobs according to the most cost- and time-efficient plan. This is all done at the touch of a button and helps to maximise the efficiency of your operatives and reduce overall costs.
The system also integrates with your operatives’ mobile devices and using Google Navigation shows the most efficient route to their next job with real-time accounting for traffic conditions.
Benefits across the board
By implementing a repairs and maintenance management system into your organisation’s operations, you have cost-saving and service-enhancing tools at your fingertips. By using technology such as automated SMS reminders, self-service appointment booking, mobile working and automated scheduling as part of your repair and maintenance output, you can not only reduce the number of missed appointments but also improve your customer service, streamline your operations and cut costs.
Colin Judd is head of bids and pre-sales at Orchard.