The amalgamation of four housing providers into EMH Group has led to the organisation completely revamping its IT systems, including the implementation of Cloud Dialog’s Service Connect for repairs reporting, scheduling and mobile working.
Helen Bradford, group head of ICT, EMH Group, said, “We recognised early on that we needed completely new IT systems to support the business transformation. As a result, we widened our original focus from just our internal maintenance service to all maintenance including our externally-contracted work. We also looked at how we could improve customer engagement – we wanted something that was more AA and Tesco than a traditional housing IT system.”
Dave Shaw, commercial head of responsive operations, EMH Group, said, “The message from tenants was clear; when they reported a repair, they want it to be quick and easy and for us to turn up with the right kit at the right time. We focused on creating processes that worked for us and could be easily extended to customers via self-service options.”
EMH chose Service Connect from Cloud Dialogs, and while the technology was not weighted as high as the fit to the business requirements, the SaaS nature of the system and its modern technology platform were seen as delivering significant value. Service Connect is now embedded in EMH’s Orchard housing management system, giving customer services staff direct access to Service Connect’s appointment booking and scheduling as well as a live view of job history and status.
Adrian Cheetham, director of property services, EMH Group, said, “Since I joined 12 months ago, we have instilled a very strong commercial focus and demonstrated clear views on how we wanted to measure performance. These are now manifested in the dashboards that all of our managers and supervisors use to interact with Service Connect every day.
“Although implementing the system at the same time as the restructure was definitely hard, it also had some real advantages. It allowed us to create the processes exactly how we wanted, based on our future vision, rather than being encumbered by either old working practices or IT constraints.”