Peddars Way, part of the Flagship Housing Group, was one of the first housing associations to replace paper communications with SMS text messaging for managing rent arrears and repairs appointments.
David Seaton, managing director, Peddars Way, said, “Back in 2005, SMS was considered a leading-edge technology and we were one of the first users of Deeplake’s Communications Manager software. Usage has spread to many other areas within the Flagship Group.”
Within the repairs and maintenance workflow at Peddars Way, SMS text now informs contractors of the customers’ works demands, reducing both staff input and the need for a paper trail. Faye Cross, area manager, Peddars Way, added, “Texting contractors directly has been very beneficial. We went through an end-to-end flow of our repairs system from a customer’s perspective and found customers simply wanted to phone us and then get their repair completed at a time and date suitable to them.”
Peddars Ways has found that the easiest efficiency saving is from its workflow system sending the customer’s details by text direct to the operative in the van, who then telephones the customer within 24 hours to diagnose the problem and make an appointment. This process has not only reduced the need for paper but has also almost completely eliminated duplication of work.
While Peddars Way has saved staff time and reduced its usage of office materials, Seaton explained, “The investment in technology must be matched by a commitment to improve and streamline processes. Technology alone will not solve problems.”
Peddars Way is now moving to version 5 of Deeplake’s Communication Manager and is continuing to extend the use of SMS text messaging to other contractors and departments within the Flagship Group.