Bootle-based Integral Housing Services has introduced hand-held mobile devices for the majority of its 260-strong workforce of electricians, plumbers, painters and plasterers, linking them to Integral’s call centre, its central computer systems and to many of its housing association and local authority clients around Merseyside.
Ian Jones, housing services director, Integral, said, “We introduced PDAs to cut down our response times and to increase our efficiency – now 95 per cent of all reactive repairs are fixed first time.”
Integral’s call centre staff are trained to gather as much information as possible, which means that they can give the mobile operatives full details of the problem and work involved, all through their PDA. The operatives can then arrive on site fully prepared, with the right equipment and materials to fix the problem first time.
Ian Jones said, “We have a policy of recruiting employees who live close to our clients’ premises. The introduction of the PDAs means that staff meetings are often held at locations convenient to the mobile team, so overall the business has been able to significantly reduce its carbon footprint while improving customer service.”
In parallel, a recent round of promotions and an internal review found that members of Integral’s mobile team have clocked up more than 1000 years of experience between them. Ian Jones,said, “It’s quite something to realise that if you add up our mobile teams’ experience, we’ve been working for more than a millennium in Merseyside. The majority of work is performed by our team of directly-employed staff, many of whom started with the company as apprentices – something we are keen to continue.”