1st Touch has announced the recent completion of implementations of its mobile working system at Knowsley Housing Trust, Thames Valley Housing Association and Newport City Homes.
Knowsley Housing Trust, which manages 13,000 properties on Merseyside, is using 1st Touch’s mobile solutions for responsive repairs, gas servicing, voids, van checks and van stock management across its 220-strong mobile workforce.
A key requirement for KHT was the real-time integration of the 1st Touch solution with its existing Opti-Time scheduling system and its Capita OpenHousing system (previously IBS OpenSystems). KHT also wanted to be independent of the mobile software supplier for forms changes after the mobile system was live.
Janet Daniels, operational director of corporate services, Knowsley Housing Trust, said, “KHT expects to see the benefits of reduced overall operating costs and increased productivity, with operatives able to complete more jobs per day, travel fewer miles, and provide dynamic data to the management team direct from their PDAs.” The KHT project began in July 2009 and was operational by September 2009.
Meanwhile, Thames Valley Housing Association has replaced a time-consuming and cumbersome paper-based process for its housing inspections with a mobile, PDA-based system from 1st Touch.
There was previously a two or three-day delay between TVHA’s mobile inspection teams completing their inspections and the inspection data being available on TVHA’s back-office systems. TVHA decided to use mobile technology to eliminate this delay while mirroring its existing paper-based processes and also integrating with its Civica housing management system.
TVHA began a pilot trial of 1st Touch’s mobile solution in July 2009. Howard Dawson, assistant director of housing, Thames Valley Housing Association, said, “We can now send data instantly from housing sites direct to our customer service centre. This eliminates the two- or three-day gap of our previous paper-based process.
“This gives us far more timely information on the quality performance of different sites and identifies more quickly where repairs or maintenance are needed. The software also integrates with our existing Civica systems – this has enabled a smooth implementation while maintaining existing working practices.”
Newport City Homes, one of the newest and largest housing providers in Wales, has also chosen 1st Touch mobile technology to manage, control and support its 60 field-based responsive repairs and gas operatives while integrating with its ROCC Uniclass and Opti-Time appointment scheduling systems.
Neil Jones, head of information services, Newport City Homes, said, “We needed to replace our repairs system with one capable of helping us improve services to residents. It also had to give us additional functionality to manage our housing stock in compliance with the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.”
NCH chose ROCC’s Uniclass repairs system for reactive repairs and planned and cyclical maintenance, and Opti-Time dynamic scheduling for making appointments.
Jones added, “We chose 1st Touch partly for its recognised integration with the ROCC and Opti-Time systems. Deploying 1st Touch will pull our mobile operations together at the sharp end and deliver an even more efficient service to residents. It will also make life easier for the mobile workforce as they don’t have to go back to base to pick up job information and they can make appointments or order parts while still with the resident.”
NCH said that it expects to extend the mobile technology to its voids operations as part of a second phase of the implementation.