In 2017, the business solutions team at Greenfields Community Housing began a project to enable more agile working practices, particularly those relating to tenancy management; for example, a review had identified that over 20 paper documents were created, duplicated and manually filed for each tenancy.
The main objective of Greenfield’s project was therefore to fully digitise its end-to-end lettings process, ensuring legal compliance and 100 per cent data accuracy across all of the relevant systems. Greenfields worked with the software integration consultancy Manifest Software Solutions to create effective and accurate flows of data between Greenfield’s housing management system and its EDRM and mobile applications.
Emma Palmer, chief executive, Greenfields Community Housing, said, “At Greenfields, we’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to improve services while finding efficiencies. The excellent work carried out by our business solutions team, support and front-line staff together with Manifest Software Solutions has made a significant and positive difference to both tenants and our own staff.”
Digitisation of the tenancy management process has improved tenants’ experience at many of the key touchpoints during the process. With easier access to information online and the ability to sign up from their own homes, initiating and completing a tenancy agreement is far smoother. A single point of contact and robust data accuracy provides faster and simpler communications throughout the duration of the tenancy.
At the same time, Greenfields’ internal teams have benefited hugely from the project, largely through time savings, with the lettings team alone saving the equivalent of a full day of one team member each week. 100 per cent data accuracy across all systems, including pre-populated forms where possible, reduces data-input errors and duplication of effort, while information gathering in real time and greater visibility across all departments contribute to smoother operational workflows.
Through close collaboration with Greenfields’ business solutions team, Manifest Software Solutions were able to map out the key requirements for both internal and external stakeholders as well as explore any limitations to the integration. Using MSS’s Universal Adapter toolkit, Greenfields also tasked the consultancy with taking the lead across the various vendors involved.
Dave Carr, director, Manifest Software solutions, said, “Our Universal Adapter provides seamless integration of data streams irrespective of source, via a single hub. We remain fiercely independent so that we can work with all or any software vendors to create bespoke solutions with rich functionality that help housing providers to achieve their objectives, regardless of scale or reach.
“Client requirements often include complex integration of legacy applications as well as newer web-based services. Trying to bring together technology of different ages, and from a variety of suppliers isn’t easy, but it is possible. Now we know that it can be done, what’s important is to ensure that it’s also accessible to organisations of all sizes in terms of project length and price point, and our independence from specific vendors is an important part of achieving that.”