As part of Newport City Homes’ ongoing IT development following the transfer of Newport City Council’s stock of 10,000 properties, it has completed the deployment of ROCC’s Uniclass repairs and maintenance system to support a five-year housing investment programme. The project took seven months and is reported to have cost in the region of £350,000.
Continuing its existing relationship, NCH appointed ROCC as its prime contractor, covering housing repairs, asset management, workforce scheduling and mobile working. ROCC’s services included design, development, implementation, training and support, all independently monitored by consultant from Tribal Group.
Neil Jones, head of information services, Newport City Homes, explained, “We wanted our repairs system to interface with OpenAccounts and an interface was also needed to an existing Anite housing management system, along with links to our new asset management system.”
The Uniclass package includes everything from contractor management and service delivery to reporting, including the Welsh Assembly government’s KPIs for the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.
Jones said, “The reporting and ability to manage our staff are real benefits. We can see that we’re meeting our KPIs and that repairs are undertaken in accordance with the tenant service levels.”
The links between housing repairs, housing management and finance applications has greatly improved information flow, with NCH reporting that the greatest operational improvements have come from integrating mobile working with the Uniclass system. All NCH tradesmen are now equipped with a PDA for job details and completion confirmations; coupled with a new text-messaging reminder service for tenants, there has been a 40 per cent reduction in missed repairs appointments.
When Connaught Group went into administration in September 2010, NCH employed the gas fitters that were due to be made redundant, with ROCC also stepping in to help, as Jones explained, “In a very short space of time, ROCC was able to implement the gas servicing functionality already in Uniclass.”
Glynnis Davies, housing repairs system administrator, Newport City Homes, said, “The whole experience from implementation through to ongoing utilisation has been very positive; the system has key beneficial features and in-built flexibility with ROCC ensuring that all interfaces work together effectively.”