Northgate Public Services has help North Lanarkshire Council introduce mobile working using smartphones and a cloud-based infrastructure to improve its tenant services. The housing provider reported that it has already saved £280,000 per year by using the Northgate service.
North Lanarkshire Council and Northgate jointly developed a web-based service for both staff and tenants, leading to faster services and shorter waiting times for tenants needing repairs to their properties.
Des Murray, property services manager for housing and social care, North Lanarkshire Council, said, “By giving officers smart devices, we have cut the time they spend travelling to and from the office to check diaries and paperwork. Instead, they have access to automated diaries, reducing cancelled or forgotten appointments from over 40 per cent to below four per cent.
“Another advantage of communicating via a smartphone app is the low cost, at just a tenth of the cost of traditional communications, and the immediacy of it, helping to reduce missed appointments.”
A profiling exercise of users of the council’s housing services found that people aged 60+ rated the previous service as excellent, but those aged 16-24 rated their satisfaction with the services at less than 50 per cent because they didn’t like the bureaucracy and wanted to be able to interact through smartphones and social media.
Murray said, “Through the mobile app, a tenant diagnosing and reporting a housing repair can place a request in the hands of a contractor within just 15 seconds. They can also track the status of their request.
“Therefore, as well as replacing paper-based schedules with electronic schedules, this has removed the need for repairs inspectors to visit the office and enabled them to initiate works directly from their smartphone.”