Construction and property services company Osborne is spending around £900,000 on a new mobile working solution from a consortium led by 1st Touch. The new PDA-based system will be delivered as a managed service and is expected to be live by March 2012. The system will be used by all of Osborne’s 320 DLO staff and a number of specialist sub-contractors. As well as 1st Touch, the consortium comprises AccuServ, Omfax and Xmbrace.
1st Touch mobile software will give Osborne’s operatives PDA-based access to step-by-step procedures for all aspects of their work, as well as the company providing a single point for technical support for all of the systems involved. 1st Touch will also support the operatives’ devices, guaranteeing, where required, to supply a replacement device pre-loaded with all the software by the next working day.
Nick Sterling, managing director for Osborne’s property services team, said, “One of the ways in which we achieve outstanding levels of customer satisfaction is by delivering value for money through working efficiently, supported by ‘best of breed’ IT systems that ensure excellent repair diagnosis, dynamic scheduling of our neighbourhood service teams and readily accessible real-time reporting of repair status, financial information and performance statistics.”
Contractor management software from AccuServ will automate manual tasks, including billing and administration, and provide real-time status reporting so that customers can track jobs more effectively. Omfax’s Keyfax job diagnostics software will be used by call centres to guide tenants through a step-by-step process to find out the exact nature of the repair so that correctly-skilled contractors can be sent to the job. Xmbrace’s Opti-Time dynamic resource scheduling system will plan operatives’ routes and jobs so that they can spend more time completing jobs and less time travelling between jobs.
Robert Dent, CEO, 1st Touch, said, “As we have built good partnerships with AccuServ, Xmbrace and Omfax to deliver complete IT solutions for social housing providers, we were in a strong position to create a consortium of tightly integrated solutions that will deliver what Osborne requires.
“As outsourcing becomes more prevalent, it’s imperative that contractors use the best technology in order to deliver better and more economical services for repairs and maintenance to housing providers – mobile plays a big part in this because they can manage their workforces so much better.”