NEC takes a fresh new look at the repairs problem and how technology can better serve you and your tenants
Repairs in social housing is and will continue to be a top priority for landlords. And rightly so. It’s one of the main areas where tenants actively seek to engage with you, so you need to be ready. That means you need the right tools for the job.
What makes repairs topical today?
With resident dissatisfaction on the rise and media reports placing a spotlight on the issue, the challenge of repairs is vital to the sector. The social housing white paper is driving the focus towards safer homes that people love, but it doesn’t stop there. Better homes are underpinned by improved transparency and resident collaboration. But that’s no easy task when you feel like the spreadsheets and data are working against you.
A new technological landscape
This is where some of the responsibility falls to us, as technology suppliers, to help you find the right path. The sector is calling out for better digital services and increasing opportunities to find efficiencies and savings so you can do more for your tenants. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. You need tailored solutions that work for you and adapt to your tenants.
Where does NEC come into this?
We promised to make it our business to be up to date with everything that matters to you. And we like to keep our promises. NEC Housing has everything you need to transform repairs.
Take Tracy, for instance. She wakes up one morning to find her hot water isn’t working. Hardly the best start to anyone’s day! But she opens up her phone and reports the fault online. Without anyone in her landlord’s organisation having to lift a finger, that information is automatically routed into NEC Housing. Smart tools like intelligent scheduling and workforce management find the best resource for the job, and update Rob the plumber via his mobile app that he needs to head there after completing his next job.
Meanwhile Tracy has received a text to let her know Rob will be there at 11:30am. So she’s confident that she’s being kept up to date with the plan, and Rob won’t make a wasted trip to her home while she’s out at the shops. Once he’s arrived, Rob is able to check the boiler and show Tracy the maintenance check from 6 months ago when the boiler was serviced. Any updates are then processed through his mobile app and back into NEC Housing where all the data is held in one place. This means if the boiler does need to be replaced, the update is automatically routed to the planned works programme so nothing gets missed.
It’s a simple story, but you see the point. There are no gaps in the data, no manually checking diaries, or long phone calls from frustrated tenants. It’s smooth, it’s intuitive and it’s efficient. And it’s driven by data, so you can see the bigger picture. What’s more, our tools can even work to help you predict where repairs might arise, so you can fix the problem before it even exists. Now that sounds like brighter thinking.
Tackling the future of disrepairs
Not all repairs are as straightforward as Tracy’s. A significant minority are complex and need a more supportive process. And it’s some of these more complicated repairs that can lead to disrepair claims. We don’t have all the IT answers to this puzzle yet but we are keen to work with our customers on finding solutions. That’s why we’re running a panel discussion at the Housing Technology conference next month looking at just that: Managing disrepair, today & in the future.
We’ll be joined by important voices in the sector including Brendan Sarsfield, former CEO at Peabody Group. We’ll explore how technology can help the disrepair challenge, including IoT, data science for predictive analysis and transparent resident engagement. So make sure to drop into the University Room at 11am on Wednesday 2 March.
In the meantime, we caught up with Reading Borough Council about how they’re set to transform their repairs process with NEC Housing. No more clunky integrations, separate spreadsheets or questionable data. Read more about our chat with project manager Johnnie Stanley here.
Author: Trevor Hampton, NEC Software Solutions