CertOn is a multi-award-winning software company launched last year, founded from many years’ experience in the new-build property sector around the issuing of certificates and manuals.
Our big idea was to be able to instantly find any important property document at any location in a building. CertOn centralises work outputs, enabling tradespeople and end-users to understand the maintenance history of a property easily and quickly.
CertOn uses QR code technology, an app and a portal to solve the perpetual problem of missing documents at properties which costs thousands of unpaid hours every year for everyone involved in property management. DLOs, contractors, housing officers and even tenants can scan the QR code on any asset to gain immediate access to all the documents, certifications and service records associated with that asset.
Our DTC (direct to consumer) product was the start of CertOn, receiving glowing reviews from numerous trade organisations at its launch. With the DTC product ‘live’, Broadland Housing saw the product’s capability to help with numerous areas within social housing.
Gerry Claxton, technical services manager, Broadland Housing, said, “Our housing team have said CertOn could really improve how our tenants could access any documentation relating to their tenancies, and it would also aid our housing officers during the sign-up process for new tenants, where they could explain how to use the CertOn app, giving instant access to any service records or instruction manuals for appliances, for example.
“One area where there is huge potential to improve tenant safety is around fire safety. Our fire officer said that we could use CertOn to hold all information such as plan drawings, location of dry risers, service intakes, fire-fighting lifts, hydrants, fire alarm panel, ventilation controls and so on. This would be ideal for properties such as blocks of flats or sheltered housing where no staff are present 24/7 to aid the fire service.
“Our facilities team could use the system to keep all maintenance records for all housing schemes with service charges, enabling tenants at those schemes to check that all maintenance is being carried out as per their tenancy agreements.
“Broadland Housing currently has to leave paper copies of gas- and electrical-service records with our tenants, but by using CertOn we would only have to issue those to tenants without a smart phone or to tenants who specifically wanted a paper copy, saving us the cost of purchasing certificates, printing and engineers’ time.
“The main benefit would be to our repairs team and contractors because they would be able to easily access all relevant documentation relating to our properties, such as site drawings, asbestos reports and instruction manuals.”
Following the success of our DTC product trial, our new social housing-specific product is due to be launched at the end of 2020 after working in partnership with Broadland Housing.
The main areas of savings from using CertOn include:
- Housing staff uploading/filing documentation to the correct properties;
- Easier administration for DLOs/contractors;
- Simpler and faster engagement for housing officers with their tenants;
- More ‘first-time fixes’ by DLOs/contractors;
- Better access to documentation for tenants;
- 100 per cent paperless.
Some of the social housing use-cases include:
- Housing: tenancy agreement, service records and manuals;
- Fire safety: plan drawings, location of dry risers, service intakes, fire-fighting lifts, hydrants, alarm panels and ventilation controls;
- Repairs and facilities management: maintenance records for tenants, DLOs and contractors;
- New builds: all documents and manuals for household appliances.
Running as standalone, cloud-based service running on Amazon Web Services, our social housing product has also been designed with the capability of adding APIs with housing providers’ existing asset and housing management software.
A new feature in our housing product relates to communal areas. Any communal asset in a building can now have its own unique QR code assigned to it. For example, fire doors, lifts and fire panels/detectors can all have specific documents associated with them – contractors, housing staff and tenants just need to scan the QR code to see them.
Another new feature is a reporting tool for tenants – tenants only need to scan the QR code on the defective asset in order to send a report to their housing provider.
In short, spot the CertOn QR code and you’ll know that previously signed off and certified documentation and manuals are instantly ready to view. Our QR code stickers can be attached anywhere in a property, fuse boards, boilers, alarm panels, wherever is deemed necessary.
For a smart, paperless way to easily access your property documents, you can be certain with CertOn.
Boyd Goulden is the founder and director of CertOn.