A great day at the HANA Awards with the winning team from SHAL. In a very challenging envitonment SHAL has managed to complete a fantastic tranformation. So here we are all up on the stage led by Angela Gascoigne and Joanne Martin from SHAL,
And they are supported by Telecetera and OmniLedger…
We are very pleased to be invited to take part at the HANA awards on July 5th at Lancaster Gate in London.
Congratulations to all the companies to all the companies who have been been shortlisted and especially to:
Our versatile customer SHAL Housing who has been shortlisted for the national award Best Financial Turnaround/Change Programme.
This award will go to the housing association that can best demonstrate a successful finance-led transformation project or restructuring which has had a significant impact for the organisation and is helping it to increase the quality and supply of affordable homes
This is a new award for 2018 that looks at innovation and transformation – and not just focusing on cost savings.
We have been working with the team at SHAL since 2014. Joanne Martin and Angel Gascoigne have been inspirational in their way of approaching the application of IT and reviewing the underlying processes.
We wish them the best of luck on the 5th
Click here if you want to know more about the HANA Awards.
Improved visibility and control for expanding business
FLR Spectron is an award winning business based in Kent. The heart of the business is bespoke communications solutions to small, medium and large businesses throughout the UK. In addition, they offer complimentary services around CCTV monitoring, IT support and Refrigeration.
Their business processes needed to change when, through takeover and were faced with a much wider range of customer types and services on offer.
FLRS needed visibility and control of this new, larger business more than ever. That’s when the senior management team decided to invest in Connect Enterprise as their mobile work force solution.
A critical part of the solution was the ability to manage contracts in an integrated way. Connect Enterprise solution gives the team at FLRS full visibility of all customers, contracts, engineers and jobs across the whole group. In addition –the system gives them the ability to easily manage the different sectors
Installation and service jobs are easily created, scheduled and managed in real time in Connect. Equipment installed on site is easily updated and invoices produced for the contracts and posted over to Sage line 50.
Paul Dean, Operations Director at FLR Spectron, said
“The greatest benefit from my perspective is the improved visibility of the engineering teams which delivers increased efficiency and cost savings throughout the business.
The reports we now have access to give us a view of the business we simply couldn’t get previously. Now I can monitor performance daily – and drive improvement across the organisation
“The business had not used a mobile solution previously. The introduction of the smart devices for the 13 or so mobile field staff went very well. Connect is easy to use in the field – and the engineers now see their Android smartphone with Connect Enterprise as an essential part of their toolkit.
In choosing Connect Enterprise we knew that we would get a cost effective solution from a company that we trust.”
Managing annual Gas inspections is a critical job for Social Landlords. Just missing one property can result in heavy penalties by the Homes and Communities Agency. Severn Vale Housing Society, based in Gloucestershire, has completely overhauled its gas servicing procedure by buying in to the Connect Gas servicing module.
We decided to invest in the Connect Gas servicing module to make efficiencies in our gas servicing process. We are now doing more jobs per day. Instead of carrying out five, we are now carrying out seven and we are aiming for eight. All the certificates are in an electronic format and all the communication with our customers is tracked. It gives me, as director, a real sense of security for our customers”
Mike Craggs, Asset and Commercial Director , SVHS
So how can they increase the number of job by 40%?
Liz Ryder who manages the gas inspections day to day explains:
“We now have accurate timings for the inspections. We used to schedule an hour and a half for an inspection, but now we can do it in 30-40 mins. The scheduling is so efficient.
“It now takes me five minutes to schedule in 150 jobs. It used to take me hours! Looking at different diaries in Outlook, calling the customers, scheduling the engineers and confirming the appointments. Now it’s just the click of a button, and the system schedules the jobs in areas, so I don’t have to go into the system to check the location of each job to make sure that we cut down on travel.
“All the communication with the customer is tracked from start to finish. Every customer gets a text reminder, automatically, a week before their appointment. At the end of it, I have an electronic version of the gas certificate, complete with all the information.
“We used to have to check all the certificates because the engineers forgot to tick a box or a signature. Now they can’t complete the job without filling in all the fields.
“Another aspect of the system is that the inspection is preloaded with the appliances installed in the property This makes it so much quicker. We can become even more efficient by adding checks for other assets, such as smoke alarms and CO2 monitors while our engineers are on site.
“I have a complete overview of all the communication with our customers. The automated text message reminders have made a huge difference to our job completions. All of that information is linked back to our asset management system, Keystone.ConnectGas is really helping to keep our asset register up to date.”
Specification. As one of our most successful clients says: “Specification, specification, specification “. Define as clearly as you can what you want to achieve (which may take some work) – and make sure you know how close your chosen solution can get to it.
Interface? Decide early on if you need data from your mobile solution to automatically feed data into and out from other systems you have in the business. Check carefully that the solutions you are looking at can handle an interface..
Connectivity. Be ruthless on connectivity – make sure your solution will still enable your teams to work IN THE AREA WHERE YOU OPERATE when the signal is poor on non-existent. You should never lose data in the field!
Documented processes. You need to have your current processes documented to efficiently implement a of mobile workforce solution. Also – don’t just transfer all your back office processes into the field – your mobile operatives may rebel if you make them your new administrators.
It’s not about the handsets. Try not to concentrate too much on the mobile devices other than the fundamentals. Is it Android, Apple or Windows .There is a lot of choice. Focus instead on where improved efficiencies will give the greatest benefit in your organisation and concentrate implementing solutions in these areas.
Be sceptical. Ask every question you can think of during the vendor selection – even the awkward ones. Include where you think there is a gap; press hard to get clear answers or it could hurt you later.
Partnership. Just plug in & go may be the cheapest – but it may not be the most efficient. Even if the solution is standardised your processes and systems may have to change. A partnership approach with your chosen vendor could make a real difference.
Resource & project manage implementation. Concentrate on the issues / opportunities today & keep an eye on the future. Once your system is bedded in you will want to develop it as your needs change. Make sure your solution can grow with your business and that there are resources to make this happen.
Involvement. Be sure to involve the operative teams and other departments in your implementation and don’t make it too complicated for them. Some resistance to change is common – but if they won’t use your new system, your investment is going to fall short.
Get commitment to invest money and resource. Try to get a ‘White Knight’ at senior level as a sponsor for the introduction of your solution. This type of project will require money to invest but more so resources from the organisation. A senior sponsor can be a real help when cross-department processes need to be tweaked to or resources committed to the project.
Real-time, on the spot Diary and Appointment control
Connect Mobile Scheduling puts your mobile workforce in total and instant control of their time and business commitments. Staff can fix, change or cancel appointments to make best use of their working hours and deal quickly and efficiently with unexpected changes or opportunities.
Whatever your people in the field decide and schedule, your office team automatically see in real time on Connect Manager, enabling you to keep right up to date with the big picture.
Quick to set up and simple to use, you can configure Mobile Scheduling for any combination of individuals or groups to control who has access to this new-found freedom and how they use it.
Comprehensive, on-the-spot knowledge boosts productivity and standards of customer service to enhance your effectiveness and reputation.
Saves time – fix appointments with customers there and then
Saves money – reduces administration work and non-productive time
Dispenses with paper-based job sheets and notes
Improves flexibility, responsiveness and customer satisfaction
Makes out-of-hours jobs easier to manage
Removes the need for separate calendars and office contact
Speeds up job completions and invoicing
Suits all types of staff and teams – from sales reps to surveyors.
Everything you need to know about every client, right in your hand
Connect’s Extended Job History feature gives your mobile staff all the information and background they need to be fully briefed and prepared for every appointment. Instant access to up to 24 months’ service history and supporting images and documents means your workforce knows exactly what to expect and what to do. So they can get straight on with the job.
Extended History shows you the order and service record for each client or location, with details of who handled previous work and any problems or issues they encountered. This maximises the value of your people’s time on site and increases their ability to respond to queries.
Comprehensive, on-the-spot knowledge boosts productivity and standards of customer service to enhance your effectiveness and reputation.
It’s great for the operatives to be able to look back and see all that has happened on site on previous jobs. It saves so much time since they don’t have to call the office. Much bettter to have the information straight away. And it improves the customer service.”
Jo Harrison, Logistic Manager, Severn Vale Housing
Gives staff all the information they need, when and where they need it most
Reduces the need for timewasting and costly repeat visits and calls back to base
Saves time on site, and money on administration and non-productive work
Helps to reduce health and safety risks for staff
Is easy to set up and configure for any mix of individuals and groups
Makes best use of your staff members’ time, skills and customer relationships
Builds an archive of reliable business intelligence to support future success.
We meet in one of the offices at the depot at Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) to go through the latest development to making CBH even more efficient, the introduction of Connect Servicing for Electrical testing.
It’s as usual a busy day for the team and we are discussing compliance. A major topic for any landlord in 2018.
They are also happy because they have worked out that CBH will saving close to £13K per year with the new Servicing module.
What made you decide to go digital for the EICRS?
“I have been asking for years to get the periodics digitised because I could see how much time it would save us. I am aware of other systems but I wanted to use Connect because it’s a really flawless solution. So easy to use.”
Shane Danson is the Electrical & Mechanical Supervisor in charge of all the electrical testing at CBH.
“We had so much paperwork to manage that I actually felt like drowning. It even put me off having Temps in to cover. Now if I need to use a temp I just give them Connect and they are out on the road straight away.”
From the start CBH has impressed me with their focus on process mapping and their project management. This has fitted in really well with our approach to system implementation and the configurability of Connect
CBH went live with the Service module in Connect and now all Electrical tests are managed through the system from the making the appointment with customer through to completing the EICR in Connect and the issuing of the certificate. So no more scanning of paperwork or problems with storing the info – all easily accessible in Connect.
How important is Compliance for you in 2018?
“This will be huge in the sector, especially after Grenfell” says Emma Wall, Head of Building Services. “In the past all the focus has been on Gas safety since that is a legal requirement. The EICR scheduling and mobile working system has enabled improvements in workforce management, day to day, void and periodic repair processes and most significantly our ability to provide accurate data and an auditable trail in relation to health and safety, compliance, performance and complaints. Electrical is British Standard – but I feel it is incredibly important that we look at all aspects of compliance. I can confidently say that today we are 100% compliant. Reporting will be very important for us.”
How important is the IT team for making decisions?
“The team identifies what they need and my role is to make that happen” Paul Slater, IT Analyst, is always available to listen attend meetings and to talk to the team. “IT is not ‘top down’ at CBH. Our role is to support the Operational teams and make sure that what the teams want to achieve is possible and that the systems are in place. So we fully support the Service module”“
What are the main benefits of the Connect Service module for you?
Karen Langridge is Logistics Manager and in charge of the process mapping of projects to ensure that benefits can be clearly identified.
“It’s the basic things that really make a difference to the process. We no longer have to go into the letters and type them up. There is a direct link to the certificates in Connect so no scanning or having to manage the certificates manually. We also have more control since the data from previous EICR test will be prefilled for the next test.
So what about the outcomes?
CBH – as usual- keep a close eye on efficiencies and Karen has helped by putting some outcomes.
The qualitative outcomes are considered to be:
Less manual data entry
Accuracy of data
Visibility of data for other Connect users
Automated letter production
Accuracy of programming properties
Pre filled data available from previous EICR tests
Control between completed EICRs and associated certification
Automated data management for electrical certificates
Irusha Hewawasamge is Health and Business Safety Advisor, at Severn Vale Housing.
He is really keen to make sure that the workplace is safe and has helped us develop the Document Library in Connect:
“Our company has 40 vans out on the road, so keeping them all up to date with Health & Safety documents is a real challenge.
I thought that there must be a different and better way to mange this. The new Connect Document Library will make things much easier.”
So what does it do?
Connect’s Document Library gives your mobile teams instant and unlimited access to the latest manuals, risk assessments and method statements to help them do their jobs the right way, right first time.
In situations where legal and safety compliance really matters, you need to be sure that staff have all the relevant facts and guidance right at their fingertips, but without the cost and hassle of issuing and updating bulky hard copies.
Document Library allows you to build up a bespoke resource of practical information to match the profile of your team’s work. It’s secure and accessible, and updates every user automatically with every change or addition in real time, to ensure you’re aware of and can meet every requirement.
H & S on the road
Saves time and money – no more printed manuals!
Avoids the risk of staff working to obsolete or out-of-date instructions
Safeguards health, safety and wellbeing for staff and customerst
Handles all sorts of formats – Word, Excel, pdf, drawings and photos