The Housing Minister recently announced that Social Housing landlords should resume planned works and repairs on empty properties but it is clear that resuming routine repairs will not be a simple task for landlords due to a number of pressures.
From staff being on furlough, to ensuring social distancing measures at work, to gaining access to properties, there is a huge amount to consider before attempting anything close to ‘business as usual’. Add to that the fact that you will likely be feeling the pressure of having accrued a significant backlog of repairs over the lockdown period and it is clear that you need to be able to quickly adapt your operations to continue working effectively within the ‘new normal’.
Turning to technology for support
Our clients are using Oneserve’s job management software to help them adapt their repairs and maintenance job processes. They are achieving this through the following three key areas:
1. Advanced risk assessments
Included within the government’s guidance on working safely during the coronavirus outbreak is the requirement to carry out a coronavirus specific risk assessment prior to resuming operations. As well as carrying out the risk assessments our clients have looked to technology to effectively document the measures they have put in place. For many, this has included creating bespoke risk assessments added to all jobs for compulsory completion before their operatives start work. Completed using the Oneserve Mobile App, the risk assessment is then automatically saved against the job so that it can be easily downloaded as evidence at a later date if required. The simplicity of this process means that our client-partners can ensure health and safety standards are maintained for every job and instantly recorded and evidenced.
2. Improving efficiency gains
With a backlog of routine repairs, maximising productivity is now more important than it has ever been before. Oneserve’s job management software includes an intelligent scheduling tool that enables the scheduling team to quickly book appointments which automatically take the job location and required skills into consideration. This means that our client-partners are able to not only rebook jobs effectively, but also see a dashboard of all scheduled work. This clear view makes managing the backlog far easier.
Oneserve is also helping our social housing clients to make changes to their processes and monitor their effectiveness. Due to the easy to use interface, our client-partners are making new, or altering existing steps within their service delivery process themselves. The speed in which they can do this enables them to be highly adaptable in meeting the new needs, and expectations, that COVID-19 presents.
Using Oneserve, all operatives complete their jobs using the same chronological order. This not only helps to maintain standards, it also makes it easy to monitor processes, highlighting which changes are effective and which exude inefficiency. If inefficiencies are identified, the software can be amended straightaway to further improve efficiencies.
3. Increasing communications with end users
This is an unsettling time and operating within people’s homes adds a new dimension of risk to tenants and the workforce alike. As well as ramping up communications to alleviate tenants’ concerns, our clients are also expanding their understanding of their tenants requirements during lockdown. For example, are they considered vulnerable and do they have a support network around them? Some Oneserve clients have created surveys, the results of which are recorded against each individual to provide a clear picture of their added responsibilities during these times. At the point a job is scheduled, Oneserve automatically sends appointment confirmation details to a tenant by letter, email or SMS. This confirmation helps to reassure and also acts as a reminder to increase first time fix rates.
Overarching the points above, our client-partners have told us that it is the adaptability of Oneserve that has proven to be most valuable to them. In some cases, clients have reevaluated their service delivery, stripping their processes back and rebuilding the steps to accommodate the different working practices. When this is all done within one, highly visible system, it provides the foundations needed to give everyone the confidence that jobs are completed in the safest and most efficient manner possible. This adaptability has also made it far easier to introduce a phased approach to resuming routine repairs and maintenance.
While we continue to operate in uncharted waters, as you look to resume your routine repairs and maintenance operations, adopting a job management solution like Oneserve can help you really maximise efficiencies in your repairs job process whilst also giving you the added peace-of-mind that you have the necessary tools to support and document your new covid-19 compliant working practices.
To find out more about how Oneserve’s job management software can support you in navigating the ‘new normal’ please contact our team of friendly advisers who will be happy to answer any initial questions you may have. If you’re ready to see our job management software in action, please request a demo today.