Gravesham Borough Council

Gravesham Borough Council are a stock retaining local authority providing a wide range of frontline services to their residents. They maintain nearly 6,000 properties in the county of Kent, employing over 60 engineers who rely on field service management tools.

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The challenge

Gravesham’s services were historically managed through paper-based processes. They also relied heavily on contractors to complete much of the admin work, which only made their operational processes more cumbersome. Maintenance work was being completed, but they knew there was the potential to create a more productive, customer-centric service – one that would bring a new level of efficiency, accuracy and visibility.

Gravesham recognised the opportunity to change the culture within existing teams and improve processes with a new modern service, so they started to seek recommendations.

The solution

After speaking to fellow Local Authorities and Housing Associations already using Oneserve, and carrying out their own detailed requirements process, Gravesham selected Oneserve to support their transformation project.

In addition to the benefits the system could bring, Gravesham also benefited from the insight and learnings we could share of other Local Authorities who have successfully transformed their repairs and maintenance process. This additional insight helped Gravesham to map out very specific requirements so that we could build Oneserve to meet their exact needs.

This build not only met the needs on the day of implementation; thanks to the self-managed capabilities of the system, it also meets their needs on an ongoing basis, because they can amend and evolve the software themselves.

The support we have received from Oneserve has been like no other I’ve seen in this industry before. Our Oneserve Project Manager has been a mentor and given endless support.

Daniel Killian, Assistant Director of Operations - Gravesham BC

The results

Complete transformation
Gravesham have used Oneserve since 2017 and now run their entire repairs and maintenance process through the software. The office team schedule a job at a click of a button and each operative accesses and records job information on their mobile device.

Gravesham have completely transformed their repairs and maintenance process, as Daniel Killian, Assistant Director of Operations, explains in more detail:

“The scheduling capabilities of Oneserve are second to none, but the improvements we have seen in our service delivery go far beyond this. We have oversight of our entire workforce, which enables us to monitor performance and more accurately record job costings. We can also carry out safety checks through surveys, ensuring we remain compliant with legislation and our landlord responsibilities. Oneserve has become an entire workflow for our workforce, helping everyone operate productively.”

 

Huge savings
Embarking on a digital transformation challenged existing practices and realigned the team’s outlook. As a result, they cut over £1 million from their annual budget (reducing costs by a fifth).

A significant part of these savings were attributed to bringing works in-house. It is estimated that by completing the kitchen and bathroom program of works in-house, the council will save in the region of £760,000 per year. In just 5 years, that will equate to a saving of £3.8m, or £23m over their 30 year business plan.

“The changes we have implemented and savings we have achieved have not only improved the homes of the people living in Gravesham, they have also enabled us to invest in other areas that further enhance the service for our tenants. We have been able to invest in our workforce by recruiting more in-house staff to complete more work at a more competitive rate.”

 

Service improvements
By operating more efficiently and giving everyone the tools and information they need to continually work to a high standard, Gravesham has seen great improvements in their service:

  • First time fix rate – improved from 67% to 87%
  • Emergency repairs – maintained at 100%, surpassing the target of 98%
  • Customer satisfaction – rating of 97% thanks to the more productive working practices
  • Void turnaround – reducing major turnarounds from 77 to 22 days and minor voids from 28 to 7 days

 

Internal buy-in
For an organisation that had previously relied upon paperwork, moving to a technological solution was a huge shift. With nearly 50 remote workers and 25 office staff, each and every person needed to buy into the new solution if Gravesham were to achieve optimum performance. Daniel discusses this further:

“Every person in our repairs and maintenance process is vital in delivering service excellence. Due to Oneserve being so intuitive to use, everyone embraced the transformation. We booked a few training days from Oneserve to get us off the ground, but everyone picked it up so quickly. We now do training in house and have created our own manuals, which link up with our own in-house processes; Oneserve has been really easy to adopt.”

 

Continual improvement
Oneserve’s user friendly interface means Gravesham can amend the software themselves, ensuring their workflows are always as efficient as possible. In tandem with the customisable reports and dashboards, Gravesham have the insight they need to monitor, identify and implement improvements on an ongoing basis. Daniel sums this up:

“Something that really stands out is Oneserve’s flexibility. Oneserve moulds around us, as opposed to us molding around it. Something we hadn’t expected from a software solution.”

Stats

Over £1 million of savings (a fifth of their budget)

Stats

Minor and major void turnarounds reduced by 75% and 71%

Stats

First-time fix rate increased from 67% to 87%

If I spoke to someone in local government I would say; if you want to make a significant transformation, then Oneserve is the perfect partner.

Daniel Killian, Assistant Director of Operations - Gravesham BC

Related Case Study: Gravesham Community Hub

 

Find out how Gravesham Borough Council used Oneserve to quickly put a process in place for supporting their most vulnerable tenants during the COVID-19 lockdown.

 
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