Gravesham Borough Council

Gravesham Borough Council are a stock retaining local authority, maintaining nearly 6,000 properties in the County of Kent. By transforming the way in which they approach the repair and maintenance of their residents' homes, Gravesham have increased customer satisfaction to 97% and saved in the region of £1 million.

Download Case Study

The Challenge

Gravesham Borough Council provide a wide range of frontline services to their residents, which were historically managed through paper-based processes. Gravesham also had a reliance on Contractors to complete much of the work, further adding to their operational processes. While maintenance was being completed, Gravesham 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

Gravesham recognised the benefits that a field service management solution could bring. 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; due 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.

Gravesham have used Oneserve since April 2017 and now run their entire repairs and maintenance process through the software. The office team schedule a job at the click of a button, and each operative accesses and records job information, including stock used, on their mobile device. Everybody has complete visibility of the entire service delivery process, empowering them to work more efficiently and continually deliver an excellent service to their residents.  

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

The Results

At its core, Oneserve schedules the right person, with the right skills, to the right place at the right time, but this is only the beginning of what the software delivers. 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.”

Since implementing Oneserve, Gravesham Borough Council have completely transformed their repairs and maintenance process, eradicating inefficiencies and cutting significant costs. Some of their greatest achievements are shown below:

A fifth of the budget saved

As part of the project to improve service delivery, Gravesham have undergone an extensive transformation. New technology, processes and innovation challenged existing practices, realigning everyone’s outlook on service delivery. The monetary consequences of this speak volumes because Gravesham have cut around £1 million from the annual budget, reducing costs by a fifth.  As Daniel explains, “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, such as the recent decision to significantly invest in our workforce by recruiting more in-house staff to complete more work in-house, at a more competitive rate.”

A significant part of these savings has been attributed to bringing more repairs and maintenance and some planned work programs in-house. To put this into context, 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, which will be managed through the Oneserve system. In just 5 years, that will equate to a saving of £3.8m, or £23m over the 30 year business plan.

Service excellence across the board

By operating more efficiently and giving everyone the tools and information they need to continually work to high standards, the first-time fix rate has improved from 67% to 87%. The timely completion of emergency repairs also sits at 100%, surpassing their target of 98%. With a reduction in the number of visits and more productive working practices, tenants are feeling the benefits, as represented by a customer satisfaction rate of 97%.

Significant reduction in void turnaround

By operating in one unified platform, Gravesham have complete visibility of their entire voids process, from capturing voids specifications, to allocating work to operatives and subcontractors, to generating the correct costings – everything is managed within Oneserve. This increase in visibility and accuracy has led to far more efficient working practices, enabling Gravesham to reduce their major voids from 77 to 22 days and their minor voids from 28 to 7 days.  

Intuitive interface for optimum performance

For an organisation that had previously relied upon paperwork to carry out all works, 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 easy to use 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 void turnarounds have reduced by 75% and major void turnarounds have reduced by 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