WirelessDevNet.com Press Release
Hillcrest Housing Association has chosen an enterprise mobile workforce solution from 1st Touch (http://www.1sttouch.com/) along with a dynamic appointment scheduling system from ServicePower. The combined systems are expected to deliver significant efficiencies in service delivery and a greatly enhanced customer experience for the Associations’ tenants.
As one of Scotland’s largest housing associations with a stock of 6000 properties in Dundee, Edinburgh, Angus, Perthshire and Fife, Hillcrest prides itself on the quality of its homes and the services that it delivers. At the heart of the Association’s customer service strategy is a determination to provide an immediate response to incoming queries from tenants.
As part of its commitment to the delivery of these exceptionally high service levels, Hillcrest decided to invest in 1st Touch mobile workforce software to support and manage the activities of its 40 responsive repairs operatives. 1st Touch software delivers significant efficiencies where field based operatives, equipped with PDAs, smartphone or tablets, provide services. It was on the recommendation of 1st Touch that Hillcrest also chose to deploy a dynamic appointment scheduling solution from ServicePower. The ServiceScheduling component of ServicePower uses enhanced logic to drive the productivity of field based operations. This will enable Hillcrest’s planners to more efficiently route and schedule operatives to meet tenants’ requests.
With the integrated 1st Touch and ServicePower solution in place, the customer service team can now take repair request calls from tenants which are raised in Hillcrest’s Aareon QLx back-office housing management system. The request is then fired into 1st Touch which allocates the right operatives to respond according to the type of skills required for the repair. In turn, this generates a range of appointments in ServicePower, which can be offered to the tenant whilst still on the phone.
Once agreed, ServicePower then schedules the appointment, texting the tenant with a confirmation of the date and time. 1st Touch sends the details of that job along with all other upcoming jobs, in the most efficient order, to an operative’s PDAs or handheld device. The system then directs the operative to call the tenant once they are actually on their way to their address. Once a job is completed, 1st Touch prompts the operative to conduct a satisfaction survey with the tenant and all the data relevant to that job is then sent back to the Aareon back-office system. Hillcrest is also planning to roll the system out to other areas of the business including: the Voids, Gas and Estate Management teams.
Mark Flattery IT Manger of Hillcrest Housing can see clear benefits of the new system in practice. In his view; “Previously we were managing our workforce manually and there was a clear recognition of the benefit of using this kind of technology to keep our workforce mobile and also of improving the quality of information that goes into Aareon and our appointment system.
“As far as the tender process was concerned, 1st Touch ticked all the boxes in terms of value, the range of modules available and integration with our Aareon QLx back-office housing management system. They were also able to recommend ServicePower, one of their integration partners, to meet our requirement for a robust dynamic scheduling system. Combined, 1st Touch and ServicePower will transform our maintenance operation. Most importantly, as a result of the efficiencies and productivity benefits available, we shall be able to do more jobs each day than previously. There are also fuel savings to take into account along with an increase in satisfaction survey returns undertaken via the maintenance operative’s PDA when jobs are completed.
“We are about to introduce the software to other areas of the business including voids and gas. In the future we are also looking at how 1st Touch can help with van stock too.”
Mark Percival MD of the Maintenance Service at Hillcrest Housing Association echoes Flattery’s comments adding, “All things considered, 1st Touch has proved to be successful in delivering a much improved internal system that streamlines the management of our maintenance operatives. In addition, the tenants themselves are much happier with the electronic appointment booking system, especially the use of calls to confirm that operatives are on their way.”
Robert Dent, CEO of 1st Touch welcomed these comments adding; “At Hillcrest Housing Association the emphasis is clearly placed on the immediacy and quality of the response to tenants requests. Given that Hillcrest sets itself such very high standards, I am delighted that 1st Touch has been chosen to supply mobile software.
“In addition, being able to recommend a world class solution like ServicePower is good news too, as ultimately the real beneficiaries will be Hillcrest’s tenants. Having worked with Service Power for around 6 years we have found that the solution has proved to be very stable, extremely scalable and suitable for all sizes of organisation.”
About 1st Touch
Southampton based 1st Touch, a subsidiary of Aareon AG (http://www.aareon.com/), has enabled dozens of field workforce-based organisations to embrace new mobile technologies and so achieve significant savings, greater productivity and more cost-effective use of resources. 1st Touch Mobile delivers clear and unique benefits: These include the system’s acclaimed ‘Smart Airtime’ feature where ‘airtime’ is minimised and the system is always available with or without ‘airtime’. The system’s flexibility through simple customer control over forms creation and amendment is also widely acclaimed. There is Integration to multiple back office and other enterprise software applications, so that data is entered only once.
With its widely acclaimed mobile technology, 1st Touch has a clear focus on the Social Housing and Local Government markets. Many social housing providers and local authorities, at large, now benefit from the fast and tangible, best of breed benefits that 1st Touch mobile technology delivers to the enterprise.
To date, over 50% of the social housing market, which has deployed mobile technology, has chosen to implement 1st Touch. In local government, 1st Touch has already been adopted for a wide range of mobile workforce uses. Ready to use applications for local authority organisations include: Public Buildings, Highways/Street Services, Environmental/Waste Management, Revenues and Benefits, together with Planning Control and Trading Standards.
1st Touch software is available on a wide variety of platforms including: Windows Mobile, Apple and Android.