Making maintenance manageable

Kirona’s Neil Harvey explains how workflow management solutions can benefit housing providers, making it simpler to monitor and manage necessary maintenance and repair work

Mobile workforce products provide organisations with the opportunity to have a stable and seamless work management solution. When they’re combined with other programmes or applications such as dynamic resource schedulers and job managers, organisations can benefit from a reliable and scalable field service management solution. For example, Kirona recently launched a new work management system, Work Hub. Systems like this are designed to allow housing providers to manage the workflow between central functions and field-based operatives, pulling together disparate back-office data and systems to enable reliable, seamless data flow throughout the organisation.

These products can offer a number of benefits including:

  • Holistic work management: Through defining work and available resources, businesses can ensure that every variation of work allocation is accounted for during the scheduling process, reducing cost, meeting customer commitments and optimising the workforce.
  • Agile & intelligent working: Users have the ability to define how each item of work will be managed, as well as being able to continually monitor and update the item. Optimising resources and sequencing tasks can also be features.
  • Frictionless process: All work management is centralised which removes the need to manage various aspects of the process through disparate systems. Systems can usually be used stand-alone or integrated into other systems with dynamic scheduling, mobile working and back-office systems. As housing providers are increasingly targeted to ensure they are putting customers first, effective workflow management systems can enable this key objective to be achieved. Reliable, real-time data empowers call-centre operatives with information that enables them to resolve as many in-bound customer contacts as possible at first point of contact by telephone.

Added to this, mobile workers are able to carry out work as effectively as possible, having the right information, in the right location at the right time. They have access to all the information required to carry out tasks and raise follow-on work as required, with real-time integration into the back-office. They aren’t having to travel back to the head office to rekey information or type up notes. The scope of what can be achieved using an effective workflow management solution for housing providers is very exciting. Any organisation who is currently feeling frustrated and held back by the inefficiency of their current back-office system and management of their field based workers will profit greatly from the many features and benefits that these solutions provide.

Case study

Kirona recently worked in partnership with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s Asset Management and Maintenance Service, which covers housing repairs. This work involved collaborating on the development of the company’s new workflow management system. This partnership ensured the solution truly benefitted them with scalability that extended the potential benefits at a corporate level. The council is already seeing a number of benefits as a result of rolling out the solution to this initial department. After implementing the system Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council now has a reliable and stable workflow management system that integrates with their housing management system, dynamic resource scheduler and job manager, enabling housing repairs and asset data to be monitored and stored in one system. The potential scope also goes beyond the housing repairs team to other departments within the council, connecting departments with one another, and their mobile workers in real-time. Neil Martin, business manager at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council said: “The system we have now is more reliable, and staff are more productive.” Ryan Davies, senior repairs coordinator and systems officer at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council added: “We are planning on widening the system to other services in Sandwell Council.”

Neil Harvey is CTO at Kirona