In an age where cloud technology is recognised in the wider business community as a way of becoming more agile and innovative, a challenge for housing providers is to understand how they can use the latest technology to save time and money.In the UK, Ancoris has made the housing sector a key priority, providing G Suite (Formerly Google Apps) and Google Maps to improve services and efficiency. As a result, there is an opportunity for housing providers to reinvent themselves as modern digital organisations.
Embrace collaborative ways of working
A key benefit of embracing cloud based technology such as G Suite is the ability to collaborate. G Suite is a communications, collaboration and social platform, encouraging teams to work together in real time. Groups can edit the same document at the same time, hold video conferences online and share calendars. Altering the way people work is a big change for any organisation, but embracing more adaptive technology, particularly within housing, will save significant time and money.
Support mobile working
A further benefit of the technology is mobility. Housing providers have a significant percentage of their workforce operating away from the office, so being able to access files and data on the move should be the norm. G Suite users can review and edit all their documents on their device of choice, from PCs to tablets and smartphones wherever they are. This means providers can focus their resources on visiting tenants, rather than completing paperwork in the office.
Increase social interactions
Pressures on the sector are closely linked to difficulties experienced by tenants. Organisations have seen a sharp rise in enquiries from tenants worried about paying rent in the last few years. While there is no substitute for human contact in customer care, smart use of social technology can help to deal with rising demand. A survey by England’s leading tenant organisations found that investment in social tools can produce significant cost savings and social and community benefits. Google’s own tool, Google+ is fully integrated with their product suite, so housing providers can easily communicate with tenants and develop support networks and forums. Taking this social approach will save precious time, and help to reduce inbound requests.
A key determinant of tenant satisfaction is often speed of service. If something breaks, or needs to be delivered it must happen quickly. As housing data has a location element, using maps to visualise it can help deliver services to tenants faster, freeing up precious staff and resources. GIS systems have attempted to achieve this, but they require expertise to operate, whereas most people have used Google maps and are familiar with its simple functionality.
Consequently, introducing new technology such as Ancoris Maps for Housing, combining location and operational data on the familiar Google Maps interface, can help drive cost savings and dramatically improve service to tenants. A fully mobile enabled application, it can minimise travel time to ensure staff make the best use of their time by identifying all the outstanding tasks in an area and using route planning to schedule crew attendance. All of this relevant data can then also be used to match tenant needs to facilities, improving property allocations and business intelligence by visualising all information in one place.
Transform the way you work
The housing sector faces significant challenges to balance the books and increase service capacity. In such an evolving space, little is set in stone, so organisations need to focus their energy on innovating and adapting to satisfy residents. The technology is available for these organisations to reinvent themselves as modern digital providers. What is needed is the vision to transform the way they operate and deliver services with the long term goals of improving efficiency and reducing costs.
For more information about how we can help you to transform the way you work, please click here to speak to our digital transformation experts.