Project Description

Set and forget – mobile working with Housing Support Pro’s Client 360

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) is a local authority that provides services to 4,500 homes in Ashford, Kent, and a large network of surrounding villages.
Its services include social housing, leisure facilities, council tax and housing benefits. Employing around 415 people, the borough council has scooped two Beacon Awards for excellence and innovation, one of just four local authorities in England to be given this award.

The Challenge

ABC wanted a mobile solution that would easily integrate with its existing Orchard housing management system following changes to the supplier of its previous solution.

The borough council required a dynamic, fully-functioning mobile solution that would instantly provide up to date information such as tenancy and rent data.

The solution also needed to provide offline access where mobile internet was unavailable such as rural areas.

The Strategy

Following a successful pilot between September 2016 and February, ABC opted for Housing Support Pro’s Client 360 mobile working solution, which provides visibility of all operational activity.

Delivering all information in real-time, the digital solution also includes search facilities, customisable watch lists, a calendar and reminder alerts to ensure deadlines are met and engagements are kept on time.

The Orchard Management System is integrated with Client 360 via the Blaze interface, which facilitates the data transfer.

Furthermore, Client 360 offers pre-designed digital form templates for new tenant sign-up and arrears management. Void, tenant and property surveys are also available via a mobile app.

It removes the need for housing officers to waste time on returning to the office to complete paperwork between visits.

Housing Support Pro provided all the technical support and hosting for Client 360.

The Results

By introducing Client 360, the borough council significantly increased efficiencies across its entire housing service. Tenancy management and housing officers can now access tenancy and property data across its entire portfolio, including contact details, repair and payment history.

Mobile support workers also now operate with greater flexibility, enabling them to spend more time with tenants and less time on administration.

Tenant data is collected quicker and instantly transmitted to the management team, while housing officers also feel empowered by being given more freedom to manage their workload via the use of their mobile device.

The borough council can also respond to issues such as fly tipping due to real-time alerts from housing officers on-site.

Furthermore, tenant records such as payment history can be instantly recalled via Client 360 to resolve potential disputes.

John Young, housing property and technology manager for Ashford Borough Council, said:

“Client 360 has unlocked the door for us, allowing us to roll out technology and use the solution for our service. Its operation is much more efficient and, most importantly, we get to see more tenants that need our help faster. Other solutions require a very large amount of internal support, which is not the case with this as it is all hosted and managed by Housing Support Pro.”

“Client 360 allows our officers to do more in a timely fashion, while Housing Support Pro have been proactive and technically impressive from the outset.”

Glyn Cunnah, head of business development for Housing Support Pro, added: “The ability to deploy Client 360 within a couple of months has enabled Ashford Borough Council to realise its return on investment and we are delighted with the results which we have been able to deliver.”

Dave Carr, director at Blaze Information Systems, said: “Ashford Borough Council has embraced the technology, with all of its housing officers now adopting it. We are a bridge between Client 360 and Orchard.

“The council can now operate a truly 21st-century management system and is already enjoying the efficiencies it delivers.”

The system has been fantastic. Since we introduced it, the solution has worked fl awlessly, which speaks volumes.