Two decades of digital transformation
Arches Housing has updated its housing management system to support its wider corporate objectives of enabling a mobilised workforce that can work productively no matter where they are. The updates include the introduction of ActiveH Mobile CRM, Mobile Inspector, Mobile Surveys and Mobile Tasking modules.
The new modules build upon Arches’ existing ActiveH housing management system, provided by MIS Active Management Systems, which is the product of a twenty-year partnership between the two organisations. Seamus Harkins, Arches Housing Data Services Manager explained: “Arches has used the ActiveH housing management system for ten years, including the CRM, rents, repairs and maintenance, resident communications SMS and automated tasking modules. Before that we used the ActiveH predecessor.”
“Over this period, we’ve benefited hugely from these products. They’ve helped us optimise traditionally manual processes, which is important for us because we always aim for excellence in service and housing standards, whilst remaining low cost and retaining a lean staffing structure. We manage 1,200 properties successfully with a team of only 30.”
All the MIS Active Management Systems products work from a single database, giving users a single version of the truth and 360-degree view of all residents, assets and stakeholders. Harkins explained: “Having single source of truth data has produced so many benefits. From enhancing our resident communications, the customer journey and service we deliver to residents, to improving our reporting and decision-making capabilities. We recently decided to implement flexible, remote working – to mobilise our team and enable them to work productively from anywhere, but without compromising our data integrity. So we looked into the mobile modules MIS Active Management Systems provide”
Overcoming workspace boundaries to maximise productivity
The updates to the housing management system and implementation of home working was undertaken to enable Arches’ Better Ways of Working project, and to satisfy their approach to value for money. The organisation has big ambitions to develop a further 400 homes by 2028 and intends to utilise financial surpluses as a key funding source. So optimising productivity, efficiency and performance whilst remaining low cost is of key importance.
The new mobile modules have enabled Arches to successfully facilitate home and remote working across the organisation. This includes their office-based staff and maintenance and repairs contractors. All data relating to residents, assets and stakeholders can be updated on the go, from any location and updates across the existing system in real-time, to maintain single source of truth, high integrity records. And as an added benefit, the system was easily supported on the organisations new cloud-based infrastructure, supplied by MIS-AMS sister company Incline IT.
This functionality turned out to be particularly valuable when mandatory work from home conditions were enforced during the initial stages of the COVID-19 lockdown. Thanks to this technology, the team could work efficiently from home, right from day one. Rather than having to re-think processes and data handling, they could concentrate their efforts on residents, providing vital support when it was needed the most.
Success powered by partnership
Harkins explained the success behind this long-standing partnership: “MIS are great. They really understand us and, in many ways, they feel like an extension of our team. Whilst we’re tiny (in terms of size and probably budget) in comparison to many of their other customers, we never feel unimportant or passed over and they are able to help us find solutions when our size gets in the way of our ambitions. Most importantly, the products are just excellent.”
He continued: “From a personal perspective, I’ve loved working with ActiveH. This system is flexible enough to allow you, with a bit of understanding and a little bit of wider knowledge, to quickly and relatively easily tweak functionality. As someone that looks after IT that’s great because a lot of the time you can quickly make changes that can make a huge difference to our users and customers.”
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