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11 Apr 2022

Are you using your ActiveH housing management system to its fullest potential? One of the best ways to find out is through a discovery day with a specialist MIS-AMS consultant. Engaging in a full discovery experience ensures both the customer and MIS-AMS can fully understand any opportunities and scope any relevant requirements effectively before proposing recommendations. Keep reading to learn more.

What is a discovery day?

The aim of a discovery day is to work with you around a specific module, multiple modules or specific areas, features and functionalities of the ActiveH housing management software to investigate if ActiveH is being used as effectively as it could be, and if not, we consider ‘what is the art of the possible’?

A MIS-AMS consultant will facilitate the session, exploring the area of the system that has been identified so they can understand the current usage, and where applicable, business processes and procedures. This provides an opportunity for MIS-AMS and our customers to ensure all areas of ActiveH are challenged so the appropriate recommendations can be made to make the system work in a more effective way, aligning it with customer working practices and business processes. For example, if an update to workflow is required, this is recommended. If a business process review is required, this is recommended. If training is required, this will also be advised.

The overall session will be reviewed, and a report will be provided to the customer including areas where the MIS-AMS consultant feels there could be additional benefits to using additional functionality, workflow, or changes to any processes.

What are the benefits of a discovery day?

Reduce time and resource requirements 

A customer once had a member of staff who manually created direct debit plans in the system for each tenant and this equated to many hours of resource requirement. The discovery day allowed the consultant to identify this and understand the reason for doing this. This was highlighted as a training issue as the customer did not realise the system could do automatic plan builds. Automatic plan builds could reduce the resource time from weeks to hours and a recommendation for further training was suggested.

In this example, introducing automation allowed the customer to introduce sufficient lead time to reduce unwanted cost escalations. Reducing the time taken to complete tasks like this allows staff to improve customer service through faster processes, and you can streamline your resource management, prioritise tasks and deal with the most important matters quickly.

Automation improves accuracy of data

Most customers update their stock condition data manually, but this can also be achieved with ActiveH workflow. An example of a discovery session focused on the asset management solution allowed a MIS-AMS consultant to discuss this with the customer, and following review, the asset management solution turned out to be an area where data updates may not have been happening. Therefore, allowing the system to do it made more sense. With a standard workflow, this removed the manual element and provided more accurate data in real-time.

Make your job easier

Sometimes making information available in different parts of the system can make someone’s role more comfortable. The introduction of both the dashboards and snapshots can massively assist in smoother day to day operations for the customer, and this is one area that the customers now see as a positive road forward.

Who would you recommend a discovery day to?

A discovery day is available for all MIS-AMS customers. We would recommend a discovery day to a housing organisations application support team or associated business analyst. They are usually carried out after numerous upgrades or department reorganisation.

A discovery day can be arranged through a business assessment which helps to identify the time required to review each necessary area of the system. This assessment opens up the opportunity for the MIS-AMS consultant and the customer to improve these areas and following this, the consultant will compile a comprehensive draft report for approval.

Ideally the discovery sessions will be requested by the customer and can take place onsite, allowing the consultant to observe first-hand how a service area use ActiveH to perform in their role. However, a discovery session can still be effective using online resources such as MS teams.

Reasons to have a discovery day:

ActiveH has two releases in each release cycle and often these contain functional enhancements that are aimed at making the software easier to use or to return more value. Here are a few reasons we recommend participating in a discovery day:

  • Enables the system to be used better through using all the latest amendments
  • Cost and time savings can be detected
  • Free up resources to concentrate on other tasks
  • Introduces enthusiasm back into the business as the users see where they could be.

Summary 

The ActiveH housing management system is probably one of the biggest, long-term investments any housing association or council are likely to make, and yet it usually just gets left as it is. When a customer first goes live with ActiveH, they probably use about 80% of its total opportunity. After 5 years without reinvestment, this could become as low as 50%. The rediscovery is aimed at staying at 80% or going further than it.

It is important to MIS-AMS that the customer believes in the philosophy of the discovery and that they want to take the recommendations forward to improve the use of the system. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a meeting with one of our experts who can help you to identify improvements and enhance your housing management system, enabling you to achieve what you may not believe is possible.

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