Driving efficiency and improving service delivery - Leicester City Council accelerates ahead with OPENHousing.
Leicester City Council operates a decentralised housing service spanning 14 neighbourhood offices around the city. It manages a housing stock of over 23,000 and each office looks after two to four thousand tenancies.
One of the biggest challenges for Leicester City Council was to reduce re-let and void turnaround times as improvements in these areas would quickly see extra rental income generation. In addition the council had to develop efficient ways of dealing with all enquiries spread over the 14 sites. For example, improving services to handle and monitor estate management issues such as noise and nuisance complaints.
Although Leicester City Council had complex needs the biggest challenge was getting the buy in from the users at the 14 sites. Detailed business process mapping was coordinated with the users over the 14 sites.The council spent a lot of time securing user feedback through focus groups and giving internal project ownership to the staff.With detailed feedback, IBS pressed ahead with the challenge of designing and implementing a solution which fitted in with the business processes and the needs of the 14 sites. It was an important factor that the solution was flexible to accommodate Leicester City Council's changing requirements.
The estate management and workflow system went live for one site in March 2005. It was then rolled out over the 14 offices over a three month period which was completed by the end of May. Before the implementation, performance on average re-let times was 49 days. Initially this fell to 34 days and since the introduction of estate management and workflow, times have further improved and are currently running at 23 days.
There are exciting plans for the estate management and workflow solution at Leicester City Council. The next stage of the project will involve establishing a single contact centre to handle in and outbound telephone calls into the individual sites.