Modern response for social housing scheduling efficiency
The use of scheduling within social housing has been on the agenda for many years with housing software such
as DRS being well used for over a decade.
As time moves on the need for these solutions becomes even more relevant as the sector looks to both
provide excellent levels of service for their residents whilst trying to maintain a lean and efficient
operation across the many areas of work that need time and investment to ensure that the homes and communities,
we live in are safe and secure and provide an environment to be proud of.
On the face of it the needs of the sector are very much aligned to the requirements of the wider field
service sector, getting the right person to the right place on time, however with our years of expertise
in this particular sector the social housing sector does have its own details that require a solution
to be far more flexible in terms of its configuration and application of constraints, to ensure we can
deliver the service to the broad base of residents and services required.
Firstly, we need to look at the bread-and-butter service of delivering responsive repairs.
The vast majority of these jobs should be able to be appointed at the first point of contact, a level
of service that we have come to expect across all areas of our lives and should therefore be no different to any other service we consume.
For this you need the ability to give optimised appointments, by which we mean we are offering a selection
of agreed appointment slots that are ‘pre-optimised’ based upon the intention
of booking the new job into the schedule.
Being able to do this ensures that not only do residents get a first-class service but also the social
housing organisation is running as efficiently as possible as they can be in fully control of how and where
their resources are deployed making sure the jobs are delivered on time and to the right quality.
But this type of optimisation isn’t easy and is probably the most ‘faked’ piece of any scheduling solution.
Those that use any kind of drag and drop, or batch algorithm simply can’t offer this, and you are very often
just booking into ‘available capacity’ with any optimisation only occurring afterwards and therefore giving you a very poor and limited efficiency gain.
On top of this there is the intricacies of some of the social housing processes we also need to take into account such as:
Assessing the needs of vulnerable residents, with the potential to be able to automatically book paired jobs
at the first point of contact.
Booking of more complex jobs that may include multiple trades or need to be booked across multiple days
Allowing the booking of jobs for external contractors – we shouldn’t have to offer a two-tiered service just
because a job requires a contractor
The above is then just one stream of work as within social housing we also need to think about the delivred of
capital works, voids and servicing.
Traditionally these have always been carried out by separate teams with add-on modules provided by suppliers to
give some ability to schedule but usually with some form of batch integration to force those plans into the core
scheduling system. This gives some visibility but poor efficiency.
With the current skills shortage the ability to schedule different work streams across your workforce allows you to
run a more integrated service and utilise your resources far more efficiently.
With the use of add-on modules that can’t schedule in real-time or reactively organisations find it very difficult to
exploit any additional capacity that may be available and usually still operate in silos.
More-IQ has developed a very unique proposition allowing for the real-time and reactive optimisation of all of these
Voids for instance will usually have the need for multi trade jobs with dependencies between tasks, something that the
vast majority of scheduling solution just can’t provide.
Priorities on void needs can change and we need to be able to react quickly to ensure we are focusing on the properties
that are needed for our communities.
All of the above can make such a huge difference to your organisation in being able to run efficiently and make the best
use of your resources.
However, the key message is that you can do this and still offer a high-quality service to your residents across all your
services and keep your communities, safe and happy