We are clear about the efficiencies the system will deliver
South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA), recently voted Regional Social Landlord of the Year at the Housing Excellence Awards 2011, has chosen mobile workforce software from 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com) to support, manage and control its direct responsive repairs operation; with a view to extending the technology to other field-based disciplines over time. A not for profit, charitable organisation, governed by a voluntary board, SYHA has a stock of over 6000 homes in areas as widespread as Wakefield, Sheffield, Selby and North East Derbyshire. Today over 50% of SYHA’s portfolio is in care and supported housing with services ranging from registered care homes through to supporting people in their own homes. The association’s commitment to delivering these extremely high tenant service levels and the geographical spread of the association’s stock meant that choosing effective mobile software, to support the work of its responsive repairs operatives, became a priority.
1st Touch applications can bring significant efficiencies and productivity increases to any application where field based operatives equipped with PDAs provide services. 1st Touch has already won widespread acclaim in the social housing market where the software manages, supports and control all aspects of mobile operatives’ activities. The resilient but flexible system enables easy, programming-free, user-customisable PDA based solutions to be created through its easy to use graphical interface and is specifically designed to simplify handheld form design and data capture. Any type of electronic form can be generated without the need for Business Process Mapping. 1st Touch has also developed high quality integration with most of the leading housing management systems used by local authority housing organisations and ALMOs.
Indeed a major factor behind the decision to choose 1st Touch is the company’s partnership with Aareon, the developers of the QL Housing management system used by SYHA. 1st Touch also has a proven integration with the OptiTime appointment scheduling also used by the association.
As Russell Wright, SYHA’s Computer Services Manager says, “the partnership and integration between Aareon and 1st Touch was crucial. Whilst we have always placed the introduction of mobile technology high on our priority list, we needed to get the basics right first. This meant ensuring that our Aareon system was exactly how we needed it. Once this was done, we looked at the mobile options in the market and conducted our own due diligence extremely carefully. At first nothing caught our eye but the 1st Touch partnership with Aareon galvanised us by offering a robust practical and proven solution that we were aware had worked well elsewhere and which had effective integration links with QL. It also had a strong track record of integration with OptiTime Scheduling. From our own research and advice from Aareon we gained a good degree of confidence in 1st Touch and this convinced us that it was the right solution for us. We are clear about the efficiencies the system will deliver too. Whether it is the ability to perform more jobs from the resources deployed or to deliver more effective time usage of travel between jobs, the overall effect will feed in to enhanced customer service and to us that is always all important.
“Ultimately, we are looking at other areas where 1st Touch can be used within the organisation. Given that the quality of the software, we could be operational in another business area with as little as an eight week lead time. We are confident, therefore, that we might well be using this technology elsewhere in the enterprise shortly.”
Robert Dent CEO of 1st Touch welcomed Wright’s comments adding, “South Yorkshire Housing Association is an award winning organisation, widely respected for their commitment to delivering only the very best levels of customer care to tenants. Clearly a major part of this service portfolio is their responsive repairs operation and we are thrilled that 1st Touch has been chosen as the mobile solution to manage, control and support this. We look forward to working closely with the association and to exploring other ways that 1st Touch can introduce efficiencies and savings across the enterprise.”
About SYHA (www.syha.co.uk)
South Yorkshire housing association (SYHA) - recently voted Regional Social Landlord of the Year at the Housing Excellence Awards 2011 - is a charitable, not-for-profit, organisation governed by a voluntary board.
Founded in 1972 SYHA now manages more than 6,000 homes throughout the Sheffield City Region.
As the largest provider of Care and Supported Housing in the Region, the support services we offer are expansive; reflecting the wide-range of backgrounds and levels of care our residents require.
About 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com)
1st Touch, based in Southampton UK, has enabled dozens of field workforce-based organisations to embrace new mobile technologies and so achieve significant savings, greater productivity and more cost-effective use of resources.
1st Touch Mobile delivers clear and unique benefits:
- Reduced costs to organisations because airtime is minimised and the system is always available – with or without airtime.
- Flexibility through simple customer control over forms creation and amendment.
- Integration to multiple back office and other enterprise software applications, so that data is entered only once.
With its widely acclaimed mobile technology, 1st Touch has a clear focus on the Social Housing and Local Government markets. Many social housing providers and local authorities, at large, now benefit from the fast and tangible, best of breed benefits that 1st Touch mobile technology delivers to the enterprise.
To date, over 50% of the social housing market, which has deployed mobile technology, has chosen to implement 1st Touch. In local government, 1st Touch has already been adopted for a wide range of mobile workforce uses. Ready to use applications for local authority organisations include: Public Buildings, Highways/Street Services, Environmental/Waste Management, Revenues and Benefits, together with Planning Control and Trading Standards.
1st Touch is a PartnerSelect Authorised ISV for Motorola and an Embedded Technology Partner with Microsoft.
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