From paper to iPad at Golden Gates Housing Trust

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Housing Technology is the leading IT, technology and telecoms news and information service for the UK social housing sector and related local government agencies.

The magazine is published bi-monthly and the latest November issue contains the following editorial case study .

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Golden Gates Housing Trust has replaced its paper-based repairs processes with an iPad based mobile forms solution from Footprint Solutions. The implementation is as a result of the housing provider’s repairs staff increasing from 230 in 2004 to 370 in 2013 and the need to provide more transparent reporting to tenants.

Golden Gates’ tenants submit repair requests via a customer contact centre, with the repair requests historically passed to the trade operatives in a paper format. When a service request was fulfilled, the trade operative would often take five or more days to return the service paperwork to the contact centre. During this period, the contact centre staff had no visibility of the status of the request, thereby preventing them from providing any service information to the tenant.

 

Peter Fitzhenry, director of housing management, Golden Gates Housing Trust, said, “Our paper-based practices relied heavily upon our contact centre team to process paperwork, but the increased workloads resulting from the investment programme meant that we were forced to look for a paper-free solution.”

 

Golden Gates decided to implement Footprint Solutions’ iPad reporting software iForm Pro to provide paper-free service reports. iForm Pro was configured to automate Golden Gates’ existing service forms to provide a quick and structured method of collecting information using check boxes, drop-down lists, radio buttons and pre-completed fields. Signatures and photos can also be captured on the iPad and there are built-in areas of forms where users can sketch plans and drawings directly into the form.

 

Fitzhenry said, “Operatives can now take photos of a site or location and hand draw onto the photo using iForm Pro. The form is delivered along with all photo attachments, plans and any comments written onto the attached media. This has saved them approximately one hour per operator per day in saved administration time and the solution has saved us a substantial amount of money.”

 

iForm Pro also supports hand-written form filling, providing a fast and convenient method of capturing generic service information such as job comments or customer feedback. The solution converts the hand-written content into data on the device and the operative can review and amend the information before sending it to the service centre in real-time.

 

Steve Lamb, head of ICT services, Golden Gates Housing Trust, said, “The simplicity of iForm Pro and the fact that it is an integrated device that communicates directly to our contact centre were key to the project’s success.”

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