Tenants and residents of West Lancashire Borough Council are to reap the benefits of a new scheme which aims to speed response times to the issues they raise. The Council is working with leading mobile technology company 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com) to introduce a mobile working system for housing officers in its Estate Management Team. The team was picked to be the first to use the new system because of the wide range of services they deliver across the Council’s housing estates, ranging from anti-social behaviour issues, neighbour and boundary disputes to graffiti or fly tipping.
Whilst visiting the estates, the new mobile technology will enable officers to use their Apple iPads to access a wealth of information, normally only available back at the office. This means that they can answer queries from people living in the area, record issues and pass on information to other Council staff immediately, rather than having to wait until they return to their offices. This significantly reduces response times and raises efficiency levels. 1st Touch was chosen as there was an existing integration with the Council’s back-office Aareon Housing Management System. The project team at West Lancashire Borough Council, who selected the system, were also aware that 1st Touch is the recognised market leader in the supply of mobile technology to social housing organisations.
1st Touch mobile workforce applications can bring significant efficiencies and productivity increases to any application where field based operatives equipped with PDAs, smartphone or tablets provide services. 1st Touch has already won widespread acclaim in the social housing market where the software manages, supports and controls all aspects of mobile operatives’ activities.
Councillor Val Hopley, portfolio holder for Landlord Services, said: “The Council is constantly working to improve its services to tenants and residents and this new mobile working system will help us do that. Work can begin immediately on tackling issues raised by tenants rather than having to wait until staff return to their offices.”
Councillor Adrian Owens, portfolio holder for Housing (Finance), Regeneration, and Estates, said: “I am delighted the council is investing in this new mobile system and I am sure tenants and residents will reap the benefits of it.”
The Council is planning for other officers, such as those in rents and property services, to use the scheme in the future.
1st Touch’s CEO Robert Dent, was impressed by the investment that West Lancashire Borough Council is making in tenant services. Commenting on the introduction of mobile technology he noted: “West Lancashire Borough Council has impressed us greatly with both their continuous improvement strategy and their innovative approach to tenant services. The Council has an on-going commitment to ensuring that their tenants and residents receive outstanding levels of support, care and service. Naturally, a critical element of this service delivery is the work of the Estate Management Team, so this was the ideal place to deploy mobile technology first.
“Whilst though it is their housing officers that are using the latest mobile technology, it is ultimately the tenants that will reap the significant benefits available from its use and that is great news. We are delighted that West Lancashire Borough chose 1st Touch to supply the mobile technology used on their Estate Management Team’s iPads and we look forward to helping them apply mobile technology across other areas of the enterprise where similar benefits can be derived.”