Established in 1981, Action was originally formed to provide accommodation for adults leaving prison. Since conception, Action has now grown into a multi-service social housing provider, making a real difference and catering for people with a wide range of needs. These include:
- Substance misuse
- Mental ill health support
- Homelessness services
- Young people’s services
- Domestic abuse services
- General housing
With a diverse business model, Action needed to ensure that each business area was managed efficiently, having processes for recording and maintaining accurate information, so that customers could receive the maximum benefits available from their services.
However, having conducted a review of their IT systems in 2015, Action identified a number of limitations within their legacy systems, which affected the quality of their data, reports and analytics.
Although this exercise highlighted a number of issues, the fundamental point was that key performance areas could not be reported on. With a drive for continued service improvement, Action identified this functionality as being a key factor when selecting a new system.
Suzanne Danks, Business Services & Contracts Manager at Action Housing, said “At Action, to fulfil our mission of changing people’s lives, by building HOPE (Homes, Opportunities, Pride, Employability), we provide a wide range of services to cater for customers with general and intensive needs.
To be able to achieve this we must have a system that allows us to store, retrieve and report on accurate information, so that we can quickly identify any shortfalls and enable us to continue to develop and improve the services we provide to our customers.
For a number of years, gathering accurate reports had proven difficult; since our legacy system could not hold all of the data required and would perform analysis calculations incorrectly. There was no self-auditing facilities to target these areas, which would allow us to identify the absent information and address the problem.
This meant that every report generated by the system required an element of manual manipulation to address the inaccuracies, wasting staff time, which could be better spent on furthering business objectives and customer support.
The standard reports available to us were also limited, with no facility to design our own. If we required a new report it had to be developed as a costed exercise.
As new regulations, laws and audit requirements come into effect, this development process would have become a costly endeavour.
Having completed an internal review, Action approached OmniLedger, as we’ve worked with them in the past, for a demonstration of their Pyramid Housing Management system.
The primary objective was to ascertain whether Pyramid was capable of producing reports that would help Action produce accurate information and KPI’s.
To our delight, Pyramid demonstrated that it could achieve both objectives, and included a custom report generator that would provide Action with the facility to conduct self-data audits.
Pyramid’s form filling methodology also meant that staff are prompted to capture all the required data, therefore minimising the risk of omitting critical information.
Our management team soon decided to proceed with the Pyramid Rents and Repairs modules. We were assigned our own project manager, who assisted us throughout the implementation process; customising the system to match our business model and providing ongoing support. Action went live in April 2015, which was only six weeks after the contract was signed.
As part of the project implementation, OmniLedger performed validation checks on our data prior to the upload process. This enabled us to quickly produce accurate reports from the start, removing the requirement for manual manipulation, which immediately provided a return on our investment by saving a significant amount of time.
Once live, we were able to undertake an initial data audit with Pyramid’s extensive reporting tools. This generated a six page report that illustrated the gaps in our customers/tenant data and has allowed us to focus our efforts where needed. We now have procedures in place to minimise this going forward and have far more accurate information on customers entering our care.
Pyramid has continued to provide us with all the information we require quickly, via standard reports, dashboard and customised reports. With access to accurate information, Action has been able to make key business decisions, based on true KPI information, to continually make improvements to our services.
Should we have any enquiries, OmniLedger’s support team can be reached with a single phone call and issues are normally resolved quickly; as opposed to our Legacy system where it could have taken weeks to receive a response.
In 2017, we expanded the system to encompass our supported services with the Pyramid Supporting People, Incident and Safeguarding Monitoring modules.
Historically, each office would have their own case files stored in paper format. This made it difficult for staff to obtain a complete picture for individuals under their care.
By going digital, we minimise our paper-based overheads, as well as centralising all our cases into one database that is accessible to staff at every site. The digital data also enables us to make use of automated email alerts that notify managers of sensitive cases as they’re logged on the system, as well as allowing us to generate performance related reports.
We are currently working together with OmniLedger to develop a new Risk Assessment module, with the goal of digitising the whole process and creating a complete end-to-end solution. As part of this project, OmniLedger will be developing a suite of new reporting tools to enable us to extract and report on the data recorded.
So that this goal is reached, we plan for the new risk assessments module to run in parallel with our current paper based solution as part of the UAT process, prior to going fully digital.”