Following the Digital Work Programme update to
the Performance Monitoring Panel on 18 March 2021, the Housing
Project Manager and Housing Project Officer attended to demonstrate
the capabilities of the Council’s Housing system.
Officers introduced the system with a
presentation, which included the following points:
- a dedicated resource need had been
identified to improve the management of both customers and
- an innovative approach had been
taken. Officers had secured secondments to concentrate on the
Northgate project so that greater effectiveness and efficiencies
could be achieved. Throughout the project, officers had worked with
PSPS colleagues in ICT, Customer Services and the Digital Team. The
officers had also worked with Northgate which had created a new job
- A 360 View had been adopted which
had recorded and maintained holistic details of every property,
this included: customer contact; customer applications; customer
advice and support cases; tenancy management; property repairs;
void works; planned maintenance programmes and contracts. The 360
view had also been used by Customer Services who raised and
appointed jobs through the system;
- Further development was planned to
enable customer online access.
Officers stated that whilst the presentation
had given an overview of the Northgate system, members had also
been invited to shadow the team to obtain a greater understanding
of its capabilities.
Members thanked officers for the presentation
and confirmed that the implementation of the system had been much
welcomed. The following questions were raised:
- Members asked whether the system had
the facility to send reminder notifications of planned work to
- Officers confirmed that a new piece
of work was planned around notifications for residents, which had
included the facility for SMS and email messaging.
- Members asked whether the online
system had been accessible for all residents.
- Officers responded that contact had
currently been restricted to telephone calls and the online system
had not yet been implemented.
- Members asked whether the diary
management system had raised any scheduling issues, such as missed
appointments, and had the job allocation process taken longer.
- Officers stated that the Customer
Contact Centre had been connected to a shared diary system which
had been easier to use than the previous spreadsheet process.
- As the system required a wider
description of each potential task, members questioned whether the
input process had been longer. Had time been saved?
Officers confirmed that the input process had reduced from five
minutes to one minute and that workers had given positive feedback.
Considerable time saving efficiencies had been experienced.
- Members asked if workers had been
able to complete jobs which were not as originally reported.
- Officers confirmed that engineers
had been able to update incorrect details on the system which
enabled the completion of each job.
- Members asked whether the Northgate
system recorded all aspects of the property.
- The officers confirmed this was the
case and stated that over 4.8 million data lines relating to
properties and assets had been programmed. All elements had been
itemised, and details included install dates and repair
- Members questioned the
sophistication of the system in relation to time allocation of each
job. What happened when a job had been completed earlier than
- The officer replied that Northgate
was an agile system which recorded actual time of jobs rather than
specified scheduling. Completed jobs were recorded so availability
of workers had been evident within the system.
- Members asked whether the system had
been capable of routing the scheduling of workers to maximise
travel efficiencies. Had this been monitored?
- The officer confirmed that the
system had been able to route engineers to jobs through the most
efficient means. The system had been live for eight weeks and data
sets would be monitored when the system had been running
officers be thanked for their work on the system and for their
presentation, and that a further update be provided in six/eight