Agenda item

Northgate system

Members will receive a demonstration by Officers on the capabilities of the Council’s Housing System, Northgate.

 

Minutes:

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 assets;
  • 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 schedule module; 
  • 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 residents.
    • 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?

o   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 condition.

 

  • 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 expected?
    • 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 longer.

 

AGREED

That officers be thanked for their work on the system and for their presentation, and that a further update be provided in six/eight months.