Peterborough City Council
As the transfer of housing stocks continues to gather speed across England and Wales, one of the pioneering authorities has developed a unique partnering agreement to revolutionise its maintenance regime across 10,200 dwellings, benefiting more than 14,000 tenants.
Peterborough City Council, in partnership with Cross Keys Homes, the company which is due to take over its housing stock in October, contracted a consortium led by FSI (FM Solutions) Ltd, to provide state-of-the-art asset management systems, including IT and mobile telecom systems and support which 'went live' in July.
The relationship is unique for a variety of reasons, and alongside FSI partners Cognito and Xmbrace, the Partnership is set to provide the template for best practice for local authorities and housing associations.
The challenge set by Cross Keys was to establish an appointment-based system for provision of services under the Government's Better Housing strategy, providing centralised management information tools to incorporate FSI's ConceptTM Helpdesk, Asset Management Systems and Planned Maintenance Tools, plus a range of Management Information reports.
The objective was to provide integration of asset information, which was able to satisfy three key requirements: to integrate fully with Council legacy systems, to provide added value to tenants, and to underpin a smarter way of working.
A key strategy adopted by the Project Management team was to develop a Partnering Charter, which was signed-up to by all constituent parties. In creating this maintenance framework, the Council and Cross Keys Homes recognised the need to develop a better system of work scheduling and communication between call centre staff and field-based trades people. The system would need to be user friendly, be easy to learn with an integrated training programme and, above all, be reliable to deliver expectations on time.
Key innovations include the integration of new and legacy systems, the implementation of work scheduling with transparency of activities and costs throughout the client organisation, in addition to the agreement of a partnering charter.
Cascade systems were also adopted, with FSI training client teams to instigate a process of training for 200-plus users. Cognito provides the hand-held mobile technology as a fully managed and supported service to enable real-time communication between the call centre and some 60 trades people operating across the city. Xmbrace has delivered the appointments diary and work scheduling system.