|By RealWire News Distribution||
|February 20, 2014 01:18 AM EST||
Through deploying 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com) mobile workforce software running on Android technology, South Kesteven District Council's repairs and maintenance operation has achieved significant quantifiable efficiency benefits.
Based in South Lincolnshire, South Kesteven District Council has over 6250 properties in management, spread across a largely rural area covering 367 square miles. The area includes four towns Grantham, Bourne, Stamford and Deepings and numerous villages where many of the properties are located. These are mainly a mixture of general needs and supported housing units, comprising one and two bedroom flats and three bedroom houses. The Council also manages a number of schemes which promote independence for older and vulnerable people.
Keeping tenants and customers happy is of paramount importance to South Kesteven District Council, which has been named as one of the top two in England for residents' happiness by the Office For National Statistics.
Running a good maintenance and responsive repairs operation is an important element in achieving this exceptional result. With a maintenance Team of 30 experienced multi-tasking operatives, South Kesteven District Council is able to provide residents with a comprehensive responsive repairs operation alongside out of hours 'on-call' cover.
As an on-going service requirement the Council looks to:
- Improve efficiency
- Ensure quicker repair times
- Reduce reliance on external contractors
- Reduce travel time for their repairs operatives
- Improve management information
South Kesteven District Council realised that a huge step towards achieving these goals would be achieved by moving to mobile technology. This led to a review of the mobile platforms and workforce management systems capable of delivering on these aims. In reviewing the options available on the market, South Kesteven District Council realised that Android mobile offered the best platform solution in terms of value for money. And, in reviewing mobile workforce solutions South Kesteven District Council discovered that 1st Touch mobile workforce software had recently become available for Android technology. As 1st Touch mobile workforce technology seemed to tick all the boxes in the review, this was ultimately a major factor behind the system's choice.
As David Lewis ICT Manager at South Kesteven District Council notes, "We conducted a review of the different options available on the market. Android has become the market leading mobile platform and the potential value for money advantages it offered us were significant. The devices available were ideal too, as they were small enough to be handy but large enough to be useful. In addition, as 1st Touch had launched an Android version of their software, this fitted well with our use of this exciting new alternative."
Stuart Sheardown the Project Manager at South Kesteven's Property Services Team was involved in the procurement process. He takes up the story.
"Working closely with the ICT team we produced a specification for what we needed from the technology and during the evaluation of the received tenders 1st Touch ticked all the boxes, including the availability of an Android version. So it not only met all of our specifications, it also delivered an effective value for money mobile workforce solution. In addition, 1st Touch could work seamlessly with our Northgate OHMS management system and that is very important to us.
"There was also the 'Smart Airtime' feature of 1st Touch mobile. This is proven for use in rural areas and this was ideal as signal issues are very challenging here. The software only sends and receives information in short encrypted bursts when there is a signal. In terms of communicating with our operatives, this works very well in practise.
"It was also evident, within their tender submission that they were already working with many other social landlords and were well respected in the supply of mobile technology to social housing organisations. We checked with a number of these organisations who used the software and discovered that they were very happy. Indeed 1st Touch is seen as the market leader.
"There was another important consideration behind our choice of 1st Touch too. We needed a contractor that was willing to not only provide the support detailed within the specification but also one that would provide some flexibility, as in many ways this was a design and learning process for us as we had not used mobile technology before. This proved invaluable when we introduced Android and we worked well with 1st Touch on its introduction.
"In practise too, the system works very well. The calls come into the call centre and the repairs scheduler, who takes the call, will put it through to the planning team for an appointment to be made. The planners will then fire the job into the 1st Touch application. Thus, when the relevant operative logs on the following morning he will automatically be sent from home to the first job having done their van checks and risk assessments."
Since its deployment, South Kesteven has derived a number of significant efficiency benefits from 1st Touch Mobile. As Liz Bishop of the South Kesteven Property Services team notes, "There are a number of benefits we have received from using 1st Touch. On average we achieve two more repairs per operative per day, which over 30 operatives is 60 extra jobs per day. This is phenomenal in terms of adding to our efficiency. In addition, the operatives are certainly travelling less miles between jobs, thereby reducing fuel and servicing costs. We're also less dependent on external contractors. Indeed overall, we're highly delighted with the 1st Touch solution."
South Kesteven is looking to use 1st Touch across a number of other areas of the business. As Liz Bishop says, "1st Touch gives us the platform for developing our mobile technology usage in the future. The next step is to implement void working and we will then follow that up by introducing automatic van stocking over the coming months."
Commenting on the use of 1st Touch mobile software at South Kesteven District Council, Robert Dent the CEO of 1st Touch commented, "South Kesteven has been recognised independently by the Office For National Statistics as delivering the very highest levels of tenant happiness in England. This is a major endorsement of just how effective their management team has been in delivering services. Naturally, a key element of this is the responsive repairs operation and we are delighted to hear that by choosing 1st Touch they have derived such significant and quantifiable efficiency benefits. We look forward to working closely with them as they develop the use of mobile technology across the enterprise."
A video of the application can be seen at:
Note to Editors: About 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com)
Southampton based 1st Touch, a subsidiary of Aareon AG (www.aareon.com), has enabled dozens of field workforce-based organisations to embrace new mobile technologies and so achieve significant savings, greater productivity and more cost-effective use of resources. 1st Touch Mobile delivers clear and unique benefits: These include the system's acclaimed 'Smart Airtime' feature where 'airtime' is minimised and the system is always available with or without 'airtime'. The system's flexibility through simple customer control over forms creation and amendment is also widely acclaimed. There is Integration to multiple back office and other enterprise software applications, so that data is entered only once.
With its widely acclaimed mobile technology, 1st Touch has a clear focus on the Social Housing and Local Government markets. Many social housing providers and local authorities, at large, now benefit from the fast and tangible, best of breed benefits that 1st Touch mobile technology delivers to the enterprise.
To date, over 50% of the social housing market, which has deployed mobile technology, has chosen to implement 1st Touch. In local government, 1st Touch has already been adopted for a wide range of mobile workforce uses. Ready to use applications for local authority organisations include: Public Buildings, Highways/Street Services, Environmental/Waste Management, Revenues and Benefits, together with Planning Control and Trading Standards.
1st Touch software is available on a wide variety of platforms including: Windows Mobile, Apple and Android.
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Dec. 3, 2016 06:30 AM EST Reads: 5,970
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Dec. 3, 2016 05:45 AM EST Reads: 6,905
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
Dec. 3, 2016 05:30 AM EST Reads: 1,195
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 3, 2016 04:15 AM EST Reads: 1,707
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, shared the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
Dec. 3, 2016 04:15 AM EST Reads: 3,415
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:30 AM EST Reads: 1,519
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Dec. 3, 2016 02:15 AM EST Reads: 1,489
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Phil Hombledal, Solution Architect at CollabNet, discussed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:15 AM EST Reads: 732
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:45 AM EST Reads: 765
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
Dec. 3, 2016 01:45 AM EST Reads: 4,532
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:15 AM EST Reads: 854
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 3, 2016 12:30 AM EST Reads: 1,519
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
Dec. 3, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,752
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 2, 2016 11:15 PM EST Reads: 904
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 2, 2016 10:30 PM EST Reads: 1,731