Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Broadacres Achieves Real Productivity Gains With 1st Touch Mobile Workforce Systems

Based in Yorkshire, Broadacres Housing Association provides a full range of housing services to over 5600 homes across both rural areas and market towns. The repairs and maintenance operation is a major element of the services provided. By introducing 1st Touch (www.1sttouch.com) mobile workforce software, Broadacres has derived significant and quantifiable productivity benefits for its repairs operation.

As delivering the highest possible levels of service is the key priority at Broadacres, a decision was taken three years ago to bring the repairs service in-house. This afforded Broadacres the opportunity to look for a mobile solution that could support the work of their responsive repairs operatives in the field. In doing so, Broadacres foresaw real opportunities, to obtain significant efficiencies from using mobile software. This led to a comprehensive review of the market to evaluate the solutions available. The outcome was a decision to go with 1st Touch mobile workforce software.

As Chris Fawcett ICT manager at Broadacres says, "After a review of the market we chose 1st Touch as they had an existing integration with Aareon, the Housing Management system that we use. In addition, whilst our Head Office is in Northallerton, we also have stock in Hambleton, Darlington, Harrogate, Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby, York, Leeds, Redcar and Cleveland. So, with our stock spread over such a large territory, including many rural areas, we needed to find an offline solution. 1st Touch proved ideal here as they have a Smart Airtime feature that only sends information in short encrypted bursts when a signal is available.

"We also needed it to be an enterprise mobile solution; one that was scalable across the full range of services we deliver. 1st Touch was available with a wide range of modules on an Enterprise license basis so in effect it ticked all these boxes and was therefore the system that we decided to implement in support of our repairs operatives."

Since 'go live', the system has worked well in practice. As Tom Gallafant Business Analyst at Broadacres notes, "1st Touch has worked well in practice. Currently, we use the Windows mobile version of the software running on an MC65 device from Motorola. In the future, we are looking at extending our use of 1st Touch to include its multiplatform device capabilities so that we can also use the system with iPhones, iPads as well as Android devices.

"As 1st Touch integrates seamlessly with our Aareon Housing Management system, we are able to create repairs orders easily. These are then passed through to our scheduling system and directed to the operatives wherever they may be either around the area or at home supporting our out of hours commitment. Overall, with the new system, we have saved a great deal in terms of fuel usage and on vehicle maintenance. In addition, 1st Touch helps us in the rural communities as it enables the operatives to carry on working whether or not there is a data signal. 1st Touch also helps us to push our working practices as it allows us to fill out customer surveys directly with the tenant on the doorstep and for gas and electrical operatives to send back data to fill in certificates."

Katherine Proctor, Repairs Manager of Broadacres Housing Association is ideally placed to see the benefits delivered by the system in the field. She notes, "1st Touch software has had a positive impact on the delivery of the services we provide. In short, the system allows us to have greater visibility of what the operatives are working on and their performance. So by monitoring their information, we are able to capture a lot of KPIs such as the 'number of first time fixes' or where there was no access possible.

"The software also allows us to have an automatic link with Jewsons for ordering materials. The operatives carry a given amount of van stock which is listed on their PDAs. When they require replenishment, they can place an order through the PDA which goes automatically to Jewsons who have the goods ready for collection next time the operative is passing the branch."

Overall, the most quantifiable benefit at Broadacres has been in terms of increased productivity. As Katherine Proctor notes, "The biggest benefit is raised productivity. Since the 1st Touch system went live, the number of jobs performed by each operative has increased in some areas from 4.5 jobs a day to 6.5 jobs per day. This has improved our overall efficiency significantly."

Broadacres is looking at ways it can expand the use of 1st Touch mobile software to other areas of the business. As Chris Fawcett explains, "With the success of 1st Touch in Repairs and Asset Management and having an enterprise agreement in place, we are now looking at the other modules available to us for use across the range of services we deliver in housing. These include tenancy management, estate management and anti-social behaviour management modules. In addition, benefit welfare is a big challenge for the organisation and it's important to meet the customers and understand their needs; so having a mobile solution in the housing services and income management side of the organisation is going to be really important."

Robert Dent CEO of 1st Touch believes that Broadacres has put the needs of tenants first throughout its commitment to mobile technology. In his view, "It's rewarding to see a Housing Association drive its commitment to service quality so effectively. By increasing the number of jobs per day so significantly, it not only boosts efficiency gains and productivity but it raises the levels of service delivered to the tenants. In effect then it's a win win situation.

"We are also encouraged to note that Broadacres management are assessing other ways in which the software can enhance the services they provides to tenants. This highly professional commitment to quality is an excellent example of best practice and we look forward to working with them closely as they develop and evolve their use of mobile technology."

A video casestudy of 1st Touch and Broadacres can be downloaded at:
http://www.1sttouch.com/downloads/cat_view/27-video.html

Ends

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.

For further information on 1st Touch please contact:

Cherry Rance
1st Touch
02380 111206.
[email protected]
www.1sttouch.com

or

Leigh Richards
The Right Image PR & Marketing Group
07758 372527
[email protected]
www.therightimage.co.uk

Source: RealWire

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud 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. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Translating agile methodology into real-world best practices within the modern software factory has driven widespread DevOps adoption, yet much work remains to expand workflows and tooling across the enterprise. As models evolve from pockets of experimentation into wholescale organizational reinvention, practitioners find themselves challenged to incorporate the culture and architecture necessary to support DevOps at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).