Using IT to drive corporate transformation

Suzanne Wolfe, Chief Executive at Industrial Dwellings Society details the organisations corporate transformation through the support of Campbell Tickell.

The Industrial Dwellings Society is a 1,400-home housing association working mainly across London with a venerable history dating back to 1885. We built great homes to ease London’s housing problems long before municipal programmes began and have changed our working practices and systems incrementally over the past 130-plus years.

Despite this, our IT had become outdated and attempts to enhance its functionality had proved both problematic and expensive. Consequently, in 2018, our corporate strategic plan committed the company to invest in new systems that would enable our team to be more effective. This subsequent reduction in management costs would allow resources to be redirected towards those tenants needing most support.

Plan holistically

This marked the starting point of a two-year journey which would ultimately see every aspect of our operations remodelled to become fit for the future. From the outset we were clear that the IT implementations were a subset within our corporate transformation. We needed to be clear on the design principles of our new service model and then co-design the best fulfilment of those principles with our suppliers.

We deliberately took this route in order to break the typical cycle of a highly detailed specification, followed by four years of increasing dissatisfaction with a new IT system that ‘doesn’t do what we specified we wanted’, followed by re-procurement. Nobody said it would be easy, but by tackling the project holistically, planning in parallel both system and team structural changes, we have been able to use systems change as a key tool in the delivery of our corporate transformation.

Our plan

First, we procured a cloud-based housing management system, Civica Cx (Cx meaning ‘customer experience’), with grass-roots end users heavily involved in the process. We pioneered a fast – track implementation with Civica, supported by Campbell Tickell, which enabled us to go live on the core system in just nine months.

Early on, we decided to adapt our business processes to align with the best practice workflows already embedded within the system, thus avoiding expensive bespoke amendments. The system is enabling us to deliver an end-to-end digital solution, including customer and contractor portals, which will eliminate a host of spreadsheets and manual transcriptions. Our decision to co-create with Civica the best exploitation of their system in pursuit of our objectives, was the key factor.

Compliance

We recognised the need to implement a compliance management solution quickly. As such we worked with C365 to introduce its cloud – based solution with mobile data capture, using iAuditor to manage estate-level inspections and follow – up actions. The rapid deployment of both these subscription – based services has put us in a strong position, pending the ultimate roll-out of the integrated Cx and Keystone suite.

We have also updated our office infrastructure by moving to Microsoft Cloud – based solutions. In parallel, we have reviewed our organisational design and developed a more open and flexible structure with broader customer – facing role profiles and, in doing so, created an integrated housing and asset management model.

We are using the Dolphin Index staff survey to chart the move towards our target culture. For the third consecutive year since starting the survey in 2017, the results demonstrate that our people feel more engaged, more creative, more innovative and more customer caring.

Working with Campbell Tickell on our corporate transformation has ensured that IDS’ best interests have remained the most influential factor amidst the hubbub of a multi-stream change programme and the relationship with a busy IT supplier. To date, we have achieved circa 25% savings on our service delivery costs.

This money has been reinvested in our Fire Safety Improvement Programme, which has enabled us to expedite progress on this critical strategic objective. This is just the start of our journey. Next steps will focus on developing our workflow so that it supports further self-service for those tenants who choose this route, meaning further resources can be redirected to meet our corporate objectives.

 

To discuss this article contact Jon Slade on: jon.slade@campbelltickell.com

This article is also featured in CT Brief, Issue 47 – Transformation edition

 

Campbell Tickell is an established multi-disciplinary management and recruitment consultancy, operating across the UK and Ireland, focusing on the housing, social care, local government, sport, leisure, charity and voluntary sectors.

We are a values-based business and firmly place the positioning of our support and challenge on helping organisations to attain change that is well thought through, planned and sustainable. At CT, we want to help organisations create the landscape within which we ourselves would like to exist: fair, inclusive, diverse, engaged and transparent. We build from our values in how we approach all our work as a practice.

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