Black Country Makes an Appointment with Mobile Working

BCHG is based in Blackheath in the West Midlands with around 2,000 properties under management. The group’s home improvement agency, Homeforce, has been helping customers remain in their homes for over 25 years and carries out work for Birmingham, Sandwell and Dudley Councils as well as other local businesses.

With modern technology becoming more flexible, BCHG decided to introduce mobile working across the business, starting with Homeforce but quickly rolling out to all Housing staff. IT Manager Steve Kesterton and the Management team at BCHG chose to partner with Cloud Dialogs and kicked off a project to implement their Cloud based Service Connect platform in September.

Just four weeks later the Homeforce team went live with phase 1 of the project – this included the introduction of a dynamic scheduling system for appointment booking, ensuring travel time is minimised and the right staff are booked for every job, plus mobile working for the Homeforce operatives. Paper and spreadsheets disappeared over-night and both office staff and operatives threw themselves enthusiastically into the new way of working.

Steve was delighted; ‘The teams attitude during training and adopting to the new technology have been fantastic; this application is the start of a new era of mobile working and service delivery and the team deserve a lot of credit. It also puts BCHG at the forefront of new technology which is brilliant for us all.’

Homeforce is an incredibly reactive business; a large percentage of all work is completed same day and with over a dozen different contracts the team will take on most types of work for most types of customer. Flexibility was very high on the list when looking at potential software systems and Steve wanted a system that BCHG could maintain and adapt themselves so that long-term cost of ownership would be minimised and so that the business could continue to react to new customer demands as quickly as it has done in the past.

Service Connect gives BCHG real-time visibility of performance, both financially and operationally, with electronic material ordering and fully automated time recording and reporting. On the Housing side, the aim is to implement a flexible case and action based solution allowing all staff to have instant access to any information and to eliminate the difference between working in or out of the office.