The use of technology today is evolving within the housing industry with the introduction of field service scheduling and the rise of the mobile worker. We take a look at the housing crisis today and how dynamic scheduling can benefit the housing industry.
The Housing Crisis Today
According to AMA Research housing associations account for 60% of the current housing stock in 2017-18 and also form the largest not for profit market in the UK. The sector is currently facing funding issues influenced through budget restraints from local authority organisations. Additionally, the quality and safety of housing is a main concern within the housing landscape. According to The Guardian, over 300,000 households in the UK social housing market are overcrowded today official statistics report. Additionally, they state the English Housing Survey reported over a quarter of a million residents are living in overcrowded conditions in private rented accommodation. These statistics are the highest recorded since 1996. Furthermore, in order to solve the housing crisis, the BBC reported 3 million new social homes must be built in England over the next 20 years. These issues can ultimately result in health and safety risks. As well as this, further challenges include the lack of effective regulation in the private housing sector, high costs of renting and home ownership and the effects of cuts to vulnerable people.
Due to budget cuts and the housing crisis, housing workers have felt an increased pressure to do more with less. It has become increasingly difficult to provide a high standard of service, while capturing the required information and ensuring compliance is maintained. With these challenges in mind, now is the time for housing teams to review processes in terms of how technology is used. Having access to the correct tools to capture data and information, gain visibility of large field-based teams, while delivering a responsive customer service is a must.
The Rise of Technology in the Housing Industry
In order for housing field staff to record and plan their work such as maintenance repairs, and have access to their schedule, they must invest in the right technology. Today, housing associations and local government authorities are making the shift towards equipping their field staff with the right tools to record information whilst out in the field. Through the use of mobile workforce management technology and dynamic scheduling solutions, field staff can record job information and access their real time schedules. Mobile technology ensures all job information is recorded at the point of service and field staff can access relevant housing repairs forms and their schedule via their device, anytime, anywhere. Housing field staff can therefore benefit from a reduction in completing paper processes, ensuring compliance and health and safety standards are met, and also reduces travel time and costs back and forth to the office.
What is Dynamic Scheduling?
Scheduling is the process of arranging, controlling and optimising work and workloads in a production process. In relation to mobile working, scheduling involves managing your field-based workforce and their workloads, planning their daily rota and activities whilst dealing with other operational requirements of the job such as annual leave and sickness. Scheduling software today is essential in the housing industry as without it planners have to manually input information, re-arrange schedules which can be a timely process, deal with adjustments to the schedule as they occur, all whilst dealing with their day to day role.
Dynamic scheduling, as its name implies, is a method in which the software determines which instructions to execute, as opposed to a statically scheduled machine, in which the compiler determines the order of execution. It allows for easy, real time access to job information as the day unfolds.
How is Dynamic Scheduling Used Within the Housing Industry?
Along with keeping track of your housing field teams, dynamic scheduling allows for housing management teams to reschedule resources, eliminate unnecessary travel time with efficient routing, whilst having tenants’ details to hand all in one dashboard. Housing associations can hugely benefit from implementing a scheduling solution. Benefits include:
- By providing mobile workers with instant access to their schedule, it allows them to immediately get to work. Information can be easily recorded at the location, ensuring all is accurate and simply updated via a mobile device, resulting in more jobs completed in a day.
- Providing field staff with visibility of their schedule in advance via a mobile device ensures visits are carried out efficiently, limits travel back to the office and results in greater productivity.
- Field staff no longer need to travel between visits to the office and instead can travel from job to job, cutting down on fuel expenses and travel time.
- Improved SLA’s and compliance standards are met as all information is captured and tracked at the point of service delivery such as tenants’ signatures and maintenance repair images. This information is essential for health and safety and insurance purposes.
- Reacting to schedule adjustments as and when they occur allows housing field staff to deliver an efficient service to tenants. If a field worker is running late for example, this will be recorded and updated in the schedule in real time, allowing planners to reschedule another mobile worker and ensuring a proficient service to citizens.
Dynamic Scheduling from Totalmobile
At Totalmobile, we provide housing organisations with a flexible dynamic scheduling solution which enables organisations to solve complex real-world scheduling challenges. We do this by providing staff with schedules that adapt to the changing day and are consistently efficient. Our dynamic scheduling solution simplifies scheduling processes for you, enabling an efficient scheduling process. If you’d like to find out more about our dynamic scheduling solution and how it benefits the housing and local government industry, contact us for further information or download our product brochure here.