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Results & ROI

  • Calls handled increased from 25% in previous year to 84% after the review during the peak April call period
  • Improved Leaseholder experience through implementation of a Leaseholder enquiry tracker
  • Reduced call time as a result of an increased in Leaseholders setting up their own repayment arrangements

The client

Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) is an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) responsible for delivering high quality housing services to tenants and leaseholders living in approximately 21,000 properties. Leaseholders now represent a significant and growing proportion of the residents with over 9,000 leasehold properties owned by THH, which equates to approximately 44% of the Council’s total housing stock.

The challenge

THH asked Ad Esse support to review their Leasehold processes. The focus of the review was on improving Leaseholder experience and satisfaction, standardising processes to provide greater reliability, and improving performance reporting and measures. A key driver for the review was the need to alleviate the pressure felt during the peak call period for Service Charge enquiries in April. THH recognised that failure demand coming into the team and poor processes were impacting on the productivity of the Leasehold team and ultimately impacting on the customer experience. They also felt there were opportunities to be more effective with IT and other resources, and improve visibility and interactions across the process with both internal and external stakeholders.

The approach

The review started with diagnostic activity and focused on mapping the current state process. This highlighted some common themes including high levels of waste activity across the process, a lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities and a lack of standardisation in ways of working.

In order to improve the process, the purpose was clearly defined and used to agree the redesign principles to which the future state process should adhere. These principles included improving communication and visibility of enquiries across teams, and standardising the process to reduce touch time.
As the project group went through the steps of Ideal and Future State Process Redesign they identified a number of quick wins to implement almost immediately. These included; increasing resource and extending working hours and weekend work in the peak April period, introduction of an enquiries tracker to allow the team to track and monitor more effectively, review of all arrears letters and introduction of a suite of standard letters and offering a £25 incentive for full payment amongst others.
In addition a number of longer term changes such as moving to a one-stage enquiry process, working on legal case files case by case, rather than as a batch, and rationalising arrears codes were identified.

The benefits

The team were enthusiastic, so identified benefits were starting to be realised soon after the 8-week review phase was complete. Identified benefits included:
  • Reduction in time taken to respond to disputes and enquires
  • Reduction in the number of enquires from Leaseholders
  • Reduction in failure demand
  • Improved ability to update legal case files
  • Improved reporting abilities about the progress being made with arrears cases