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Over 200 staff hours saved at Sutton Housing

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Results & ROI

  • Removal of tenancy audit and cleaning visits saved 184 property visits a month across the Neighbourhoods Team (equivalent of more than 200 staff hours)
  • Delegated authorities process now has 5 handovers and 4 people involved, down from 21 handovers involving 12 staff (significant reduction in overall cycle time)
  • Overall, the equivalent of 1.5 FTE has been freed in the Neighbourhoods Team – some of this has been re-invested in a new, effective fraud process across the Borough

The client

Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) is an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) that manages the social housing stock owned by the London Borough of Sutton (6,500 tenants and 1,500 leaseholders). Through a combination of performance plateauing, the removal of the regulatory framework and welfare reform changes, SHP embarked on a Lean programme of improvement.

The challenge

Following an Organisational Diagnostic, Tenancy Management was selected as a Phase One review. The Neighbourhoods Team were under increasing pressure to deliver more services with the same resources and had very manual processes with lots of bespoke databases and paperwork. The quality of systems data relating to the teams work was also very poor (reporting on team activity had become an industry in itself). Priorties for the review were:

  • Identify quick wins to increase team time and resource on completing value-adding tasks
  • Reduce amount of time spent recording information
  • Remove bespoke databases and improve data quality on ‘official systems’

The approach

The Neighbourhoods Team identified that it was currently involved in a total of 29 processes. These processes were analysed and sorted based on the ability to identify any quick wins, scale of the problems and team resource used in the process. Any quickwin processes, along with any very problematic and time-consuming processes, were tackled first.

On analysing this list, the team identified 3 processes that were not adding any value and were taking up significant amounts of team time – Tenancy Audits (purely administrative), Cleaning Inspections (duplicating visits) and Visiting Sheets (duplicated administrative task). These three tasks were stopped with immediate effect.

The benefits

The review identified many changes and improvements, resulting in an implementation plan containing more than 100 actions. Paperwork and procedures for the processes under review were streamlined and re-written, resulting in time saved and less frustration / re-work. In addition to the headline project ROI, the rest of the time savings have been used to resource another Neighbourhood Officer with a focus on data reporting and systems. Of the 5 bespoke databases that existed, 3 have been eliminated and the other 2 are in the process of being removed.