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43% reduction in backlogs at One Housing Group

Ad Esse at One Housing Group - reduce backlogs

Results & ROI

  • 43% reduction work in progress jobs

The client

One Housing Group is a housing association, managing 16,000 homes across London and surrounding counties. They embarked on a Lean Transformation programme with Ad Esse, called ‘One Future,’ which involved an organisation-wide diagnostic followed by a series of process reviews and Lean Foundation implementation activities. One of the initial service reviews was an end-to-end redesign of responsive repairs and gas repairs, which was supported by two in house Lean Practitioners.

The challenge

Although there was some pressure to improve responsive repairs from OHG customers, the diagnostic indicated that productivity and customer service could be dramatically improved by addressing some root causes of failure.

Like many housing associations, they used a “jobs per man per day” (JPMPD) and completion date targets to assess the performance of repairs for both individuals and teams. However, this led to many problems: jobs being closed when the repair was not actually complete (true for about 18% of repairs), operatives seeing a ‘no access’ as potentially attractive for their performance, etc. The number of follow-on jobs was also very high due to further works being required.

There were also many issues with the way repairs were diagnosed in the repairs contact centre. This included, the communication between teams, the poor flow of data, a lack of customer focus and systems alongside technology that wasn’t helping staff to meet their customers needs.

The approach

Following the diagnostic, Ad Esse agreed an approach with managers that followed three main strands:

  • Moving away from JPMPD to a true First Time Fix (FTF) measure. This merciless measure would only look at whether a job had been completed to the customer’s satisfaction on the first visit by OHG. If not, this scored a zero. As part of this, jobs were kept open on a single job number until it was completed – no closing and reopening of jobs.
  • Information Centres were introduced for each team within responsive and gas repairs. This led to a long corridor of team Information Centres, each updated on a daily basis with any reasons for follow-ons recorded. Operative engagement increased substantially as a result of daily discussions about real performance and issues.
  • A number of changes to processes, systems, and team roles meant that every team had clearer processes, more effective measures and better links with other teams up and downstream.

The benefits

Once the new process was embedded and trade supervisors took responsibility for their Information Centres, within a few months there was an increase in the true FTF rate from about 46% at the start of using that measure to 64% and in the same period the team’s work in progress (WIP) reduced from 900 jobs to 510 jobs.

“Changing the culture and focus of teams can be challenging, but by focusing on the customer experience and how the process impacts our customers while using Lean tools and techniques, we could ensure we found the right solutions. The significant improvements in first time fix rates is not just better for customer satisfaction; its helping bring the volume of work down to record lows, enabling the maintenance team to respond more quickly to repair requests.”  

Dan Oehlman, Head of Business Change