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£114K reduction in rent loss at Saffron Housing Trust

Ad Esse at Saffron Housing Trust - reduce rent loss and empower staff

ROI for the project

  • Reduced key-to-key time from 58 days to 19 days (median)
  • Void rent loss down 50% on average, per month
  • £114K reduction in rent loss when comparing April – Aug 2018 to 2019
  • 75% of residents are now making payment at sign up. Up from 0% before the review.
  • 90% reduction in the use of paper throughout the end-to-end process

Jodie Sherwood is An Assistant Director for the Business Transformation team at Saffron Housing Trust. The organisation provides specialist homes for older & vulnerable people and build properties for those in need. To save costs and improve customer experience, Jodie asked Ad Esse to carry out a process review for Voids and Lettings.

“The Voids review was our very first Lean review and WOW what an impact it has made!”

Jodie Sherwood, Assistant Director (Business Transformation)

The approach

After a discussion and proposal, Ad Esse worked with the internal transformation team and new business analyst to carry out a diagnostic. Value stream mapping was used to pinpoint uneven workloads, overburden and waste in the current voids & letting process. This tool highlighted the cause of delays and errors, which enabled the group to identify and test possible solutions.

The next step was a process redesign. This involved the Voids and Lettings teams working together to agree on the best possible solution. By communicating as a group, they were able to eliminate wasted time waiting for work as one part of the process previously had to stop before another would start.

Acquiring skills throughout the review, the group implemented the new process rapidly. The majority of actions were completed within four weeks of the process. Jodie said, “Our new process is fit for the future and is truly focussed on our customers, designed with them at the heart of it. Not only has the end-to-end process been transformed, the way voids are managed now has also improved significantly.”

A wall of post-it notes on brown paper
People stood looking at a wall of brown paper with lines of post-it notes

The results

Introducing the team to tools such as Information Centres and Void tracker visibly shows performance in a central place. The Lettings team now ask for (‘pull’, rather than be ‘pushed’) the property that their customers want, ensuring the Voids team are optimising their time and improving workflow.

There are fewer voids being worked on and fewer visits for voids operatives. This reduces waste and allows the Voids team capacity to work on value-adding activities for the customer. Moving to any-day tenancies has reduced the overburden on everyone as well as enabling greater choice and flexibility for customers. A clear, concise property standard is understood by all and continuously improved.

“This review really showcased the power of collaborative working to the organisation. Those involved have felt engaged and empowered by the approach taken and continue to use the tools and techniques they have learned to drive continuous improvement.”

Jodie Sherwood, Assistant Director (Business Transformation)

The client

Formed in 2004 from a South Norfolk Council stock transfer, Saffron Housing Trust now own and manage over 6,000 properties across Norfolk and Suffolk.

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