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In the fifth of our spotlight series, we spoke to Phil Elvy, Executive Director of Finance at Great Places Housing Group to discuss sector challenges and how the PI Club benefits him.

What was the main driver for you joining Performance Improvement Club?

I have a natural curiosity to find out more and to see if there are better ways of doing things. There’s only so much that can be gleaned from widely available information: The PI club provides the can opener to start asking the right people the right questions.

Quite often apparent differences in performance are actually down to differences in the way things are counted or reported rather than performance itself: The PI club helps break through those barriers and get to the nub of what generates performance improvement.

What has been your biggest learning or light bulb moment since joining the PI Club?

I’m really pleased at some of the openness and willingness to share. I think as a sector we are generally quite good at this, but I have seen this reinforced in the PI club meetings. The challenge brought to the Group by Tony and his team at Vantage is also a positive factor.

My biggest learning: whatever problem, issue or challenge you face, there is almost certainly someone else who has been through or is also current facing the same problem, issue or challenge.

A light bulb moment: at one of the very early meetings a discussion around void re-let times strayed into a slightly different area (sustainability of new lettings) which I then took straight back to the office to understand better what we were doing on new lets. Some of the information that came out of that discussion subsequently informed our thinking about the most appropriate measures for letting activity, with the recognition that a focus on re-let times might not be the most appropriate measure.

What would your advice be to someone thinking of joining the PI Club?

Go for it.  Be positive and the more you contribute, the more you will get back. Be open and share your experiences and you will find others share their experiences with you. The real benefit comes not necessarily from the benchmarking, comparison and analysis that is presented at each meeting, but from the discussion that stems from that.

What do you think are the key challenges for the sector?

Firstly: to achieve a sensible balance between the overwhelming need to build more new homes of all tenures to help tackle the housing crisis, with our fundamental charitable purpose of helping those most in housing need.

Secondly: to be able to effectively and efficiently run businesses that make very long term investment decisions in an operating environment that too often focuses on the short term.

To find out more about the Performance Improvement Club and how you may be able to benefit, register your interest here or give us a call on 0151 342 5989