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Just over one year into a post-merger transformation programme Pobl are already reaping the benefits of working with performance improvement specialists, Vantage.

Unlocking the potential benefits that the merger could deliver was a key objective, but Pobl recognised this would be challenging. Vantage were commissioned to develop a business transformation plan that aligned services to their customers’ needs. Vantage re-designed Pobl’s Assets Team structure and repairs & maintenance operating model, putting the customer at the heart of service delivery.

Pobl, which means people in Welsh, is the result of a merger between Derwen HA in and Charter HA Newport and Gwalia in Swansea. They provide a wide range of care and support services and collectively manage just shy of 12,000 general needs properties with a further 4,000 units of student accommodation across East and West Wales.

The geographical spread and diverse nature of Pobl’s stock presented challenges for their team. They were operating two distinct repairs teams, they had different IT systems and ways of working. Service delivery was inconsistent. Vantage was appointed just before Morgan Sindall, the contractor Pobl had been using to deliver repairs and maintenance, pulled out of the West Wales region. A clearer vision was needed for the repairs service. With this in mind, Vantage became strategic advisors and developed a bespoke transformation strategy for Pobl.

Having a modern and efficient in-house operation was a fundamental element of the new vision. Working with Pobl’s operational teams, Vantage undertook a period of consultation and engagement, defined the systems and processes required. This ensured that all team members were onboard and ‘playing in the right positions’. Following advice from Vantage, Pobl introduced Cloud Dialogs, a service management software system providing appointment booking, dynamic scheduling and mobile working solution. The successful implementation of this system greatly enhanced the management of repairs, dramatically improving the customer experience with corresponding satisfaction level of 94%. Wayne Harris, Director of Assets at Pobl, said “without Vantage’s help redesigning the service approach, the Cloud Dialogs implementation would have been extremely difficult.”

This IT implementation provides tangible benefits for Pobl and their customers, including:

  • Streamlining the scheduling process enabling call centre staff to instantly book customer repairs and assign new jobs at the touch of a button
  • Operatives can quickly and easily upload photographs of their work to a central system, removing the requirement for on-site checks
  • Electronically updating van stock levels and automatically reordering the necessary parts, dramatically reducing wait times through intelligent ordering

Even at this early stage, it is clear these changes have improved the service delivery and will also provide significant cost reductions – savings which can be reinvested into Pobl’s existing stock, developing new homes and the provision of enhanced customer services.