Sheffield City Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Not shortlisted

Sheffield City Council currently provides a Repairs and Maintenance Service to tenants occupying over 40,000 properties. The organisation offers two main routes of access to the service. The first is through a fully staffed Call Centre and the second is through a web based Graphical Repairs Ordering system (GRO), as with other local authorities Sheffield has a low uptake of its digital offer, however Sheffield seems particularly low. For the 1/6/2017 to 31/5/2018 the service raised 247,209 repairs only 1.4% of these were reported online, low in comparison to Leeds and other core cities functioning at close to 10% and the best performers close to 60%.

Sheffield City Council would like to understand why our digital uptake is so low and what barriers we need to help our customers overcome so that they, and we, become more digitally enabled.

 

 

  • Introduction to service design
  • Introduction to delivery management
  • Introduction to product management
  • Introduction to digital business analysis

Other training requests

Q1: Summary of proposal for the common problem you want to solve, mentioning the cost or opportunity of the problemSheffield City Council currently provides a Repairs and Maintenance Service to tenants occupying over 40,000 properties. The organisation offers two main routes of access to the service. The first is through a fully staffed Call Centre and the second is through a web based Graphical Repairs Ordering system (GRO), as with other local authorities Sheffield has a low uptake of its digital offer, however Sheffield seems particularly low. For the 1/6/2017 to 31/5/2018 the service raised 247,209 repairs only 1.4% of these were reported online, low in comparison to Leeds and other core cities functioning at close to 10% and the best performers close to 60%. Sheffield City Council would like to understand why our digital uptake is so low and what barriers we need to help our customers overcome so that they, and we, become more digitally enabled. Q2: Summary of the common solution you want to develop or iterate, mentioning who you plan to collaborate with* Sheffield City Council would like to undertake a user centred design approach to a discovery phase project to understand the barriers our tenants face when digitally ordering and managing their repairs. We know that the issue of Repairs and Maintenance is the most often raised by tenants and that as a Council the ability to efficiently manage and maintain our housing stock is also of vital importance. We want to understand what is preventing our tenants from reporting digitally and how we can support and best provide a digital journey for them. Outcomes • Understand tenant barriers to using digital technology / systems • What would the requirements of a GRO system look like • The cost benefits of a digital channel shift • Identify opportunities for our wider council services • Utilise the lessons learned within customer experience and ICT strategies Q3 Discovery evidence* Explain how you arrived at the solution proposed in Q2, including a URL to your discovery user research if available. For the period of June 2017 – July 2018 of the Council’s stock of 47,919 properties only 1341 of these accessed the GRO system at a total of just 2.8%. During that time the Council raised a total of 247,209 repairs, at an average volume of 4754 per week, with only 1.4% of these being reported online at a total of just 3462, on average 66.5 per week. DSCOVERY PHASE - ANNEX 2 Q2 How you will approach the problem* Tell us how you plan to deliver this project, mentioning: ● essential events or milestones ● whether you’ll do everything in-house or appoint an external company to lead the project ● how you’ll measure whether your objectives have been met ● how you’ll deliver polished, publishable outputs - including those listed in the prospectus as required - by [insert end date of funding for discoveries] [max 400 words] The service would commission Sheffield City Council’s Business Change and Information Solution service who utilise Business Analysts and Project Managers to ensure effective implementation of change. This service operates on a Council wide basis with access to data and expertise from across the organisation. Changes professionals are therefore able to look at all issues which may create barriers for customers, for example issues that could be evidenced by data provided by Adult Social Care Services and other partners. The service would adopt a user centred design approach, working closely with the Housing Service and the Housing Repairs and Maintenance Service to ensure a joint approach to solving the problem and delivering a solution. The service would undertake qualitative consultation with tenants and findings would be supported by data analysis. The service would be able to deliver all of the requirements attached to the funding. Q3 Benefits to the local government sector* Describe the current cost of the problem you’re looking to address, and highlight the benefits that could be achieved for local people and public service providers if your project is successful (e.g. avoid staff re-keying a lot of data or applicants waiting too long to receive a service). [max 400 words] While the cost to the service of being predominantly reliant on telephone contact can be measured by the cost of our contact centre circa £700,000 dealing with repairs calla alone, the cost to the wider organisation of tenants not being digitally engaged is more significant. The service employs a variety of teams, individuals and front line staff to negotiate processes in the absence of digital engagement. In addition there are a variety of other functions tenants in our properties could perform online such as payment of rent, repairs recharges and sundry costs. By understanding the underlying reasons our customers do not use digital services we can share this information with the wider organisation to maximise our benefits. Q4 Demonstrate how you’ll ensure your work is relevant to others* Describe how you propose to collaborate with other councils in the development and delivery of shareable user research, benefits research and proposals to develop solutions in this phase of work. [max 200 words] As the project would be focussed on barriers to accessing digital services and identifying solutions to these when looking at how to report a repair, the lessons and solution could be adopted by other authorities seeking to improve online reporting. Q5 Impacts expected from funding* Describe the outputs you expect to produce, making sure to mention the 3 required project outputs. Explain how you’ll ensure they’re ready to share online by the last week of the project. Impacts: Securing appropriately skilled resource to deliver insights and evidence that can be used to develop solutions both within the Housing Repairs and Maintenance Service and services across the organisation and other authorities. Benchmarking undertaken with other authorities has identified that local authorities have lower rate of digital take up for repairs, typically in single figures, compared to best performing social housing providers dealing with 6 out of every 10 repairs on line only. The cost of calls handling and processing repairs is £700k per annum, the overall cost of call centre is approximately £2million. This business case and identification of solution would reduce costs, enabling and opening channels to all tenants. Outputs: 1. A User Research Report based on a number of interviews with customers, customer feedback gathered by front line staff and supporting data. This would identify the project challenges and barriers to tenants using digital services and highlight potential opportunities and solutions. 2. A business case looking at the benefit of channel shift from the contact centre to an online offer as well as the benefits to other areas of the business, through digitally enabling our tenants (e.g. rent collection, and waste services) 3. Requirements for a GRO system which would form the Alpha project element and would be developed with input and testing by users. 4. An As Is customer journey and a To Be customer journey with the benefits and efficiencies highlighted and costed if customers were to follow a digital journey as opposed to the current journey. Q6 User research and engagement* Who are your users, how will you engage with them in the discovery phase and what are the proposed user research objectives? September 2018 Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government 12 [max 400 words] The BCIS service are familiar with a variety of customer research and engagement techniques including the use of customer interviews as part of a design thinking approach. Tenants are identifiable through use of Council systems (e.g. OHMS), the project would aim to approach a diverse sample whilst also ensuring appropriate representation from high user and low user customers, including the most vulnerable. The project will seek to engage with customers at local Housing Neighbourhood Offices, First Points, undertaking home visits or via telephone or surveys. The objectives would be to establish: • Views on digital services • Access to technology • Digital skills • Incentives to use technology This would enable the service to: • Identify requirements for a GRO • Identify digital skills needs of tenants • Design a suitable customer journey • Consider how this would be best marketed and implemented • Identify opportunities for channel shift

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