Data – it’s the engine that drives improvements, promotes efficiencies and generates cost savings. Delivering repair and maintenance work across social housing portfolios and for insurance-related claims is high-volume and varied work that can involve a huge breadth of jobs. With so much data available and in so many forms, it can be difficult to know what you really need to track, what it’s telling you and how it can help you make a difference.
Understanding the data you have access to is the starting point as this will help create a benchmark. With this in place, you can go on to understand where you need to focus your efforts to drive improvements, whether these be process or cost-based. The data you collect may confirm known inefficiencies, shed a light on new ones or even show over-performance. It creates a culture of transparency and robustness that ensures issues are dealt with openly and promptly.
Better data is about more than just analysis and interpretation though. It is also the conduit to a better experience for the customers who are on the receiving end of the repair and maintenance services being provided on a day to day basis. Quality, well-maintained data means not only do you know what you are repairing and that you’re doing it in the most efficient way, but you know who your customer is, what their history is and any special circumstances surrounding that customer.
There are a few key areas that you can start monitoring as you begin your data journey to help tell your story not just internally but to your clients as well:
- Work order response times – this will show how long it’s taking to fulfil repair requests. This data can be used as a diagnostic tool, to look at why some jobs are taking longer than expected, and also as a prescriptive tool, creating process improvements to reduce overall response times
- Planned v reactive maintenance – as data lends itself to being analysed, this dataset can help understand the performance of a maintenance schedule and identify whether the root cause is one that you can address immediately or one that exists elsewhere such as in the supply chain or client approval process
- Cost per repair – understanding this number is critical for not just in-month cost management but also as part of annual budgeting and strategic conversations about expected cost profiles
- Energy use and audits – sustainability is increasingly important to both property owners and the tenants they house, however, there is a big cost v benefit conversation still ongoing. Diagnostic analytics can help portfolio owners understand where inefficiencies exist and where more streamlined solutions such as motion-sensitive lighting in communal areas could contribute to managing costs
Repair Data Framework
Once the framework is in place to start managing data at a holistic level, there is then a myriad of insight that can be gained from understanding data from the front line. This means equipping the engineers and technicians with the right kit and systems to be able to update, record and track information in real-time during the course of their day. Whether it’s basic repairs such as a broken door handle or larger projects such as kitchen replacement, the right set-up means your workforce can track everything from the time it takes to travel to the site, evidence the completion of jobs with photographs and even managing stock levels.
Insurance and Social Housing Repair and Maintenance Data
At RFM, we have worked collaboratively with our insurance and social housing clients to understand what’s really important to them from a data and insight perspective and have used this to inform our own workforce and job management solution. From scheduling jobs and managing any access issues through to auto-generating purchase orders for replacement parts or materials, our intuitive data solution helps us deliver for the customers who need support and helps our clients manage their business more effectively.
Getting to grips with data can feel daunting but the resulting insight can truly transform the way things are done meaning it’s worth investing the time in exploring what’s appropriate for your business needs. Data is where all business decisions should start – if it can be measured then it can be monitored and the chances are, improved upon. Whether working with a repair and maintenance partner or managing your own portfolio, repairing your job-based data is an essential step.
Before you embark on a major project to reduce energy consumption, do you know where you currently use energy? That is the vital starting point, as RFM’s Client Services Director Mark Flanagan explains.