South Liverpool Homes (SLH) is a housing association operating predominantly in the Speke and Garston areas of Liverpool. The organisation is part of the SLH Group, which also includes a social enterprise and development company that aims to transform South Liverpool through investment and a focus on community. With around 3700 homes to manage, SLH were looking for a solution that would enhance their existing approach to arrears management.
Why Income Analytics?
SLH’s main motivation for choosing to implement Orchard Income Analytics was to be able to profile income and arrears cases in a simple way, and improve business performance by negating the need for officers to spend time looking up cases that do not require any action. This allows the Income and Arrears teams to spend their time on supporting tenants who may be struggling financially.
As an existing customer with a strong, well-established relationship with the Orchard team, SLH chose to be an early adopter of Income Analytics after launch in 2017. This would allow them to influence the ongoing development of the system at an early stage, and give feedback on all aspects of the process – as well as already having integration with SLH’s existing Orchard Housing system.
The implementation process
SLH found their implementation of Income Analytics to be easy and seamless from a technical perspective. Bev Lee, Systems Manager at SLH, explains that “Ongoing releases with new functionality are implemented quickly with minimal disruption. Orchard staff are really helpful and respond quickly to any enquiries or issues raised.”.
Orchard Income Analytics uses an agile development methodology, meaning that the future of the system is determined by the users. This is a key benefit of the solution from SLH’s point of view, with users indicating that they felt listened to, and that Orchard were keen to hear feedback and implement changes to further develop the system, enhancing it to the needs of the people using it every day.
SLH are seeing promising results since going live with Income Analytics. Jackie Bishop (Income Enforcement Manager at SLH) states that “SLH are seeing a prompt response from customers to SMS and emails, meaning that this cuts down on Officers having to visit homes, and enables Officers to discuss accounts with customers in a more prompt manner”. In many cases, customers are contacting the team very quickly following an email or text message. In fact, the update time between Income Analytics and the housing system was reduced to just five minutes, as it was found that customers were calling up within a very short time frame of receiving notification of their arrears, in order to settle payment. Integration with the housing management system enables the income team to promptly deal with incoming calls and queries. The SLH team have also found that graphs and displayed information within the system are easy to view, and effectively track the flow of an account in terms of payments. This visual tool is proving to be a good method of communicating payment history and patterns with customers.
As further integration takes place, the team at SLH will continue to work with Income Analytics to help them further streamline their processes, removing all inefficiencies, allowing them to have an even more positive impact on income collection and further reducing risk. This will lead to less time spent chasing non at-risk accounts, and more time focused on helping the customers who need the most assistance.
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