Friday, 21 March 2014

Believe That I Understand (my Repairs KPIs)

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK

Repairs is such a large area of expenditure and for most housing organisations, takes up over half of all calls and communications received. In these times of austerity, good analysis of repairs data can make the difference between surplus and deficiet for many. Demonstrating value for money and social value in your communities is also of importance.

So how should this be tackled? Do we understand our service? What do our residents, tenants and other 'customers' want from the repairs service? Do we understand our resources available to deliver our service? Are we adequately distinguishing responsive and planned expenditure. How do we design our KPI's to measure it all properly?

While housing organisations are all essentially providing similar themes in a repairs service, geography, type of resident or other factors will uniquely shape yours. Understanding schedule of rates and how these can be your friend in shaping how your repairs are reported, diagnosed and costed is crucial to managing your service. I have worked with organisations who are comfortable with operating with 3,000+ and paradoxically others who survive on just 60 'find fault and rectify' type items. Of course, there all shades in between. The latter follow a more 'John Seddon/Vanguard' approach, while the former might suit more an internal DLO type structure.

Neither extreme is right or wrong, nor the shades in between. However an understanding can help you make the most of your situation and assist in the design of the KPI's you need in shaping your own service. Over the past couple of decades, repairs have generally been graded by priority into Emergency, Urgent and Routine. Recent thinking questions this approach and many are now moving to more of an Emergency, plus the rest philosophy in terms of service. This can have benefits, but also put stress onto your resources.

Once measuring and generating KPIs, it is also important to benchmark against your peers and neighbours in the area, or your field of operation, to generate insight and to take advantage of good practice. For example, if your specialty is Care & Support, benchmark with other C&S providers.

Your KPI's need to be believable too, particularly measurements of satisfaction. How should you tackle this? There are many methods of collecting satisfaction. These range from traditional carding of customers after repairs completed, to automatic polling, manual polling using a call centre and increasingly partnering contractors measuring it, in order to satisfy bonus thresholds. Partnering often involves certain levels of trust, but can you really trust your contractors always hitting that 95% satisfaction KPI, which triggers bonus payments?

Presentation of your KPI's also need to be taloired to your target audience. This could be your own repairs staff or contractors, in order to drive improvements. In this case, exception reports might be the best medium. For your board, main stakeholders or external funders, more of a dashboard, is likely to hit the spot. There are plenty of fancy-pants products out there to present your KPIs in a neat set of dials and progress bars etc. However, smaller organisations can cope just as well using Excel.

A little bit of guidence is often all you need to set you on the right path. Thats why we have teamed up with those good eggs at the Rod Laird organisation, to present two courses to help with repairs KPI's and reporting this spring. To book in London or Manchester, follow this link  

You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

Read on to : Drones in housing, dropping in near you soon?

Magazine - Believe That I Understand.

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

PS As usual, if there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!

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