Staff in the Spotlight: The Assets Management and Property Services Team

February 24, 2023

CHI’s Asset Management and Property Services (AMPS) Team was recently shortlisted for Housing Team of the Year in the All Ireland Housing Awards 2023. Originally a sub-section of the Customer Services Team, the department became fully operational in Q3 2022. It has now expanded to comprise a national Admin Support Team and two Regional Asset Management Teams with their own maintenance managers and technicians.

CHI’s Director of Assets Management and Property Services, David McCourt explains how an the department was established “The establishment of the Admin Support Team, which is headed up by Administrative Support Manager, Michael Hopkins, has been critical to the department’s success.  The Admin Support Team manages a National Member  Contact Centre which deals with all member repair requests and queries.  Prior to the establishment of AMPS, Members rang local housing officers about repairs. Local offices recorded information in different ways.  This sometimes led to inconsistencies which was insufficient from an asset management and risk perspective.”

The establishment of the centralised National Member Contact Centre has been key to addressing these inconsistencies and critical to the early success of the Asset Management Department.

CHI’s Administrative Support Manager, Michael Hopkins, describes how the Admin Support Team set to work improving how Members report repairs “Upon its establishment, the Admin Support Team’s first task was to physically establish a home for the AMPS Department and the National Contact Centre in CHI’s Avondale Offices in Mulhuddart. The next step was to identify and procure the hardware and software required to run a national call centre.  The procured system streamlined all incoming calls, meaning all calls were received by the National Member Contact Centre rather than their local office.  This small but important change allowed the department to track data and produce metrics to optimise the services that we offer to our Members.”

In July last year, a Data Analyst joined the AMPS team allowing CHI to gather its own data on operations and their successes. One such piece of data is the Eircodes of all properties, which have now been added to information sheets sent to contractors prior to work commencing. Furthermore, CHI has centralised BER data and now knows its energy profile to accurately identify properties to be retrofitted. The Data Analyst has mapped where current and future developments are.

Michael Hopkins, CHI’s Administrative Support  Manager, emphasises the value of having more data available to the team “The goal is to continually improve the service making it more efficient and ensuring value for money is achieved. This data is used to produce KPIs that are reported on to both the EMT and Board. Members are sent troubleshooting guides and ‘how-to’ videos to assist in diagnosing problems and mitigating unnecessary callouts.”

He continues, “We have been using this data to create digital information sheets. These sheets provide practical information to Members on how to prepare  for different types of cyclical maintenance works that may happen in their homes. The information sheets are shared with Members via a link to the CHI website in advance of the scheduled works, for example, chimney cleaning, boiler servicing, and periodic electrical inspections.   Previously there was no standard procedure for communication before scheduled cyclical maintenance works.”

Since establishing the call centre, repair costs have reduced, and the repair escalation process is clearer to Members. Previously, some Members waited until issues were at their worst and called the emergency repair number out of hours. There has been a significant reduction in emergency and after hour calls and repair callouts.

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