The Tees Valley Partnership comprises Stockton on Tees Borough Council, Redcar & Cleveland Council, Middlesborough Council, Beyond Housing and North Star Housing Group.
At a time when financial difficulties are on the rise, the Tees Valley Partnership provides a vital lifeline for those struggling with homelessness or lack of affordable housing.
After just 2 years with their current allocation’s solution provider, the team at Tees Valley Partnership is seeking to introduce a new lettings platform which will deliver a consistent, reliable and a high quality of service for both its customers and staffing teams.
With increasing levels of high priority cases in the region as homelessness rises, the team needed a reliable, stable, user and customer friendly platform to ensure as much staff time as possible was focussed where it really matters.
The team at Tees Valley Partnership tested demos from a variety of organisations against a specification list which would best match their ideal solution. Utilising the G-Cloud 13 tool, which is an online catalogue for public sector customers to procure cloud-based services, the team had multiple interactions with MRI with solution demos, plus other MRI clients who were using the same solution or going through the implementation process were spoken to.
On the basis of the demos, the feedback from the other clients, and the required specifications, the team at Tees Valley Partnership chose MRI Allocations as their new housing allocations solution.
The team were looking for a solution that was very customer focussed, consistent, user friendly, and takes the customer through a process that makes sense to them.
What we’ve often seen on other systems is it might make sense behind the scenes, but actually the customer doesn’t always do things that way. We were looking for something which was very customer focused.
Jane Edmends, Assistant Director (Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council)
Also, it was important that the system was comprehensive for staff to use and made the most effective use of the company’s staffing time.
Dealing with approx. 2,000 applications per borough, reliability and efficiency were of high importance for the Tees Valley Partnership teams. The Partnership was seeking a solution which would allow them to move away from time spent dealing with support calls. With MRI Allocations, the team are looking forward to a reliable platform that allows them to focus on providing support to their communities and confidence in the data they’re dealing with.
From the customer’s point of view, the team are working with MRI to implement an online platform that is user friendly simple to use.
The Tees Valley Partnership place a high importance on the usability of the interface for staff, especially as the unique makeup of the partnership means there are a range of people within different teams who are using and inputting to the system, with different needs.
MRI Allocations delivers an improved, mobile responsive experience with intuitive design and clear, easy-to-complete forms, as well as fully customisable dashboards to suit the user and company workflows.
In order to ensure a smooth implementation, the team at Tees Valley Partnership have been in close contact with the MRI team. As part of the process, multiple levels of people have been consulted at each stage to support the Tees Valley Partnership team, including solution architects, product specialists, account and project management teams, and consultants.
The guys who we’ve spoken to and we’ve been in the sessions with have been great… And we’ve got a good two-way dialogue.
Carol Bruce, Team Leader (Lettings and Nominations), Tees Valley Partnership.
“It was about setting up dates as quickly as possible and being very clear on that in order to deliver within the project timeline. But we didn’t want to implement something which was rushed. So there was a collective understanding of that timeline right at the beginning … if we have had any queries, we’ve had a fast turnaround in response.” Jane Edmends, Assistant Director (Stockton-on-Teed Borough Council)
Decision making and data reporting
With a more stable and reliable platform, the team will have the capacity to be more proactive in their approach to the work within the borough. With access to robust and accurate performance data, the partners can plan and make decisions with a strong foundation of information, allowing them to approach new developments and value adding ventures with confidence.
Certainly the performance management element of being able to extract data when we need it, that’s going to be accurate, up to date, and relevant is going to be a massive time saver for all partnership members. To be able to get that key information as and when we need it is going to deliver efficiencies.
Carol Bruce, Team Leader (Lettings and Nominations), on behalf of the
Tees Valley Partnership