About the client
Organisation Name: Home Group
Type Of Organisation: Housing Association
Size of Organisation: 45,000 Units
Contact Name: Paul Day
Contact's Position within Organisation: Asset Management
About the project
Type of Work
Stock Condition Survey and Energy Performance Data
Period Of Contract
July 2017 - Present
Summary of Contract
Home Group provide general needs and supported housing all across the UK. Rand Associates were commissioned in July 2017 to survey the supported housing stock.
Home Group have had mixed experience with stock condition surveys over the years and have had issues recently with data transfer on a stock condition survey.
Concerns were raised by Home Group at start up meetings over access to data to enable tracking of maintenance liabilities and production of budgets. As a result of prior experience Home Group elected to use their own data capture and software systems (Integrator and Notus). This presented challenges for us as it is a departure from our normal operating processes (Rand Associates eSurveys app).
Two Pilot surveys were conducted that exposed flaws with the ability of Notus to cope with the potential variability that was expected on site.
The main issue is that Integrator requires each property to be predefined in terms of asset type (e.g. Bungalow, house, flat etc.) due to the fact that each property is assigned a ‘Survey Type’ (i.e. Flat surveys do not include external components). Home Group also knew that the stocklist was not accurate as to the property types in each location and changes would be required on confirmation.
Our IT department set all of the iPads up with Notus and included pairing/tethering to mobile phones to ensure survey type changes could be made by surveyors requesting changes via the office (and the client) and re-synchronising to ascertain the corrections. This did result in additional admin time for all involved but allowed us to continue to operate as per the client’s preferences.
The nature of the use of the stock to be surveyed also presented a challenge as specific notice periods for occupants had to be observed and access arrangements had to be relayed through a number of different contacts. Our project management team decided to deploy our project co-ordinator as the central point of contact to monitor all survey type change requests and issues associated with access and notification. This became pivotal in the success of the project and was recognised by the client as an added value benefit of instructing Rand Associates.
This assignment required a different approach as data fed directly into the client’s system prior to the quality control stage. We worked with Home Group’s IT department for a solution. The IT department were able to extract full data sets which were then analysed by Rand Associates for potential errors.
We then collated lists of properties with potential issues and asked the client to re-send populated surveys back to the survey team for cross checking with the potential issues identified. This allowed a very transparent and auditable process for data quality control which gave the client great comfort given their previous experiences.
The entire assignment has been very challenging, largely due to the limitations of the preferred software package, but also due to the type of accommodation and access protocols. Throughout the project we have consistently sought solutions to ensure the main objectives of the exercise have remained on course. Home Group have been able to utilise the data to plan improvement works for their 5 year investment programme.Rand Associates are very proud to continue providing support to Home Group on their asset management requirements, our contract has been extended, and we are ready to assist our client in solving their problems.
Feed back from client
This project was tendered with a very tight timetable driven by the need to inform future planned maintenance budgets.
Rand Associates showed a willingness to work with Home Group to resolve problems as they arose and adopted a flexible approach throughout which has contributed to the success of the project.