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CRM Selected for Welsh Housing Agency

November 12, 2007

In yet another sign of the growing popularity of CRM for the public sector, the United Welsh Housing Association has signed a contract for Customer Relationship Management systems in order to, well, improve its customer service. Encouraging that government agencies are even thinking in those terms now, isn't it?

IBS OPENSystems will provide United Welsh with its OPENHousing, OPENFinancials, and OPENMobile software to "streamline document management, workflow processes and ultimately enhance the service provided to customers," IBS officials say.

IBS OPENSystems' software will go live in April 2008 and is expected to "generate efficiency gains across United Welsh's housing operations," agency officials say, adding that the product will "provide the 125 members of staff with a variety of enhancements from communication methods with customers and contractors, to superior streamlining of document management and workflow."

United Welsh is one of Wales' leading Housing Associations. They provide housing services to over 3,600 properties, providing "homes that people can afford to rent or buy." The organization also provides accommodation for older people through its Living+ scheme and for individuals with additional support needs.

Tracy Williams, ICT Manager for United Welsh, said the IBS product will "enable our staff to process documents such as invoices and bills more efficiently, whilst offering customers the ultimate service through our users' access to real-time data. Once the system is fully implemented, caller I.D. will be instantly recognized. The user will be able to view customer call history and details enabling requests to be dealt with more efficiently."

Last month IBS signed a five-year agreement worth over a million pounds with Sandwell Homes. IBS will provide Sandwell Homes with a housing management system and enable the company to achieve £300,000 a year in ongoing efficiencies.

Sandwell Homes is an Arms Length Management Organization (ALMO) set up by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council to manage 30,000 council dwellings. It provides services to tenants and leaseholders such as repairs and estate management and is currently part way through a £500 million Decent Homes investment program.

Sandwell Homes is keen to improve its rating with the Audit Commission. At its last inspection in July 2005, it received two stars out of a possible three with services rated as good. To oversee this improvement, the Sandwell Homes Achieving Performance Excellence project team was put together to select a new housing management system.


David Sims is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.