- Process changes resulted in a 68% decrease in average rent loss per void property in general needs
- Total void rent loss during April to Dec 2016 was nearly £55,000 less than the same period the previous year – a reduction of over 50% and a recurring saving
- The removal of waste activity will see the process make capacity savings to the equivalent of approximately £27,000 recurring.
East Thames has now merged with London & Quadrant (L&Q), but at the time of the project were responsible for around 15,000 homes across east London and Essex. They had embarked on an ambitious transformation programme, called ‘Good to Great’, and engaged us to implement a Lean approach to the review of their key processes.
East Thames, like all other housing associations in the UK, faced a significant reduction in their rental income as a result of changes in national housing and welfare policies. To combat this, they ran an organisation-wide transformation programme, part of which looked to improve a number of key processes. East Thames saw Lean as a methodology that could deliver the improved processes and service they wanted, and could simultaneously reduce costs. After successfully delivering a proof of concept project on complaints, East Thames asked us to identify key processes through a diagnostic and then to run a service review of the end-to-end voids process.
The service review was split into three phases – a diagnostic to understand the current state, process redesign and implementation of the new process with new ways of working.
Key problems were that too many people were involved in the process leading to unnecessary hand-offs, there was a lot of excess processing and the process was limited by a weekly rent cycle.
Redesign led to a new process that allowed any-day tenancy commencements for general needs properties, moving activity and work outside the void period and removing unnecessary steps and involvement.
An implementation plan to deliver the new process was created and an Information Centre was set up to help the team to better track and measure their performance.
The main benefits realised included a reduction in rent loss caused by voids and a decrease in time and effort spent on the process. We also saw communication between different teams (including contractors) improve significantly. It was made more effective by visually tracking void progress using the Information Centre and discussing regularly. The focus of voids reviews can be internal, but process improvements have also seen customer satisfaction increase from an average of 77% (YTD August 2015) to 93% (YTD August 2016).