Everything that we do is about delivering a high quality service for our clients and customers, by ensuring an integrated approach to operational delivery backed by exceptional customer care. Whether we are running the contact centre or delivering responsive repairs, voids or planned works, we create a consistent customer experience, tailored to each individual and client partnership through our ISO 9001 certified Excellence model which provides a structured approach that supports delivery of upper quartile performance. This is part of the reason that our clients trust and want to work with us for the long term and the reason that their residents, our customers, rely on us to help them fix and improve their homes.
We have extensive experience of delivering a fast, efficient and customer focussed 24/7/365 responsive repairs service across a diverse geographic area. We pride ourselves on delivering a best in breed customer experience, and are award winning members of the Institute of Customer Service. We provide repairs to a variety of social housing clients, including Winchester City Council, London Borough of Waltham Forest and Dacorum Borough Council.
We deliver upper quartile performance on all of these contracts through our ISO9001 certified Excellence Model which underpins our services, ensuring consistent, high quality delivery through carefully tailored processes which are configured to client and customer requirements. The Excellence Model allows us to soundly plan and deliver repairs in a structured and disciplined manner, whilst measuring our performance against pre-agreed KPIs which are reviewed with clients, customers and stakeholders to confirm that we are delivering our commitments.
Our award winning IT systems are aligned to each client’s own Excellence Model to plan and manage repair resources, accurately diagnose repairs, schedule appointments and despatch jobs to operatives, fully managing all works on site to completion. We can manage the entire repair service through our IT systems, even carrying out customer satisfaction surveys on site through our operatives’ PDAs powered by 1st Touch. The application of our IT systems has allowed us to realise significant performance improvements of between 3% and 15% across our key repair metrics since implementation.
The power and capabilities of our best of breed IT systems is also harnessed to produce detailed demand analysis reports of repair patterns to identify properties reporting high volumes of repairs. As a result, we can identify the worst performing locations and develop targeted preventative maintenance strategies to address root causes and reduce future spend levels as part of a wider asset management approach for our clients.
Providing high quality planned maintenance and capital improvement works helps our clients to update and maintain their housing stock for the long term. We have successfully delivered comprehensive Decent Homes refurbishment schemes as well as targeted planned improvement works and rolling capital investment programmes for over a decade. With an established track record of completing works on time, to the right quality standard and within budget, coupled with the highest levels of customer satisfaction, Osborne has fast become a partner of choice in all elements of planned works.
We are currently delivering one of the largest programmes of planned investment works in London through our long term partnership with the London Borough of Waltham Forest. The service covers all elements of property refurbishments to social housing stock in Waltham Forest including kitchens, bathrooms, external refurbishments, window replacement schemes and FRA improvement schemes. As well as the physical delivery of works we also carry out validation surveys, design work and planning applications.
To deliver service excellence we use a detailed communication plan to ensure our clients and customers are fully aware of what is happening, when, and what is needed of them. Customer care during property refurbishments is something which we pride ourselves on, taking the time to work with each individual customer to understand their needs and ensure that our refurbishment works are delivered with minimal disruption to their day to day lives. Our Resident Liaison teams provide tailored solutions and a truly brilliant service which places customer care at the very heart of what we do.
We provide complete attention to detail in the quality of workmanship with all of our teams taking great pride in the quality of finished works and the difference that refurbishment works can make to customers’ lives. We utilise integrated IT systems to support this process, capturing all key asset data and installation works to support clients’ asset management strategies. By combining high quality service delivery with excellent customer care, we deliver works which are completed on time, to agreed quality standards and within budgets, with satisfaction levels in excess of 95%.
Voids / Empty Houses
Voids are empty homes which need to be refurbished as quickly as possible so new customers can move in. With demand for social housing growing, we play an important role in helping to keep our clients’ waiting list as short as possible and minimise the rent loss that results from a domestic dwelling being unoccupied. We work tirelessly to complete work ahead of time so properties can be offered to new customers with the minimum of delay.
Across our existing contract portfolio, we consistently beat our clients’ target levels to help deliver a seamless and fast-tracked key to key void process. Our experience and capabilities cover both minor and major voids, with the latter incorporating the installation of new kitchens and bathrooms which are completed 20% below the clients target times (on average) as a result of our efficient work processes.
Best practice methods for delivering void works are founded on our Excellence Model to implement and tailor our processes to deliver a high quality voids service in the fastest possible timescales and best quality standards. We have worked with our clients to streamline the joint void processes to drive efficiencies through improved key management, greater ownership of the pre-inspections process and faster supply chain coordination.
We have also worked hard to improve the communication flows utilising our IT systems to assist in the provision of vital information between service stakeholders. This is critical, as for many of our clients we deliver responsive repairs together with voids services. By having shared information, we track critical data around compliance, warranties, and asbesto. This lets us offer more joined up services to help clients manage their housing stock more holistically.
Total Asset Management
We recognise that a number of our clients are making the move towards integrated service delivery, combining responsive repairs, voids, and planned works under one contract. This will help them deliver a total asset management approach to better manage their housing stock for the long term, reducing risks and ensuring its long term sustainability, whilst maximising the financial value of their assets. As members of the Institute of Asset Management, Osborne is helping our clients to deliver total asset management on integrated partnerships such as the London Borough of Waltham Forest and Dacorum Borough Council. We are also working collaboratively with other contractors where possible for responsive repairs.
We recognise the value of asset management and the benefits it brings both as a strategic tool and in respect of the cultural approach required to operational delivery. As a as a strategic tool, we apply asset management with our clients at borough, ward and individual household level to make informed decisions on the effective and efficient management of housing stock, physical building fabric, associated components and housing occupants. We then support them in delivering their asset management strategies by creating the right cultural and operational approach in our contract delivery teams. This ensures the repairs, voids, planned works and commercial teams, as well as our customer experience teams, are joined up to deliver the best outcomes.
As a result, not only do we help clients improve their housing stock, but we are also able to generate savings and improved outcomes, whilst ensuring the long term sustainability of our client partnerships and the longevity of their housing stock. We do this by going beyond the normal contract requirements by creating an integrated repairs and maintenance service, helping our clients to make informed decisions within agreed parameters on where to direct resources to maximise benefits in the short, medium and long term.
"InTouch" Call Centre and Right First Time Diagnostics
We deliver high quality services by utilising integrated IT systems in our contact centre which help us deliver exceptional Right First Time (RFT) performance through robust job diagnostics. Since we implemented our new IT solution in 2012, we have increased RFT rates by 5% and customer satisfaction by 9%. Our integrated IT solution, utilised by trained Customer Service Agents, ensures we correctly diagnose the nature of the repair through a series of pre-defined scripts in order to support RFT diagnosis at the first point of customer contact.
Our best practice scripts are developed and refined with both clients and customers in alignment to our ISO 9001 Excellence Model for each element of the service. The scripts are critical to identify the right type of repair, so that we send the right operative and equipment to deliver the works Right First Time. Once the works are diagnosed, their order is generated and automatically transferred to our dynamic scheduling system to allow our CSAs to make an appointment with the customer instantly. We also recognise that our call centre teams manage the customer experience more widely; so we build scripts which ensure that any warm handoffs to other client teams go to the right place to support customer care.
The scripts and diagnostic processes are also driven by continuous improvement. Our IT systems are dynamic, enabling our CSAs to make instant recommendations on how to improve scripts. Our IT teams can roll out updates instantly, ensuring we are dynamic in our approach to customer care. This type of flexibility is reflected on our London Borough of Waltham Forest and Affinity Sutton contracts where we run the contact centre. Our right first time performance is 94%, and we deliver 96 % of appointments within priority timescales. Satisfaction ultimately starts at the beginning of the customer’s journey with any repairs service, so we ensure that we take every opportunity to deliver the most exceptional customer care.
To support the delivery of long-term community investment, we carry out supporting activities to help our clients deliver their commitments under the Social Value Act to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of their customers and communities. We utilise a social value framework which is based on the British Standards (ISO 26000) for Social Responsibility and includes our Community Investment Policy, Goals & Strategies and Action Plan structure. The framework comprises 7 areas, covering community involvement, social investment, education and culture, employment and skills, health, wealth and income creation, and technology.
For our long term partnerships, we utilise this framework to create a contract specific Legacy plan for each of our clients to support long term investment aligned to their wider strategic priorities. These plans are created in collaboration with our clients and customers to ensure that the initiatives we deliver are relevant and will target investment into the right places. On long term partnerships, we have a significant opportunity to create positive impacts by adding lasting value at a local and individual level. In our view, this is focussed around the things we will do which go the extra mile to make a tangible difference in people’s lives as well as in local communities.
Each Legacy Plan specifically details out our commitments and the benefits we will deliver so that we can measure the success of our approach. We refresh the plans at a minimum annually with clients and customers to ensure that they remain relevant and follow best practice guidance. We believe that community investment should not be ad hoc but planned in a structured way with clients and customers to ensure that it delivers maximum benefits for everyone.