“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change” – Charles Darwin- Naturalist and Geologist
“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” —Peter Drucker
In all business and service organisations, control of processes and rapid access to information is critical to levels of efficiency and customer service. Nowhere is this proposition truer than in the social housing sector. If housing associations are to be able to provide high-quality service to tenants in an efficient and timely manner then control of process and access to information and documents is of paramount importance. This is a challenge that should be top of the list for CEO’s, Housing Directors and Finance Managers in social housing.
Even the most cursory analysis of existing process and document storage and access in many of today’s housing associations will reveal a situation that can be chaotic at best. This is often one which will have negative consequences for levels of customer service, compliance with the new GDPR data protection regime and levels of financial efficiency.
Document Access and Control
Typically housing associations will have documents and information chaotically scattered across differing technologies and physical locations. The chaotic mixture of storage silos in Windows files, dusty shelving, network directories, discreet applications and individual devices is problematic.
Locating and accessing documents is difficult and time-consuming because there is no single place to go that has a defined and logical structure. This has consequences for levels of customer service, auditing efficiency, GDPR compliance, and KPI reporting.
Duplication and the inability to locate documents and information rapidly creates frustrations and has potentially more serious problems for the:
- Ability to comply with GDPR and subject access requests.
- Provision of high levels of customer and supplier service.
- Establishment of high-quality financial controls.
Change is Possible
Transformative technologies are however available with the key one being the deployment of a single electronic document repository which is controllable and provides structure. This solution ensures that business documents are instantly available to those that both require access and have the right to access the documents. This provides both efficiency, control and ease of compliance in a single solution.
Effective solutions will also integrate with the range of established applications used by the housing, finance, and customer service departments.
Successful housing associations are increasingly embracing these technologies and adapting and transforming their processes.
Control of Processes in Finance
A key area where control of processes is of paramount importance is in finance. Visibility in the purchase order process (POP) brings control over liabilities both for budget holders and finance professionals across the organisation. Payment surprises can be a thing of the past with an up-front automated electronic requisition process and you will always know the Housing Association’s current financial commitment.
These solutions integrate with your Accounts Payable (AP) software to enable fast processing and receipting.
A complete and immediately accessible audit trail makes the auditors’ job easier and more efficient.
Engage with Change
We have spent many years discussing transformative processes with customers and designing solutions to help them adapt.
Many associations are now storing all of their business documents in one central repository and processing invoices through their AP and POP systems.
They have seen vast improvements in their document processing. They are responding to customers and suppliers more efficiently, they have control of processes, and their data and documents are far easier to access.
They are capable of meeting the stringent requirements of the new GDPR regime.
Thanks to their digital transformation, a lot less time is spent looking for documents and invoices are processed more quickly, cash collection is faster resulting in improved customer service.