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Oct 30, 2019

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Southside Housing Association Partners with Orchard to Drive Business Transformation

Southside Housing Association (SHA) have chosen Orchard as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) partner to support them to achieve their digital ambitions. SHA will be investing in the Orchard Housing, Asset and Finance solutions after completing a competitive tender process.

SHA owns, manages and factors around 2800 properties, mainly in the Cardonald and Pollokshields areas in the Southside of Glasgow.

To support the business to manage recent and future business growth and diversification of services delivered, SHA developed an ambitious IT/digital strategy which focuses on adopting systems and technology that will enable colleagues to work more collaboratively, efficiently and flexibly. This year, a tender process was undertaken to select an ERP solution that would help the business achieve these objectives.

Increasing time spent on value-added activity

SHA’s digital strategy is guided by six core principles, aiming to build a suite of technology that:

By achieving this strategy, SHA aims to generate efficiencies that support colleagues to spend more time on value added activity, engaging directly with customers and communities. Commenting on the business transformation project, Chris Milborrow, Business Improvement Manager at Southside Housing Association said:

“Businesses can often become bogged down as a result of inefficient processes and data quality issues. This project will enable us to overcome some of these challenges and focus more on the right things by giving colleagues time back to support tenants and continue to work with communities to create spaces they’re proud of.”

Finding the right strategic partner

As part of the tender process, Southside ran a two-day discovery session with all shortlisted vendors, allowing prospective partners to gain a better understanding of the organisation’s challenges and ambitions, and then present back on how their solution could address these.

SHA’s decision to partner with Orchard was greatly influenced on the results of the Discovery Session, which was attended by stakeholders from across the organisation. Chris Milborrow commented on the selection rationale:

“One of the key reasons we selected Orchard was that the team seemed to really grasp and could articulate our key business challenges. They built rapport with the assessment panel very quickly and users from across the business could see us working well together as a result of their open and consultative approach.”

Building a partnership for the future

SHA see their new partnership with Orchard as an opportunity to transform their business by adopting new ways of working, re-designing processes, and improving data management practices.

By implementing three core Orchard solutions (Housing, Asset and Finance) and integrating as many areas of their systems as possible, SHA aims to build a consistent approach to IT, technology and digital customer service. It is expected that this will support the business to remove silos by enabling teams to access information easily and in one place. Norma Taylor, Depute Director at SHA, commented on the business benefits expected to be achieved as a result of this partnership:

“We aren’t just purchasing technology, we’re investing in a relationship that we expect will provide us with the support and challenge necessary to enable us to use technology to our advantage. We’re excited about the opportunities this project presents to make improvements across the whole business.”

With an extensive implementation programme now kicked-off, SHA are looking forward to working closely with Orchard to implement their integrated system, and achieve better outcomes for their colleagues, customers and communities.

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