Futures Housing Group has partnered with us to produce a solution to harness the power of text messaging. This is helping Futures to engage better with its residents and with the use of our EDRM solution they are further improving customer services and delivering organisational efficiencies.

Co-developing with Futures Housing Group has greatly benefited both organisations. We have drawn on Futures insight into how its customers might interact with the system whilst Futures Housing Group has developed functionality to completely meet its needs. The development process began in 2012 as part of Futures continual improvement program.

Obtaining internal buy-in and resource to move customer contact from traditional channels such as letters to digital alternatives such as text messaging can be difficult. So Futures carried out in-depth research on tenants’ preferred methods of communication and this enabled them to choose the operational areas on which to focus the initial roll-out of an automated SMS system.

According to Gavin Hitchcock, Head of ICT at Futures Housing Group, responsive repairs is probably one of the more transaction-intensive services it offers so there was a lot of scope for adding value by streamlining customer contact. Futures chose to work with the income team as Welfare Reform increased its need for timely communication and text messaging was seen as a way to ‘pull’ communication from customers, as well as ‘push’ information out to them.

The second phase of Future’s improvement programme is to implement our EDRM solution, powered by Documotive. The need for the EDRM solution arose due to Futures Housing Group having two EDM solutions in place.  The objective therefore was to implement a single, joined-up solution across the whole business, which will enable Futures Housing Group to realise savings and benefits in a number of key areas.

John Wallace, Orchard’s Customer Relationship Manager said, “We’re extremely pleased to have helped Futures Housing Group to meet its business requirements and to bring about efficiencies in their business processes through the use of digital channels and now moving forward with document management. Futures has been a valuable and innovative development partner and has helped us to develop and shape our messaging solution into a valuable tool that helps our customers communicate with their customers more effectively in challenging times. “

Futures Housing Group is a registered social landlord, providing more than 9,000 affordable homes throughout the East Midlands.