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Client story

Proving the value of automation in social housing

Helping Stonewater to make a difference

Bringing the senior leadership team on their Intelligent Automation journey

For any successful automation project it’s important to adopt a co-creation approach; as a minimum make sure to establish a team that includes the product owners – the people who are involved in the processes and use them every day - and be sure to bring your IT team on board to get the fundamentals in place before starting the clock.

Having an agile culture is great, but not essential, it will mean you’re in a position where you’re not trying to achieve perfection the first time round. Proving the concept and proving value early on will help bring team members along.

Working with Stonewater

Stonewater is a social housing provider, with a mission to deliver good quality, affordable homes to people who need them most.

They approached Intelligent RPA as part of their broader business digital transformation. This meant that a digital programme team was already in place, with an allocated budget and an executive team open to innovation. Initial interest in Intelligent Automation technology was sparked through its potential to release staff time and enable them to conduct more value-adding activity.

How we did it

The first process selected for automation was within asset management, introducing the digital worker to a complex and tricky task using a spreadsheet to record, validate and store information about housing attributes - critical data needed to springboard a multitude of compliance and housing processes.

For the asset intelligence team, the manual entry of this unwieldy data, uploading it and importing it into the system was extremely time-consuming and a source of frustration. They have been enthusiastic supporters of the project. Although implementation was interrupted by external factors including COVID-19, the timeline from initial concept to being ready to implement the digital worker was eight weeks.

“Our motto is ‘good enough is good enough’. Proving the concept and proving the value is definitely the approach that people need to take .

It’s about making space for innovation and investing in the people who can bring innovation about. This is not necessarily people directly involved in technology, it could be a housing officer, an income officer – any member of the organisation who has been on a course, or seen something on TV, and would like to explore that a bit more. It’s not about hierarchy, it’s about allowing innovation.”

Mhari Byrne Digital Programme Director at Stonewater

How we made the difference

A key aspect of Stonewater’s journey with Intelligent Automation was a session Foundry4 conducted with the senior leadership team. A demonstration of the technology was instrumental to helping these individuals understand the function and major benefits of Intelligent RPA in their particular field. Next steps for Stonewater’s automation journey lie in exploring solutions at the enterprise level, seeking opportunities for efficiencies and to continue to develop its capabilities to use intelligence automation and artificial intelligence.

Intelligent Automation for Housing Providers

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