Social housing is rental housing owned and managed by the state or by non-profit organizations. The aim of social housing is to provide affordable housing. Many countries in Europe offer such housing facilities. The common factor in the social housing sector is that there are many repetitive tasks in business areas such as asset management, compliance, repairs, servicing, maintenance and onboarding new tenants. Therefore this sector can hugely benefit from the power of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
RPA is where you automate business tasks using software “robots” that imitate the operations and processes traditionally performed by people. The software robots mimic the tasks completed by humans using existing systems and applications in an organization. They have the ability to interpret, trigger responses and communicate with systems.
Here’s some examples of what software robots can do in social housing associations:
- Categorize, log and index incoming paperwork to ensure fast processing, increase data accuracy and meet required deadlines.
- Recognize document types, reference numbers and relevant dates on incoming mail and validate data against compliance rules.
- Sort documents by type and upload to the relevant housing system, allowing workflow to be allocated to the correct person to deal with.
- Provide automated email notifications.
- Integrate and migrate tenancy and housing data between multiple systems. This can help with the efficient transfer of data from traditional legacy systems to new cloud based solutions.
- Onboarding – onboarding can be a lengthy, time consuming process consisting of application submission and review, lease signing and securing deposits. Using RPA technology, it is possible to automate the validation of information on each application quickly and accurately, and even enroll tenants into an online system.
- Complaints management – automatically recognize, log and assign incoming complaints to meet the required housing association service standards.
The benefits of RPA include improved accuracy, reduced data entry and process errors, and a much-reduced processing time. The automation process can be running 24/7 in the background and requires minimal intervention.
Another benefit is the generation of data analytics and trends that can help predicting breakdowns, repair cycles and therefore moving from a reactive approach to a more proactive approach.
Often social housing associations struggles with multiple software systems and processes that need to be knitted together or having to select one set of systems over the other. Introducing RPA will enable social housing associations to tailor existing systems to customer needs and business process driven decision making.
Even organizations that are in the midst of a transformation program can benefit as RPA offers interim solutions, improving processes that free up staff time to work on the wider transformation work. There is no need to put a hold on all improvements while you wait for new systems to be implemented, which can often take years to embed.
RPA can be up and running within a matter of weeks with relatively low investment. The advice is to start RPA projects within social housing by identifying well-defined, simple, high volume, repeatable processes for automation.
What RPA can offer to social housing, how to select processes and systems and how to run the projects are typical topics that vElement discusses during web-deep-dives tailored to this sector. vElement is the leading hyper automation company that helps clients streamline and automate work processes while scaling up productivity and overall outputs with aplomb. Are you interested in an exploratory online meeting on the power of RPA in social housing? Pick a time and date for a free session with our consultants.
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