Castleton has unveiled major enhancements to complement its popular Maintain repair and maintenance product, creating the first end-to-end maintenance solution in the market.

Explaining the rationale behind the introduction of the various new enhancements, Commercial Sales Manager at Castleton Ian Stewart says: “With an industry average of 20% failed appointments and each failed appointment costing up to £100, it is business critical for Housing Authorities to reduce the time wasted and costs incurred associated with these failures. The new enhancements around Maintain are designed to deploy engineers more cost-effectively and to keep tenants and engineers minutely informed at every stage of the process. This helps ensure tenants are at home when engineers call, that engineers are better equipped to do their jobs and that all stages of the process are as accessible and user friendly as possible. Service that is demonstrably better and more efficient delivers competitive edge, satisfied customers and secures contracts. We believe the new end-to-end integrated Maintain solution offer exactly that opportunity for our customers.”

Designed to drive efficiency and reduce costs, the new series of complementary solutions around Maintain increase responsiveness and provide additional visibility of the repair and maintenance process, both for tenants and for the service provider.

  • Self-service repair logging

Traditionally, tenants book repairs by phone, but the Castleton.Digital portal provides an alternative platform for entering detailed requests for repairs via PC or mobile, reducing the volume of calls into the call centre and allowing the repair journey to be tracked. Those tenants with access to Castleton’s AI Manager App can also use this route to raise enquiries or request a repair.

  • Schedule on first contact

Repairs are scheduled on tenant’s first contact within Maintain, but Castleton’s new Scheduling solution sits behind the process, synchronizing the tenant’s request with the contractor’s back office. This makes the process far more dynamic and efficient, automatically scheduling the appropriate engineer according to trade, availability and location, as well calculating the most efficient route for the engineer. Scheduler accommodates new bookings in the most efficient way possible, filling slots dynamically to optimise the engineer’s time and save on fuel costs. Engineers have a real-time view of all appointment slots, ensuring they arrive at the right place, at the right time, every time, as well as giving them the flexibility to reschedule visits in the event of a tenant not being home.

  • Two-way SMS communication

Another complementary solution to Maintain is Communications Manager, which offers two-way SMS communication between the contractor and tenants.
Tenants may confirm, cancel or reschedule their appointment using Communications Manager, while the service provider or contractor is able to schedule automated messages at critical points along the repair journey, for example, an automatic reminder up to an hour before the repair visit, reducing the likelihood and frequency of tenant ‘no shows’ and so saving time and cost.

Communications Manager can also be used by the contractor to confirm repair completion back to the service provider, log customer satisfaction surveys or send a variety of messages to the tenant, either scheduled or on a bespoke ad hoc basis, for example to rebook appointments where a tenant was not home or book further repairs where necessary.

The two-way SMS communication between the contractor or Housing Association and the tenant – can be extended via Communication Manager to other platforms preferred by the tenant, including email, social media, the .Digital portal or AI. Where tenants prefer a traditional letter, Communications Manager will automatically generate this too.

  • No signal, no problem

Maintain’s Agile mobile solution supports engineers in the field, saving all information relevant to the repair offline as soon as the job appears in the diary. This means that in areas of no connectivity, all job details are recorded on their mobile device, including product manuals and the forms required in the context of the job, such as a Gas Safety Certificate for boiler repairs. Agile links to Google maps, so that engineers can save their route and directions.

All details filed by the engineer are sent automatically by Agile to the back office, where records are updated, duplication of information is avoided and other actions are triggered, for example stock replenishment and invoicing. Once the engineer reports that they are on the way to the next job, the latest Engineer Tracker App kicks in for final mile reporting to the tenant.

  • Where’s my engineer?

The final mile App is Find my Engineer, an Engineer Tracker which provides tenants with the exact location of an engineer en route to undertake their repair. Tenants receive an SMS message to advise that their engineer is on the way, with a link to the App. Using GPS, this provides a view of precise location and an accurate expected time of arrival in a user-friendly graphical format. The same App can be used for tenants to rate the repair service and send back to the contractor or service provider, helping monitor and measure KPIs.

Find my Engineer keeps tenants informed of progress on the day of the repair, which reduces the likelihood of them being out when the engineer calls, reduces the volume of inbound calls to the call centre and increases the sense of customer satisfaction with the service.

  • Comprehensive reporting

Each Maintain product reports individually, but the Castleton Reporting solution pulls all information together in a single dashboard, enabling any number of required criteria to be viewed on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. From number of jobs to time taken, profitability to customer satisfaction, Reporting facilitates vital measurement and assessment of performance.

Castleton also provides a Planned Maintenance Works solution for major maintenance projects where Housing Authorities look to overhaul and refurbish large sections of their estate over an extended period. Maintain reporting crosses over to Planned Maintenance Works via asset management, providing up to date information about the age and status of aspects of the accommodation, from boilers to rooves.

The new enhancements have already attracted interest from several existing customers who use Maintain, according to Ian Stewart, particularly for Find my Engineer and Scheduling.

“All the new enhancements complementary to Maintain are aimed at increasing efficiency and saving costs from the contractor’s point of view, while improving the user experience for tenant and engineer alike,” he says. “We’re confident that these new products will offer wide appeal; for those wanting to add-on some of the new enhancements, this software is modular, highly flexible and able to link to customers’ existing systems. On the other hand, if customers are looking for the entire piece, only Castleton can deliver this.  No other company is currently offering an end-to-end integrated solution across the whole social housing repair and maintenance process.”