With over 6,500 housing units spread nationally, Cluid Housing Association are the single largest not-for-profit housing association in Ireland. Previously operating with several back-office systems from a variety of suppliers, Cluid decided to embark on a huge business transformation project. Cluid became the first Castleton customer to adopt a truly integrated solution, with a number of software modules designed to interact, offering enhanced productivity and user efficiencies.

The need

Key to Cluid’s growth strategy was to increase billing capacity across the organisation, getting things done more efficiently and productively, whilst ensuring a better service delivery to customers. IT was viewed as a strategic enabler to help transform the business, which started with a review of the existing systems. Two main applications were already established; housing and finance, but these systems were from separate providers and offered no integration capability. Cluid wanted their future IT applications to be flexible, fully integrated, mobile and scalable.

The solution

Castleton were able to provide a modular set of software solutions that could be implemented in stages, all at Cluid’s pace and all with full integration. This level of flexibility was a big attraction for Cluid. Cluid were not strangers to Castleton, as the Maintain (Repairs module) and Strategic Modelling tools were already in place. The Maintain software was originally brought on board as a pilot scheme and eventually rolled out as a national scheme after comparison against other providers and successful trial.

Cluid have estimated annual savings in the region of £300,000, since the implementation of Maintain. This has been down to reduced administrative overheads, optimised scheduling of jobs and the effective deployment of operatives with the relevant skill-set to handle repairs on-site. Since Maintain and Strategic Modelling, a total of six software modules have been rolled out over a 12-month period across the Cluid network. Agile, P2P and Financials were all successfully implemented, and the latter three modules; EDRM, Housing and CRM to follow after adequate time for data cleansing and testing.

Key benefits

  • Enhanced productivity for operatives
  • Increased billing capacity
  • No duplication of tasks
  • Full business integration
  • Better access to information
  • Efficient service delivery

The results

Cluid Housing Association now stand asa modern and fully-integrated Housing Association model, with software applications available both in the office or out on-site, via smart phone or tablet.

The original growth strategy of increased billing capacity was quickly realised, as previous manual processes, which quite often contained errors, were removed and replaced by instant automated processes. There is no longer any process duplication as operatives can process in real-time directly to the system.

The integration of solutions has transformed the business operations as reporting is no longer fragmented or time-consuming, with the ‘bigger picture’ easily seen. As well as reaping the benefits of an integrated approach, individually, each software solution has shone. The implementation of Agile means a housing representative out in the field can engage with the tenant with a full history of payment or repairs and can raise new repair requests instantly.

Further, asset management surveys which historically were paper-based, are now streamlined on Agile, with operatives now performing double the amount of surveys than what was previously possible. When summarising the value proposition of the project, Ronnie commented; “This was a

transformational project for Cluid, it changes the way we work. The business is better integrated, and we are able to do more with the same number of people. People are more productive, and we have better access to information as it’s from one source.”

The strategic relationship between Cluid and Castleton is truly innovating, as Cluid represent the very first Housing Association to transform their service delivery through a fully integrated suite of solutions. Castleton went through a rigorous evaluation process alongside other providers but came out on top for our industry-focused, ‘best of breed’ solutions that offer greater functionality and best fit with Cluid.

We are delighted with the software and project Castleton are delivering. We were always confident we made the correct decision in choosing to take the fully integrated suite from Castleton and the company have delivered everything they said they would. 

This project will help us to deliver on our business goals, reduce duplication across our organisation and help us provide a better customer experience.

Ronnie Maher, IT Director for Cluid.