UNITE, the UK’s leading operator of purpose built student accommodation, wanted to utilise mobile technology to enable their Facilities team to manage jobs more efficiently.
The aim was to provide maintenance colleagues with a tool to manage their allocated jobs, including the ability to provide real time updates on progress, which can in turn be communicated to UNITE’s customers.
The objectives of the app were simple; improve the efficiency of maintenance workers; reduce the number of complaints; improve the reporting of work done and help to better track and assign jobs.
Mubaloo developed the Unite Maintenance App, an Android app that integrates with UNITE’s Maintenance Management System and enables UNITE’s facilities teams to view, update and sort information about their allocated maintenance jobs, wherever they are. In addition to this, the app also provides real time updates on progress, which can then be communicated to customers – leading to improved maintenance efficiency, as well as improved customer service.
Using fault categories for each job completion, allows the engineer at site level to record accurate information on the type of fault. This means UNITE can capture and analyse high frequency faults, such as light bulb replacement, to enable improvements to processes and work allocation, e.g. increasing the resource base to include non-technical staff.
When creating the app, a lot of thought went into how to design it for a user group that had limited access to computing for their day-to-day job. The app needed to be intuitive for any user and require virtually no training on how to use it.
As much of the time, maintenance employees are deep inside buildings, sometimes with poor mobile reception, the app features the ability to store information and input information offline. It is only once the device has connectivity again that the data gets sent, helping to ensure that the app continues working even if there is a network outage, or the maintenance team are out of mobile reception.
The use of real time information allows UNITE to drive productivity improvements, enabling the Estates and Maintenance team to plan the workforce more efficiently. This increased efficiency has increased the number of jobs completed by 30%.
The simplicity and efficiency of the app has allowed UNITE to widen the user base to include non-maintenance staff, who can attend and fix non-technical faults. The user base has grown from 80 to 125. This wider use has supported closer working relationships within UNITE’s city teams.