Southside Housing Association partners with Orchard Housing

Southside Housing Association (SHA) has chosen Orchard Housing as its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) partner to support it to achieve its digital ambitions.

SHA will be investing in the Orchard Housing asset and finance solutions after completing a competitive tender process.

To support the business to manage recent and future business growth and diversification of services delivered, SHA developed an ambitious IT/digital strategy which focuses on adopting systems and technology that will enable colleagues to work more collaboratively, efficiently and flexibly.

This year, a tender process was undertaken to select an ERP solution that would help the business achieve these objectives.

SHA’s digital strategy is guided by six core principles, aiming to build a suite of technology that:

  • Is customer accessible
  • Produces dynamic information
  • Supports efficiency
  • Creates mobile flexibility
  • Is inclusive and intuitive
  • Is integrated and collaborative

By achieving this strategy, SHA aims to generate efficiencies that support colleagues to spend more time on value-added activity, engaging directly with customers and communities.

Chris Milborrow, business improvement manager at Southside Housing Association, said: “Businesses can often become bogged down as a result of inefficient processes and data quality issues. This project will enable us to overcome some of these challenges and focus more on the right things by giving colleagues time back to support tenants and continue to work with communities to create spaces they’re proud of.”

As part of the tender process, Southside ran a two-day discovery session with all shortlisted vendors, allowing prospective partners to gain a better understanding of the organisation’s challenges and ambitions, and then present back on how its solution could address these.

SHA’s decision to partner with Orchard was greatly influenced on the results of the Discovery Session, which was attended by stakeholders from across the organisation.

Discussing the selection rationale, Mr Milborrow added: “One of the key reasons we selected Orchard was that the team seemed to really grasp and could articulate our key business challenges. They built rapport with the assessment panel very quickly and users from across the business could see us working well together as a result of their open and consultative approach.”

SHA sees its new partnership with Orchard as an opportunity to transform the business by adopting new ways of working, redesigning processes, and improving data management practices.

By implementing three core Orchard solutions (Housing, Asset and Finance) and integrating as many areas of its systems as possible, SHA aims to build a consistent approach to IT, technology and digital customer service. It is expected that this will support the business to remove silos by enabling teams to access information easily and in one place.

Norma Taylor, depute director at SHA, said: “We aren’t just purchasing technology, we’re investing in a relationship that we expect will provide us with the support and challenge necessary to enable us to use technology to our advantage. We’re excited about the opportunities this project presents to make improvements across the whole business.”

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