3rd October 2023
Plus Dane Housing has teamed up with Disruptive Innovators Network (DIN) and the DINLab pilot projects which are a cost-effective way for housing associations to collaborate, build, test and learn from some of the best and emerging technologies.
The Disruptive Innovators Network (DIN) is one of the fastest growing innovation and transformation communities and DINLabs bring together social housing organisations to help them invest in innovation through pilot projects offering a different perspective on solving problems. Projects help members understand how to more effectively deal with disruption and become better innovators by collaborating with out-of-sector leaders.
Plus Dane is taking part in three pilot projects through DINLabs: Hello Lamppost, Safecility, and HelpmeFix:
This platform allows Plus Dane to engage with the local community via a QR code or text, positioned on floors, lampposts and communal areas. Customers can scan the codes and enter a conversation with AI communications bots that have been pre-loaded with thousands of answers about improvement projects in that area. Plus Dane has chosen Brunswick Estate in Congleton for this pilot as the area is undergoing a range of investment works.
Vicky Lockwood, Head of Compliance and Building Safety at Plus Dane, said: “We are really looking forward to seeing if our customers embrace the QR codes. It adds another method for communicating with customers, giving people more options and opportunities to engage with us. It also allows us to say much more than a traditional planning notice or plaque and it is a two-way engagement which gives real-time feedback.”
Emergency lighting is crucial within housing schemes and is a legal requirement – however it can be resource-intensive to monitor and check. The Safecility installation provides us with an automated monitoring and notification of our emergency lighting system. The software flags if a compliance failure happens, meaning we are immediately informed, and a repair visit can be organised. It could mean that manual checks and reporting compliance could be reduced. Plus Dane has chosen Kinsman Court, Liverpool for this DINLab pilot, which has just recently been completed by our contractors Maintec.
HelpMeFix triages repairs for customers over a video call. This solution allows customers to do a simple repair (such as reset their boiler) via video, with guidance from a professional to resolve simple repairs first time, reduce visits, reduce the repair waiting time, and improve customer satisfaction. Plus Dane launched this video triage pilot in late June for a small selection of responsive repairs.
Vicky added: “Some customers are comfortable resolving simple repairs themselves with a little guidance. From bleeding a radiator to resetting a message on a heating system. Using video triage gives those customers that extra confidence to perform these repairs with the support of a professional on the end of the call. Removing the need for the customer to wait at home for the repair appointment. We hope this option will reduce our repair waiting times and improve customer satisfaction.”
Each Lab will be trialed for 12 weeks and the findings will be available to DIN members early next year.
Jenny Danson, Proptech Innovation Network Director at DIN, said: “DIN have loved working with Plus Dane on these three exciting DINLabs. Plus Dane is reinforcing that their customers are at the heart of what they do by investing into each of these innovative customer focused solutions. We are expecting lots of learning from these projects, and potentially a better and more cost-effective way of providing these important services.”
DIN is a membership organisation for social housing providers investing in innovation. We have a passion for thinking and doing things differently. By capturing the best insights and knowledge from all sectors, embracing disruption and innovation we inspire leaders wanting to transform their organisation. With a hands-on approach we explore new ways of working, test new and emerging technologies, fresh business models and understand how to effectively deal with disruption. We are about collaboration, sharing and learning together.
To find out more about how we deliver this, please visit our website at www.disruptiveinnovatorsnetwork.co.uk