Totalmobile, a UK leader in Field Service Management software solutions, has announced the expansion of its contract with leading property solutions provider Fortem. Having worked with Totalmobile since 2018 with its Mobilise solution, Fortem has now started to make use of Connect, Totalmobile’s cloud-based work order management system, to digitalise communications with subcontractors and provide a faster, smoother appointment process for customers.
Over two decades, Fortem has delivered repairs and maintenance for over 40 social housing clients throughout the UK. Through a directly employed workforce of trades and subcontractor partners, the company annually completes 400,000 repairs in occupied homes as well as preparing 10,000 vacant properties for future occupancy. It also carries out repairs nationwide for a range of clients as well as to public sector buildings.
The existing Mobilise solution has helped Fortem with offline working for all trades and ensures key information is available at the frontline worker’s fingertips – from questions to ask each customer to forms to fill in that can be easily created and customised by Fortem.
Having completed a successful pilot of Connect on an estate maintenance contract with Johnnie Johnson Housing, it has been implemented as part of a new five-year partnership with Orbit to help further digitise Fortem’s interactions with its clients, both with subcontractors and with customers themselves.
The real time dashboards within Connect provide administrators with all of the information about every job, helping to identify who has availability to attend and complete the job much quicker. For example, the day before adopting Connect there were 977 jobs unappointed – just eight weeks later that number dropped to 50. The optimisation of appointments and operatives’ diaries has increased the number of jobs per day an operative can achieve.
Customers meanwhile experience a smoother appointment booking process, with less time spent on the phone – meaning that Fortem can now answer more calls in the same time, with an approximate 97% answer rate. Customers receive email reminders and have self-serve re-appointing options, and overall the speed of the job from initiation to completion is quicker.
The user-friendly subcontractor portal is reducing the amount of email traffic, and also enables workers to better capture and share pictures and documents while on the job. The new real-time, interactive dashboards can be easily configured to focus the back-office teams on jeopardy, identify bottlenecks, and overall plan out their day more effectively; they also reduce the number of spreadsheets used to store and share data, improving efficiency and speed. Additionally, all invoices now go directly to central accounts, saving the admin team time previously spent on reviewing and processing.
Chris Hone, Chief Information Officer at Fortem commented: “After successfully deploying Mobilise across all our contracts last year, we then started to explore the rest of the Totalmobile suite and we immediately saw the potential of Connect. We wanted to manage all types of work into a single system and also enhance the capabilities that we offer in the key areas of optimised scheduling, voids and planned works management, and customer experience. Connect has enabled us to do more than we thought possible, and we continue to find new ways that we can work smarter.”
He added: “The Academy approach from Totalmobile has been great, as it allows us to upskill our internal team rather than rely on consultants for making changes. Totalmobile ran sessions with us to learn how to configure the system, they explained how to work everything out so that after one contract, we could do this ourselves over and over without needing as much support from their team.”
David Webb, Managing Director of Property & Facilities Management Business at Totalmobile said: “Business is continuously moving in the direction of digital, and being able to increase efficiency through new solutions is vital for companies like Fortem to outmatch the competition.”