Eric Wright Facilities Management (EWFM) has been shortlisted for a national industry award for Customer Service Excellence following the development of a unique app to support its client One Partnership. The EWFM Variation App is one of just three initiatives that have been shortlisted for the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) Award for Excellence in Customer Experience and it will now go forward to the national IWFM Impact Awards on Monday 17 October 2022 at JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London.
EWFM created the bespoke Variation App for the three Local Improvement Finance Trust’s, otherwise referred to as LIFT. The 3 LIFTCO’s, which have a total of 23 buildings, are managed by the One Partnership Team and are jointly owned by the Eric Wright Group and Community Health Partnerships (CHP). LIFT is a form of private sector investment in public sector buildings.
To comply with stringent contract requirements, all FM changes in CHP, properties must be recorded, in a highly complex process termed the ‘variation process’ which involves multiple stakeholders across various organisations. The variation process presents many challenges, as it is almost impossible for all stakeholders to see one ‘Single Version of Truth’ (SVoT), a key issue which the EWFM Variation App addresses.
Commenting on the App EWFM managing director George Lilley explained: “The Variation App has ultimately made our customers’ lives easier and significantly improved levels of trust across the complex teams, providing a collaborative working environment which has significantly improved the customer experience. We are proud that the judges have recognised this and shortlisted the App for these prestigious national awards.”
Expanding further he said: “The process of change was highly complex with multiple stakeholders trying to maintain different spreadsheets to monitor the status of a particular change. The lack of clarity regarding progress could cause delays, impacting on collaborative working and ultimately effecting the customer’s perception of service excellence.”
He continued: “Our Variation App solved this by presenting one SVoT to which everyone subscribes, allowing accuracy, timeliness and alignment. We worked collaboratively to define an end-to-end business process from which we created digital forms with a workflow that follows the variation approval process. Via the App, all parties can now track progress in real time, based on one SVoT which results in a much more streamlined and efficient operation.”
The Variation App was tested and piloted across a number of the Health Centres before being rolled out across all 23 of the NHS health centres. Variations are now progressed easily with notifications sent to stakeholders with assigned tasks, informing them directly of actions required.
All contract stakeholders are able to use the App for real-time information on variations, allowing for better communication and strengthened relationships.
A senior property manager from One Partnership commented: “Moving from paper variations to an app has made the process much more organised, you can check the progress of variations easily and all the information is in one place so any party can have a real-time view. The notification alerts on the progress of a variation allow us to effectively manage tasks – making the end-to-end process more efficient. Being able to look at the status of a variation and the ability to allow each party to add comments or queries at any stage of the process saves time emailing the relevant party back and forth.”
George Lilley concluded: “We have created an end-to-end corporate agnostic process flow that ensures a seamless and friction free flow of variation details from inception through to execution. We have been able to share these benefits with our client, and we will offer this variation process management tool to other clients to allow smooth running of contracts.”