Housing and Residential Services

Client: Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH)

Assignment: Developing process improvement capability

Lean Consultancy & Training Services at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing

The Problem

KNH realised there should be focus on the future changes brought by the Welfare Reform Bill and therefore review and improve rent collection and debt collection processes.

Additionally, as part of the organisations goal to continually improve all services offered to tenants and communities and to deliver significant business performance gains, KNH needed to look at deploying a program of training in order to embed a Continuous Improvement culture.

Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing wanted to build its own in-house process improvement capability to address waste in its key processes and engage employees in change. Previously, we had trained a cadre of Facilitators in the principles and tools of Lean to enable them to lead-team based improvement initiatives.

To give them experience of running an Improvement Event, we worked with them to address the challenge presented to rent collection by the changes implicit in the planned Welfare Reform Act.

The Solution

Bourton Group facilitated the Improvement Event with the Facilitators and the team responsible for the process. The aim was to optimise the pre-enforcement process, minimise the number of customers in debt and so maximise revenue.

Over a two week period, the team analysed the current approach and identified over 30 improvement actions.

Once implemented, these not only speeded up the process but more importantly, through better preventative measures, reduced the risk of tenants going into arrears.

The Benefits

  • Significant process improvements were identified and implemented in time for the legislation changes. These included changes to policy, standard procedures and systems.
  • A suite of measures was put in place to monitor the outcome. These included the number of arrears cases per person, the number of enforcements made, the number and value of (qualified) debts and the number of weeks in arrears.

Facilitators now feel more confident to run further improvement events with minimal support and a programme of opportunities has been developed to extend and sustain the approach.


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What Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) said about us

The outcomes for Rent Assist and KNH are considerable. The early stages of rent arrears recovery will now look very different.

Team Manager, Rent Assist