• Smart solutions create altogether better outcomes for Portsmouth City Council

A new smarter, common-sense approach to delivering services is allowing Liberty to create altogether better outcomes for Portsmouth City Council (PCC) and its customers.

Liberty, which is responsible for installing, servicing and maintaining gas boilers for around 15,000 homes in the area, has adopted an approach known as systems thinking and placed it at the core of the contract’s delivery.

The approach – known as the Vanguard Method of systems thinking – has seen Liberty work in partnership with PCC to map out their processes for every job, talking to staff and customers, visiting suppliers and shadowing jobs from start to finish.

This allowed Liberty to identify any processes that were wasteful and didn’t add value, removing them to ensure that things are done the right way.

For example, one inefficiency identified was when engineers leave a customer’s home to get replacement parts, which can sometimes add up to two hours to a job or result in replacement part jobs being booked in for another day.

This was a crucial area to introduce changes to meet Liberty’s commitment to offering right first-time services that make sense.

Liberty introduced a new system based around a multi-skilled approach that allowed a single gas engineer visiting a property to carry out installations, repairs and servicing which would have previously required three specialists to carry out the one job.

This involved training up all Liberty engineers through its Liberate ACS Blue Flame accredited training academy. Delivery drivers were also hired specially to collect and deliver parts to engineers if they were on a job and they did not have a specific part in their van stock.

Changes were also made to the way that annual gas checks were booked to make the process more efficient.

Using insight to ensure customers were contacted in their preferred way resulted in 75% of all services being completed within five days from first contact. This approach also significantly improved the no access rate which dropped from 33% to 8%.

Meredydd Hughes, Assistant Director of Building Services at Portsmouth City Council said: “It is encouraging to see Liberty continually challenge the way they deliver gas services whilst keeping customers' needs at the heart of what they do."

By looking at the whole system in a common sense, intelligence driven way, Liberty has not only been able to create significant efficiencies for PCC, but importantly create better outcomes for customers, completing more in one visit and minimising disruption.

This is a key part of our commitment to doing our best to enable clients and their customers to be their best.

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