Lee Woods is Head of Compliance for Your Housing Group, a large housing association based in the North West with around 24,000 units. The Group
has a diverse domestic and commercial gas portfolio across assets located in the Cheshire, South and North geographical regions. As one of the pioneers of the CORGI Compliance Document Management System (CDMS), Lee explains what impact it has had since its installation in January 2017.
Around a year ago, we started a journey to review the end-to-end process of how the Compliance Team handle and manage the LGSRs it receives daily from our Heating Suppliers. We understood that to be fit for the future, we needed to evolve, work smarter
and, in an ever-challenging market, become more efficient in what we do! We talked to a lot of document management organisations, none of them seemed to offer the total package we were looking for… And then CORGI came to the table with CDMS and we haven’t looked back.
We didn’t just want a system that could receive and save a document, those types of systems are readily available… It had to replace our manual handling of LGSRs as well as provide smart, forensic, logical interrogation of an LGSR, and have the ability to report on these findings. These features were the pivotal decider on YHG integrating CDMS into our working practices.
Like most new systems, we of course decided to run a small ‘trial’ first to better understand how it worked, its functionality and its usability. Understanding it has a user dashboard that utilises a Red, Amber, Green (RAG) system for categorising the documents
it receives, we worked with CORGI to set these differentials to our specific needs, allowing us to concentrate our efforts on anything classed as amber and red. CORGI worked closely with the team to set up the RAG guidelines and upload around 2,000 LGSRs during the test – CDMS can read around 2,000 documents in just a few minutes so the output was fast!
Once complete we could easily identify any discrepancies requiring attention – to have this so readily available and at such a fast completion rate was astounding, and a real game changer for Your Housing Group. Following the successful trial and a few
tweaks to the RAG guidelines with CORGI, YHG implemented the system in January 2017.
To be honest, since implementation I often wonder how we managed without CDMS. We used to have four full time members of staff manually visually checking LGSRs as they came into the business, leaving us open to human error, as with any human interaction. CDMS has provided great assurance that every document received has the same logical, forensic check, and we’ve been able to redirect team resources to other important tasks.
Working with our own ICT team we now have a better understanding about how to manage the outputs from CDMS to underpin the full end-to-end process of receiving and processing LGSR data. We can now extract, report and upload data in
bulk, saving countless hours of administration and laborious unproductive repetitive tasks. Each member of the Gas Team has a login for CDMS, allowing them to use the system to support contract management as well as the management of issuing work following the CDMS checks.
We also discovered two unexpected benefits. The first was that
CDMS gave us the ability to target quality audits in such a way
that they are now meaningful. Gone are the days of a blanket 10% quality audit on LGSRs. Now we can work with our auditors to target specific heating suppliers/operatives as we can clearly see the critical areas in which they are failing.
Secondly, CDMS can be used for more than just LGSRs. We are
due to test more varied documents such as Fire Risk Assessments, Electrical Periodic Inspection Certificates and other documents requiring validation, which will hopefully free up capacity over the whole of the Compliance Team.
If I can pass on any advice to other managers it would be this; look at your current processes, be self-critical and do not rest on that age-old stance of “we have always done it this way.” CDMS has proven that the process of manually checking LGSRs is no longer efficient, effective or reliable to provide you with total assurance that you have checked, scrutinised and actioned as necessary each and every LGSR you have received.