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The case study

“The Barcode Warehouse solution is simple, reliable and working beautifully. The money we are saving is really helping us increase our efficiency, reduce our costs and improve our tenant services.”

Property Manager (Gas), Together Housing, Bill Atkins

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Who are Together Housing?

Together Housing is one of the largest housing associations in the North of England with over 38,000 homes under management. As well as houses to rent, they build and manage homes for sale, sheltered accommodation and extra care. As a non-profit making organisation, any profits made by Together Housing are re-invested for the benefit of residents and local communities. Like other housing associations, Together Housing is having to make overall cost savings of £20 million by 2020.

What challenge did Together Housing have?

Together Housing is responsible for the safety of all its tenants and must annually inspect and service the gas boilers and gas fires across all its properties. At the end of each inspection a form is completed by the engineer via a mobile phone app and sent back to their office to be checked and printed out as a statutory CP12 certificate. The CP12 must then be posted to the tenant within 28 days. 

As well as being time-consuming and expensive, any errors discovered on the CP12 once it’s printed require a new inspection to be made. Together Housing’s Property Manager (Gas), Bill Atkins needed a faster, more efficient and error-free system – without compromising tenant safety.

What solution did we implement for Together Housing and how does it work?

Together Housing visited a neighbouring Housing Association that was using 4”receipt printer to confirm the results of every gas inspection on the spot. When The Barcode Warehouse was asked to replicate this system we immediately knew we could improve upon it. We recommended Brother PJ773 A4 printer that connected directly to the engineers’ iPhones via Air Print. At the end of each inspection a full CP12 certificate could be checked by the engineer, printed and immediately given to the resident – removing all the back-office functions and postage costs. Four printers were successfully trialled before a full order of 46 printers was placed. The printers connected with iPhones within minutes and the engineers were fully trained within a half hour session.

How has the solution positively impacted Together Housing?

By removing the office functions and postage, The Barcode Warehouse's solution is saving Together Housing £28,250 per year compared to the old system. This represents a ROI of just 8 months. The printers are being used across the Together Housing estate and no engineer has required additional training. The time saved in admin and re-testing is being redeployed in other areas, helping to improve other services and make Together Housing’s operations more efficient. 


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