"Working with boxxe has been a fantastic experience, they saw my vision and brought it to life, adding their own innovative and forward thinking ideas. It’s paved the way to Thirteen Group being Microsoft-first in our future developments"
- Jayne Allport, Head of Service, Systems & Application Improvement, Thirteen Group
Thirteen Group is a landlord and housing developer that provide homes for rent and sale. They manage 34,000 properties for more than 70,000 customers across Teesside, North Yorkshire, County Durham, and Tyne and Wear.
We are thrilled to have been Thirteen's chosen technology partner for several digital transformation projects over the years, helping them find more efficient, modern and less expensive ways of working.
The Challenge: analogue working
Every one of Thirteen's properties has a substantial amount of associated documents.
Thirteen's agents need fast access to these documents to deliver an outstanding customer experience, so they must be stored and managed efficiently. But that wasn't happening consistently.
Thirteen's property management process was mostly analogue, relying on agents manually processing paper document and individually importing them into an SQL database.
This caused two problems:
Having to scan, save and label each document individually was a 6-step process that took Thirteen's agents a long time, giving them less time to focus on customer care.
Importing stacks of documents each day was forcing Thirteen's agents to do something that people are proven to be bad at; staying alert while performing a tedious, repetitive task. This caused 'human error' mistakes while importing documents, making it difficult for other agents to find customer information quickly.
With their legacy document management system reaching end-of-life support, Thirteen recognised an opportunity to save time and costs by working more efficiently.
As digital transformation specialists and a trusted technology partner to Thirteen Group for years, we were thrilled to help them with this project.
The Solution: Microsoft SharePoint and Power Automate
To support Thirteen's new, modern approaches to work, we proposed the development of a robust digital workplace to simplify the access and storage of essential documents.
With them, Thirteen agents could:
- 1. Use Power Automate and optical character recognition (OCR) technology to shorten a 6-step document import process down to a single action. With these tools, Thirteen’s digital workplace could analyse any written or printed text on a scanned document, convert that into a machine-readable format and have SharePoint use that information to store it in the correct place automatically.
- 2. Access relevant records on Microsoft SharePoint from any location or device.
- 3. Reduce any risk of import errors with managed metadata.
- 4. Find relevant documents much faster, freeing agents to focus more time on customer service.
- 5. Make GDPR compliance simple with powerful document retention controls.
Once we'd presented these benefits, Thirteen signed off on our solution and the project started.
The Delivery: automation
After our Workplace Technology Specialist finished building the custom SharePoint environment, Thirteen’s focus was to export the hundreds of thousands of documents from their legacy database and import them into SharePoint.
After starting, Thirteen quickly found that 75,000 documents had been mislabelled in the legacy database. Missing essential information, they couldn't transfer these documents into the new SharePoint system.
The only solution was to update each document manually. Although it would only take 2 minutes to update each record with a correct label, this would add up to 300+ full working days to fix completely.
To solve the issue, our Workplace Solutions Expert built a custom automation workflow. Through Robotic Process Automation, this bot pulls every item of information needed to correctly label each document and places it next to each record to speed up the process.
Using this tool, Thirteen's agents are able to correctly label each document in 20 seconds instead of 2 minutes, saving Thirteen roughly 250 days of working time.
With the documents currently being updated, Thirteen will soon complete their migration to Microsoft SharePoint and be set to deliver an even more outstanding service for their customers.