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The Customer

Clarion Housing Group is the largest provider of social housing in the country and one of the largest property developers in the UK, owning and managing over 125,000 homes. In 2014, Affinity Sutton, later to become Clarion Housing Group embarked on a large-scale transformation programme that would affect every aspect of its business. The scope of the project was huge, covering everything from how Clarion Housing Group worked, to the services it offered its customers. “We wanted this transformation project to change the way we work and the services we offer, and we needed a system that would enable it. It was never a pure technology project.” Stated Catrin Jones, Director of Business Transition. Clarion needed to replace over 50 existing system, both front and back office, with a single strategic platform.

The Challenge

Clarion Housing Group recognised that they had a real opportunity to implement a solution that could deliver their services on a single cloud platform and provide a full suite of integrated capabilities, including:

  • Time to Value:  Quicker time to resolution and transfers to back office
  • Identity Verification:  Robust identity verification process, for multiple customer types
  • A Single View:  Single view of customer, property and contract
  • Streamline processes:  Remove dependency on legacy, siloed solutions
  • Multi-Channel:  Integration across all channels including post, telephony, social and digital
  • Customer Experience:  A single application experience for managing customer interactions
A row of houses

The Solution

Hitachi Solutions carried out research to support its understanding of the challenge, shadowing a diverse range of Clarion Housing Group employees; from caretakers through to repair operatives. Due to the close collaboration with the Clarion Housing Group and Hitachi Solutions teams customer experience and back-office utilisation was improved thanks to reduced end to end handling time and clear visibility and ownership at each case stage. The solutions that were implemented removed the dependency on specialised teams for key processes and captured and shared the repository of knowledge.

The solutions consisted of three components:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement
  • Essentials for Housing
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
houses under construction

It’s been great working with my colleagues in Hitachi Solutions. We’ve had a great relationship and there’s a lot of pride in the solution we’ve built that’s a first in the housing association world.

Linda Howard
Head of Process Design

The Future

Multiple benefits are expected once the whole organisation is using the same platform. Clarion Housing Group anticipates that the solution will particularly increase the effectiveness of its customer service. For example, direct debit requests can already be set up on the first contact with the customer, whereas this used to involve different systems and departments, taking multiple days.

The company plans to leverage its position as a leader in its use of technology to consolidate their position as a forerunner in the housing market. Hitachi Solutions is proud of how it has helped Clarion Housing Group to bring its vision to life and of the solution it has built based on Essentials for Housing and Microsoft Dynamics 365.