Dominium is one of the nation’s largest affordable housing development and management companies, boasting 25,000 units in 23 states. When banks took over mismanaged buildings during the economic downturn of the late-2000s, Dominium acquired new properties and the demand for affordable housing grew exponentially.
Dominium has opened 5,000 new units over the past two years and plans to double in size to 40,000 units by 2025. This plan is fueling the drive for automation and efficiency, along with the desire to improve the resident experience, especially as it pertains to maintenance requests.
Dominium’s analog systems were prone to human error and unable to be measured for performance-tracking purposes. Communication was time-consuming and frustrating for staff members, resulting in slow, subpar service to residents. With customer service being a key differentiator in the housing industry, this was an issue hurting Dominium’s business.
Inefficient communication and written notes within the maintenance staff led to errors and a pileup of paperwork that often led to inaccurate records of technician response times. Dominium upholds a 24-hour response time for service requests, but had no way to track whether or not this standard was being met.
Recognizing that these issues would only become greater as the company grew, Dominium enlisted Emkat to upgrade from a paper analog system to a mobile computing platform that would increase efficiency and service to residents.
Emkat implemented Zebra TC55 touch computers and a mobile computing platform into Dominium’s system that allows information to flow in real time and streamlines communications and processes across the board.
A work-order management application replaced the old system’s paper tickets and now generates precise records after work is completed, clearly displaying performance data and time allocation. With the TC55 in-hand, technicians can enter residents’ requests on the spot and create a ticket in real time rather than direct them to a website.
A Repair Clinic application was also implemented to serve as a virtual and informative supervisor during the apartment inspection process, which was previously time-consuming and riddled with inaccuracies. This application also allows technicians to receive guidance during a repair.
The TC55 devices support a WebEx feature so home office staff can assist in the inspection in real time and in high-definition rather than relying on a set of potentially misleading or low-quality photos.
Dominium’s new system dramatically improved matters for both residents and staff by streamlining their communication, work-order processing, and apartment inspection process. Work-order administrative time was cut in half thanks to mobile computing and an application on the TC55 that replaced the old paper system.
The TC55 provides Dominium with data they can use to inform business decisions moving forward and allows them to engage the resident in the solution on maintenance requests through real-time communication. Technicians can now assess service calls in order of urgency by having a clear view of requests as they come in and are completed.