Interact improves internal communication and streamlines key business processes for Chevin Housing Group

With offices dispersed over a number of locations, Chevin Housing Group use Interact to help connect staff and improve internal communication.

The Chevin Housing Group was formed in 2001 and consists of Chevin Housing Association, Harewood Housing Society and Synergy Housing Solutons Ltd. The Group operates across Yorkshire and the Humber, North Nottinghamshire and the North West. They have offices in Wakefield, Sheffield, Leeds, Selby, Bridlington and Hull. The Group manages around 6,500 rented properties and 1600 leasehold homes.

Staff at Chevin were dissatisfied with their previous intranet which was little more than a repository for policies and documents with no interactive features. Content was out of date and it was difficult to administer and Chevin recognised the need for a new intranet solution that would manage and share knowledge effectively by connecting teams across their different geographical locations.

Chevin reviewed a number of alternative solutions and were impressed with Interact, particularly its attractive design and ease of use. These factors, coupled with the fact that Interact came highly recommended by other housing associations already benefiting from having implemented the solution, made Interact the ideal choice.

Commenting on the new intranet Paula Littleboy, PA & Corporate Marketing Officer at Chevin said:

“As soon as we saw Interact we were immediately impressed by its attractive design and how easy it was to use. Since implementing Interact communication and information sharing has improved to such an extent that we can’t imagine how we managed without it.”

“The burden on our IT team is greatly reduced as key administrators in different departments can easily update the intranet ensuring that content is valid and up to date. It has reduced the strain on our email system and is now the first place people go to when they want to find information”

Chevin have branded their intranet ‘Colin’ (Chevin On-line Internal Network). The brand identity is represented by a chameleon to reflect the ever changing and evolving intranet. This branding helps Chevin build trust and loyalty within the user community and distinguishes the intranet from other IT systems.

As well as corporate news and information, Colin also provides staff with a social environment with features such as popular ‘for sale’ and ‘events’ sections, which draws staff into the intranet on a regular basis.

According to Paula Littleboy Interact has also helped them make business processes much more streamlined and efficient:

“We use the Room and Resource booking application which has resulted in a significant improvement in managing our meeting rooms which are located in different offices.

“Previously rooms had to be booked using a manual diary system that was very time consuming for our customer contact team who managed it on a day to day basis. Now staff can find a suitable room within minutes, reserve it for a desired time and add requests for catering and equipment. If changes need to be made to a booking we have a reliable and accurate record of all bookings making this a very easy process.”

Chevin are still looking at ways to improve the intranet and have recently had a Blogging demonstration to look at how this could further help and promote communication between departments and teams. They are also looking at additional design styles for homepages across the site and are constantly looking at ways to keep staff interested and involved.

About Interact Intranet
Interact is a versatile, fully secure Intranet which can be quickly and easily updated by non technical users. It seamlessly integrates with other IT applications providing a single one-stop portal for business processes and information such as staff details, news and procedures.

The core software comprises a sophisticated range of built-in applications and contains all the features you need for a powerful and flexible strategic intranet which promotes collaboration and communication. A range of sophisticated additional plug-in business software is available to suit key business processes.

The latest version of the software, Interact 4, has been developed to take advantage of the latest technologies as used by websites like Facebook and Amazon. Its unique Intelligence Store logs information such as browsing routes, search entries, documents ratings and hits and uses this information to promote content to users. It automatically creates links to other information such as articles, discussions, events and people so that each piece of information is not isolated, but is part of a greater whole – the intranet information store. The more the intranet is used and the more content is added the more powerful and effective it becomes.

About Interact
Founded in 1996, Interact is one of the UK’s longest established web development companies. Based in Altrincham, Cheshire, the company specialises in providing the UK’s leading out-of-the box intranet solution, Interact.

With over a decade of experience Interact has built a solid reputation for both product excellence and outstanding customer service. Organisations using Interact report improved efficiency, greater productivity, increased staff commitment, better decision making and cost savings. Interact is used by over 150,000 people across a diverse range of clients in both the private and public sectors including HMV, Waterstone’s, Chelsea Football Club, Tyco ADT, Tradeteam DHL, Amicus, CLIC Sargent, Calor as well as NHS and social housing organisations.