Loreburn Housing Association – Housing System Review

The Organisation

Loreburn Housing Group was established in 1982 and owns and manages over 2,750 properties in Dumfries & Galloway, offering a wide range of accommodation to suit a range of needs. Loreburn made the strategic decision to move to an agile working environment and considered initially how this could be achieved with their existing housing and finance management system. However, the conclusion was that the existing systems could not support them in achieving their objectives and as a result Loreburn selected a new system, HomeMaster from Designer Software.

The Challenge

Loreburn did not have the internal expertise to manage the data migration and asked 3C to carry out this element of the implementation project. HomeMaster’s implementation process requires customer data to be loaded into the system before staff workshops are undertaken. The first workshops were booked for late January 2021 and work on the data commenced in early December 2020, giving six working weeks to get the data ready to load into HomeMaster.

Although Loreburn had carried out a data to cleanse and collated the data that would be required, once work began on reformatting the data, anomalies were found that required the Loreburn team to review and make further changes before it could be imported into the HomeMaster.

The Solution

3C has considerable experience of managing, analysing, manipulating data as part of the data migration process. The work was led by 3C’s lead data consultant, James Holland, who has over 30 years’ experience in housing IT. James was able to draw upon tools and scripts developed by 3C to extract the data into a staging post, where it could be reviewed and if necessary, adjust ready for the import into HomeMaster. This included data Loreburn had collated from other software systems and spreadsheets so allowing far more to be achieved within the new HomeMaster system.

Having worked on a previous HomeMaster migrations, James was able to convert the data into the correct format, ensuring that the first pass of data was loaded in time for the first workshops.

The HomeMaster implementation was swift and over the next five months the data migration scripts were refined and anomalies addressed. All data was ready for the final migration and a successful go live was achieved in early July 2021.

The Benefits

Working with 3C gave Loreburn assurance of a successful data migration, benefitting from:

  • 3C’s considerable experience of data migration and knowledge of housing system databases (including the existing housing management solution)
  • 3C’s knowledge of the HomeMaster data loaders
  • 3Cs ability to draw upon previously developed scripts for extraction of data
  • A capped price for the data migration

Cost Savings

Loreburn’s Gary Alison estimates that switching to HomeMaster combined with the implementation of the hub, home and roam model will enabled the organisation to make over £250,000 of cost savings, as follows:

  • Licensing and maintenance of additional systems that are now obsolete (per annum) £50,000
  • Staffing costs due to switching to agile working (excluding repairs & maintenance) £50,000
  • Office costs due to switching to agile working (excluding repairs & maintenance) £50,000
  • Savings on previously identified development costs for new functions (available from HomeMaster) £100,000
I am so impressed with the Team. I absolutely trust them and they’re aligned with our business ethics so it’s great to have a like-minded strategic partner. The product offer and service delivery are exceptional and at Loreburn we are committed to working with organisations who bring a value for money offer to our customers and make a real difference to this sector. They are a breath of fresh air and we are excited to be working with them.
Gary Alison Director of Finance and Corporate Services