05 / 02 / 2021

Our AI-Powered Repairs Tool with Housing Solutions

Learn more about our exciting new project - an AI-powered repairs diagnostic tool that can identify common repairs issues to almost 100% accuracy!

As part of our ongoing development with our longstanding client, Housing Solutions, we’ve embarked on an exciting new project: an AI-powered repairs diagnostics tool.

We've been working with social housing provider Housing Solutions for the past 5 years, launching loads of innovative projects together to help them drive forward their digital transformation across the organisation.

This latest development has been in the works at Prodo for a few months now, driven in part by the rapid digital acceleration as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We knew we needed to provide adaptable, dynamic solutions for the housing sector to support operational efficiency and outstanding customer experience during this unprecedented time.

Utilising technology during a crisis

During the early stages of the pandemic, we worked with many associations to rapidly implement new tools, including crisis communication chatbots, site alerts and other responsive features to aid performance.

Having delivered numerous integrated solutions to support self-service portals and self-appointing of repairs, through deep integrations to housing management and other key business systems, Prodo has a solid appreciation for the significant time and budgetary implications of servicing customer repairs.

It's also clear that, during the current outbreak, most housing providers have moved to an emergency and compliance-based approach to repairs. We recognise that as things eventually return to normal, a looming backlog of repair requirements will soon emerge, as customers revert to logging non-emergency jobs.

We wanted to push the boundaries of how repairs are reported by housing customers, leveraging new technology to build a new product that will allow us to address a number of key issues.

Image source: Unsplash

The result?

AI Assist: a repair diagnostic solution, built on the Microsoft Azure platform. Perfectly matched with Housing Solution’s continual appetite for innovation, the AI Assist tool allows customers to submit boiler identification details via a single photo.

Housing Solutions AI Bot Placeit (1)
Image source: Placeit

The visual repair diagnostic tool has been trained on machine learning models to correctly identify two target issues – gas boilers and damp – with a near 100% degree of accuracy.

How can AI Assist help?

  • Ease of reporting for customers: By removing steps from the often tedious and long-winded repairs reporting process, AI Assist supports a better user experience, as well as reducing the need for interpretation of the repairs issue by the customer. Users simply need to ‘snap and send’ a picture of their issue while the tool does the rest of the work!
  • Consistency of data for housing providers: By ensuring that repairs are reported in the same way, each and every time, AI Assist reduces inconsistencies and the need for interpretation or clarification by colleagues.
  • Facilitating efficient servicing of repairs: A higher accuracy of reported repairs enables engineers to be better equipped to resolve customer issues right the first time. Better visibility of the issue reduces the need for additional contact or visits with the customer.
  • Providing data and insight into your asset portfolio: By proactively building a picture of assets and their current state, Housing Solutions will be able to get ahead of seasonal spikes in demand on heating and boiler issues.

What’s next?

Whilst this initial phase launched at the end of last year, we’re working closely with Housing Solutions to extend the capabilities of the tool to cover the top 10 most commonly reported repairs for customers.

Kris Slattery, Engineering Manager at Prodo, said, “We’re really excited about seeing this project progress and evolve, with new ideas forming at every stage for how we can make the tool as useful as possible to transform the way housing associations operate and deliver. Partnering with Housing Solutions has allowed us to build a dynamic working relationship that goes from strength to strength.”

Rich Harvey, Head of Digital & Information Services at Housing Solutions, said, “In an age when customers can and want to transact online, it’s fundamental to a housing provider’s success that they become truly digital which is why we’ve made online the first choice for our customers, enabling them to access our services at a time and place convenient to them. With the help of Prodo, we’ve vastly improved our digital service offering and the AI assist development shows just how much we’re pushing boundaries. We can’t wait to see what comes next!”


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