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Orbit rolls out GIS mapping system

Staff at 39,000-home Orbit Group are benefitting from geographical data at their fingertips following the launch of GIS system MyM@ps.

Orbit, which manages homes across the Midlands, East and South East, has rolled out a web-based GIS system for its 1,300 staff to access geographic information, maps and analysis to support its business targets.

Now all staff have access to the tool which allows them to profile housing stock and customer demographics, reducing the need for site visits and creating a more efficient way of working.

Staff have helped shape the platform and inform the different geographical data to support their roles. There are six customised views for development, maintenance, letting and management, grounds maintenance and service charges, sales and sales planning, and other general business activities.

This sector-leading approach allows staff to gain information quickly and on the go, meaning they can answer queries quickly with current data to hand, using the bespoke view that is relevant to their specific area.

Orbit has been using a GIS system since 2010 and recognised the potential for it to create further efficiency savings and provide strategic business insight. It has developed the system in partnership with Cadcorp to produce a web-based variant.

Steve Litchfield, GIS manager at Orbit Group, said: “The business is now utilising a much more efficient GIS platform, which supports our digital by default agenda and provides staff with the tools they need to deal with customer queries faster and more effectively, in turn improving our overall customer satisfaction levels.”

“I was the go-to person when staff required specific geographic information, maps and analysis, but this was unsustainable as the business grew. Together with Cadcorp we have evolved the system to ensure it meets the needs of the business and enables staff to self-serve. The feedback and usage from staff has been excellent.”

Orbit’s estate management ran the first myM@ps pilot, and following the success of this they were the first team to go live in March 2015.

Kevin Ruane, Estates Area Manager, Orbit East and South said: “For Estates Services, myM@ps will allow us to work smarter and deliver better value for money in negotiating new contracts and any variations. It will also assist us in dealing with customer queries as there is easy access to a street view of any designated area, enabling us to be more precise with our answers to any questions.”

Martin McGarry, managing director, Cadcorp said: “Orbit started reaping the benefits of deploying geographic data shortly after installing their first desktop GIS. By moving to a web-based deployment they have shown it is now possible to share those benefits throughout the organisation.”

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