Locata – Giving officers on the ground control of their IT systems

A video showing how the “tasks and questions” procedure can help local authority officers design, build and deliver their own workflows

More and more councils are taking control of their customer facing IT systems and configuring their own workflow processes using Locata’s unique intuitive software.

Local authority officers are encouraged to develop their own tasks within the system to suit the processes that work best in their local area.

This means that councils do not need to compromise on their software system as they cast around to find the approximate “best fit” for their local needs.

Instead, the Locata software can be easily adapted using its unique “task and question” procedure to deliver each local authority’s precise requirements.

Kirsty Farmer, Housing Manager at New Forest DC, has been overseeing the introduction of a new Locata module called Private Sector Housing (PSH) at her council.

“I am not from an IT background and have not configured a system before. However, the tasks and question functionality is very simple to use,” she told Locata’s National Users Group (NUG) earlier this month.

“I have been able to tailor the system to how I want the team to work, rather than the confines of the system dictating the way we work.”

The functionality giving control to users of the Locata system was first developed with a module called HPA2, developed for officers to reflect the new duties placed upon them by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

Locata worked with a Development Group formed by practitioners from 27 councils. The officers on the group made it clear during the development of HPA2 that each would need the ability to configure the system slightly differently from each other, based on their own local need.

The resulting homelessness system with its unique “tasks and questions” functionality impressed local authorities across the country and is now used by more than 120 councils.

The platform that HPA2 was built on has now been re-purposed for a series of new modules, including Temporary Accommodation and Rents Accounting, Third Party and Housing Related Support, and Private Sector Housing – each giving officers unique control over their workflows.

“The implementation of the PSH module allowed me to review all of our processes”, Kirsty Farmer told the NUG meeting. “The beauty of the ability to amend the system so freely means I can change processes and fields at any time.

“Previously we would need to instruct our IT department and the software provider, wait a number of weeks and agree a cost to make even the most simple of changes, even if they were possible in the first place.

“With the Locata PSH system I have been able to create multiple case types and add workflows accordingly to manage cases that were often held outside of our previous system.”

Locata is also planning to move its much admired and widely used Choice Based Lettings software over to the new platform to give housing officers even greater control of the way they work as part of a “Complete Lettings Digital Solution”.

To find out how our unique software can benefit your council, please contact Locata at info@locata.org.uk