Housing associations are increasingly looking to their fleets as they seek to balance their social and business obligations in the face of a range of impending issues, says fleet software company Chevin Fleet Solutions.
The company said housing associations are coming under pressure because of everything from the impact of universal credit on the way that rents are paid through to the longer-term effects of housing an ageing population.
Against this backdrop, they are facing an ongoing organisational commitment to deliver service excellence and value for money.
Ashley Sowerby, managing director of Chevin, said: “These organisations have busy service and maintenance departments with often surprisingly large fleets of vehicles providing a full responsive property repairs service as well as cyclical and planned works.
“They are currently examining their fleet operations in some detail as part of wider programmes designed to ensure that they are balancing their social and business responsibilities in the face of increasing financial pressure.
“If they can manage core operational matters such as fleet in the most cost-effective way possible, it means they will have funds available to do more in terms of improving services.
"This could mean building new homes, regenerating the communities in which they work and providing additional specialist services such as supported housing for vulnerable people.”
Ashley said that fleet software was being looked at by housing associations as part of wider moves to measure and explore results currently being achieved and to evidence any improvements.
“Housing associations recognise that there is a growing need to track their fleet’s effectiveness and, while a few are already using specialist software, there is a large potential market.
"We are currently in dialogue with several about how software can help them to achieve their aims.”