Managing demand is a key part of our transformation programme. Graham Williamson, Operations Manager for Building Services, and Lucy McKenzie, Senior Customer Experience Officer, talk about how their teams have been working together to manage demand in Housing Repairs. 

Graham and Lucy talk about managing demand in Housing Repairs

Graham explains how Building Services are managing demand in other ways, i.e. digitalising and working more closely with other services.

Graham explains how employees have been involved in shaping service redesign and taking forward other ideas for managing demand. 

What do we mean by demand?

​Demand is the result of people turning to the council to fulfil a need. That need could vary from very simple – such as the need to report a fault or pay a council tax bill – to long term complex needs such as dealing with homelessness or taking a child into care.

Why are we looking at our demand?

Dealing with demand costs time and money. It uses up resources. These resources are reducing at the same time as the pressures on the council are rising owing to factors such more people accessing public services due to people living longer. So, we need to think carefully about how we manage the demand on our services to make sure we’re focusing our resources where they’re really needed. While much of our demand is valid and necessary, we’ve identified 5 types of demand which are not:

As a council we’re taking a deliberate and systematic approach to understand our demand and analyse what we spend – looking specifically at where we face the most pressure from demand. As part of planning for 2020/21 and beyond, we’re undertaking a council-wide analysis of demand – including how much we spend across all services, what demand drives that spend and how this could be reduced, removed or managed better.

What's your role?

We need the whole organisation to think about demand management and how we can remove negative demand from the system. You know your own service and what creates demand for you, so think about how the following might apply in your own area:

Type of demand
some examples
ask yourself ...

Failure Demand

Having to redo a poorly done repair or customers having to contact us to check information as a result of a badly worded letter or poorly designed website

Do you find yourself repeatedly answering the same query or fixing the same problem?

Is your service inadvertently causing demand through employee error, misinformation or poor design? 

Avoidable demand

Obliging customers to contact us face to face rather than providing alternative methods such as an app or an online option

Are there processes or practices in your service where demand could be managed digitally or in a different way?

Excess demand

Hand-holding – always providing personal support rather than signposting people to online self-help or to other agencies

Is your team providing a ‘gold standard’ service above what’s required or can be afforded? 

Have customers become dependent on you to provide a service which we are not obliged to provide?

Co-dependent demand

One service sending out letters which create an influx of demand on the customer contact centre; micro-managing and ‘rescuing’ rather than helping people become self-sufficient

Is your service by its actions inadvertently creating additional demand on another service? 

Are you, by your actions, causing your customers/ staff to become dependent on you?

Preventable demand

Homeless applications; landfill and litter collection where recycling education could have minimised this

Are there areas you’re aware of where we could have intervened earlier to prevent demand arising in the first place?

%d bloggers like this: