Fit for the Future
BITMO’s Five Year Plan 2019 – 2024
BITMO is a unique provider of quality housing services in Leeds, with a strong community base, exceptional colleagues and customers who want BITMO to add real value to the people who live in Belle Isle
We manage about 1900 homes, have 38 staff and support 20 volunteers.
We are committed to delivering long term sustainable community benefits in Belle Isle and providing Leeds City Council with a cost effective way of delivering services.
This five year plan sets out how we will continuously improve what we do to be stronger, and more successful year on year.
We will continue our three key aims of:
- Providing high quality services
- Building a stronger safer belle isle
- Being a well-run TMO
How we will do it
We will maintain a singular focus on keeping things simple and effective, linking customers, colleagues, partners, and community to maximise the value we create and the impact we have among our stakeholders.
We will have projects and works streams around 5 key themes:
1 Continuous improvement – we will carry out a programme of service reviews to deliver improvement in every aspect of BITMO, enhancing value for our customers.
We will build leadership and accountability into our service, continually challenging what we do and how we do it to provide the best possible service to our community.
We will equip our staff to act make a difference in our community.
2 Our Green Agenda puts our response to the climate emergency front and centre of how we conduct our day to day business and how we invest in our community.
3 Digitally enabled colleagues and customers
We will adopt and fully implement LCC systems where possible and beneficial.
SMARTER working we will simplify how we work using IT tools to work more effectively.
Digital leaders. We will develop the digital capability of staff and customers not quite digital by default, but digital mainly.
4 Meeting Community Needs
We will work with partners to improve outcomes in health, work, and money in our community.
5. Developing our Organisation
BITMO people are empowered engaged and enabled.
We want to be a company where people enjoy being at work and are freed up to do their best work and achieve satisfaction and reward from making a difference
We believe strongly in People, Service and Community. Our leadership is focused on developing vibrant, energetic, solution focused teams working in the best interests of our customers. As an employer we seek to be supportive and empowering.
By being willing to talk openly about what we can do better and the challenges ahead, by investing in training and collaboration we will create an engaging, involving organisation where colleagues and customers are able to reach their potential.
We face 10 key risks.
1. DETERIORATING BUSINESS PERFORMANCE. If we don’t achieve our performance goals we will be failing our customers and Leeds City Council. We pursue performance with purpose to create a company that does the right thing for the our customers, our community and the environment
We will mitigate this risk with
- Timely data
- Skilled staff
- Focus on quality
- Effective performance management
2 INEFFICIENT BUSINESS PROCESSES THAT CREATE ERROR, DUPLICATION AND RE-WORK. If we work in inefficient ways we will never release the capacity and talent of our people to make a difference in the community.
We will mitigate this risk through:
- Commitment to simplification
- Continuous improvement
- Removing waste from work processes and maximising value added
3. CORPORATE COMPLIANCE & GOVERNANCE. Failure to deliver against our legal, regulatory or social commitments would undermine our reputation as a responsible provider of housing and community services and may result in legal exposure or regulatory sanctions, and could negatively impact on our ability to operate and/or remain relevant to our customers. Failure to attract and retain committed effective Board members will potentially trigger a closure decision by LCC.
We mitigate this risk through:
- An effective Board
- Engaged Shareholders
- Clear policies and procedures, including on data protection, whistleblowing, health & safety.
- Quality assurance auditing and monitoring systems in place
- Customer insight
- Continuous improvement initiatives
4. TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITY. Failure to improve our technology capabilities, reduce dependency on legacy systems and enhance digital capability could limit our ability to keep pace with customer expectations, frustrate colleagues and create inefficiency.
We will mitigate this risk by
- Developing business system champions
- Fully adopting LCC systems and training
- Induction training for new starters and returners
- System user training audits
5. BUSINESS CONTINUITY AND RESILIENCE. A major incident at our Belle Isle office that prevented staff from working there may have a significant impact on our ability to meet customer needs and deliver against our income and debt reduction targets
We mitigate this risk by having:
- Business continuity plans for key areas of the business and critical points of failure
- Insurance cover to mitigate the impact of remediation and business interruption.
- Mechanisms for checking that contractors and partners have appropriate business continuity plans in place.
6. THE TMO BEING WOUND UP BY LCC. BITMO is the only TMO in Leeds and a change in strategic priorities within the council could lead to the TMO being wound up, should the opportunity present itself.
We mitigate this risk by managing all our risks effectively and delivering convincingly and demonstrably against our aims. This helps a successful Ballot outcome every five years.
7. PARTNERSHIPS. An inability to successfully develop and manage strategic third-party relationships will have an impact on delivery of community initiatives, and benefits as well as our ability to operate effectively and efficiently or, in some circumstances, our reputation as a provider of community services would be undermined
We will mitigate this risk by having:
- A comprehensive schedule of partners and agreements with clear mutual expectations and performance measures
- Regular relationship meetings with partners
- Customer feedback surveys for users of partnership facilitated services.
8. FUNDING, RESERVES & TREASURY. BITMO receives its funding via a Management Agreement with Leeds City Council. This is dependent upon the level of housing stock and satisfactory performance in key areas. It has identified a minimum level of reserves and those reserves must be secure whilst looking to achieve a reasonable return on investment.
A risk to housing stock levels exists in the Right to Buy legislation, which has led to a diminution of stock of 20-30 properties per annum (1-1.5%).
This risk is being mitigated by active encouragement of house building by Leeds CC in the Belle Isle area. This is now more viable given a lifting of the cap on council house building borrowing and a new incentive grant scheme. Some 30 houses are planned currently and a large site has been earmarked for heavier investment in future years.
A risk of poor performance is mitigated by continual management and review of key areas of operation as well as regular meetings with key LCC staff.
Risk of monetary fraud is mitigated by sound internal controls and financial procedures (see Financial Procedures Handbook).
The Board has identified that a target level of reserves should be £750k. This equates to some three months operating costs. Reserves at 31.3.19 stood at £1m and the current year outcome could bring that level down to £900k. There is therefore a current cushion of some £150k to the identified minimum level of reserves. Continued careful management is required to ensure that any financial contingencies are minimised.
Good treasury management is needed to ensure that funds are safe and earn a respectable return.
9. TALENT CULTURE AND CAPABILITY. A failure to attract, develop and motivate talented people who are committed to BITMO will impact on the quality of service we deliver and our efficiency in delivering it. Our colleagues are our greatest asset. We need to ensure that they and our culture are developed to drive a customer first mind-set
People key performance indicators are in place
Establish an employee engagement survey
- A Colleague Forum to encourage colleague voice
- Simplified, outputs-focused framework for performance
- Annual Colleague Stress Survey
- Regular 1:1s for all staff to reflect on success at work and the support they need.
10. BRAND, LOYALTY & CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. 52% of our customers didn’t vote for us at the 2019 continuation ballot. An inability to successfully engage with our community and make BITMO relevant to our customers could have an impact on our ability to continue to provide services in the future
We manage this risk through:
- Customer Insight established to better understand the 52%, their geography, demography and service use
- Communications Group set up to drive engagement
- Board Champions
We have four main groups of stakeholders and our activities are focused on delivering for them:
Having a truly customer centric service, working together across teams and across disciplines to focus on the customer and give them the best service possible.
Colleagues who are motivated, skilled, ambitious and committed to their organisation and the customer make all the difference when it comes to creating success.
As a small organisation we are dependent upon having close relationships with partners that help us to meet the needs of our community and help us to be a modern connected organisation. Partners include LCC, Local Political Leaders and the businesses, agencies and educational establishments we work with to support our community.
The way in which we work, engaging with our community involves us in continuous learning and supports a strong organisation and creates real value every day.