Calyx web-enables anti-poverty agency

16 Mar 2009

An anti-poverty agency focused on providing homes for lone parents, the elderly, the homeless and people with special needs is to get a productivity boost from a web system developed by tech service firm Calyx.

Respond, which was set up in 1982, has provided homes for traditional families, lone-parent families, older persons, the homeless and those with special needs.

With an expanding workforce of 350 employees in more then 15 regional offices around Ireland, the association seeks to create a positive future for people by alleviating poverty and creating vibrant, socially integrated communities.

Over the past number of years, Respond has built more than 4,000 homes nationwide, with a further 1,000 under construction. This demand, coupled with an expanding employment base, had resulted in the association’s original management tools becoming outdated and inflexible.

The new system, Rent+, administers rent payments, rental agreements and the complete management of the Respond developments nationwide. Calyx ensured staff were provided full training on the new system, which now produces accurate reports with a web interface enabling 60 staff with 24/7 online access.

Mark Murray, National IS co-ordinator, said, “The previous solution was effective but had run its course. We needed something that would manage the needs of our increasing number of residents, provide a more powerful database and be flexible enough to handle unique situations.”

Following an audit of Respond’s existing systems and the expanding requirements for the organisation, Calyx identified that a customised solution was required to mange the many services for the association’s residents.  According to Murray: “Timescales were very tight, Calyx had four months to develop and install a bespoke solution that included an improved payment processing system and more intuitive reports.

“We now have an extremely reliable system in place and we can see the benefits of Rent+. The customised system has made life a lot easier for everyone here. It has helped us to plan our business development more accurately. The reduction in time for administrative issues results in our staff now being able to provide enhanced service levels for our residents.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Karl O’Leary, Calyx Software; John Hannigan, Respond; and Gerry Callinan, Calyx Software