Case Hoas

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Robots have halved the housing applications times at Hoas

July-September is a busy peak in the Helsinki Region Student Housing Foundation in Hoas. On the busiest day, Hoas receives up to a thousand applications. With Eera’s support, Hoas enlisted the help of a software robot to take care of the pre-processing of the applications. The robot has freed up customer service working hours and significantly speeded up the processing of applications.

The amount of applications for student housing in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area has multiplied year by year, and on the other hand, long application times make it difficult to for the students to plan their housing, which easily causes stress and uncertainty.

 

Since 2017, Hoas, in cooperation with Sisua Digital (formerly Eera), has utilized software robotics to improve customer service and manage the annual congestion peak by delegating the processing of applications to a robot.

“In July-October, the robot has already processed more than 8,400 applications. This has taken about 400 hours, when people would have spent almost twice as much on the same workload, about 700 hours,” describes Riitta Pulkka, Hoas' Customer Relationship Manager, in 2017 in the beginning of their robotics journey.

The robot fully handles the pre-processing of applications. For example, it checks applicants’ credit information to see if they have other current applications or if they already live with Hoas. About 2 minutes of the customer service staff’s time is freed up per one application. Thanks to the software robots, Hoas customers receive faster information about their application being received and that they have a place in the housing queue.

 

The robot goes through the list of incoming applications four times a day: twice at night, once in the morning and once during the day. When pre-processing is done at night, customer service representatives will be able to resume applications right from the morning.

 

Experiences in software robotics have been good. Between 2018 and 2021, Hoas has expanded the responsibilities of the software robots besides application processing to financial management and automation of resident communication.

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HOAS

Hoas is a student housing foundation founded in 1969 that offers students rental housing in close proximity to study places. Hoas has more than 10,000 apartments in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. The student unions of the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, as well as 10 other student unions and student unions of polytechnics are also involved in the operations of the foundation.

Automation benefits
  • Processing times for housing applications have halved

  • Manual work has been reduced

  • Employees’ time has been freed up for other tasks

  • Congestion peaks have been smoothed out, so students get apartments faster