In July 2017 Aileen was appointed Group Chief Executive of Grand Union Housing Group, having previously been the Group’s Director of Operations. Aileen has previously worked with the NHS to fund solutions to bed blocking.
She is also a founder member of SHOUT, the campaign for Social Housing. Aileen is a qualified coach, Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Housing, and Chair of the Governing Body of a local school.
At Grand Union Housing Group, we have been on a mission to digitise and transform our business and the move to a board solution went hand in hand with a move to improve business processes more generally. Having a board solution that enabled us to produce board papers efficiently was essential.
As a group, we are heavily regulated especially given we use public money for our initiatives. Our board is relied upon to be in control and to have a good line of sight. Everything comes down to what the board knows, therefore we were looking for a system that gave us the ability to visibly achieve those vital objectives even in the case of us running a complex internal structure.
Since using Convene we can identify demonstrable savings and increased efficiencies. There have been comments from employees who have said that their lives are easier with the system in place. It is not only about actual board meetings; it is also about the work of our board members outside the boardroom; how they access information using the information library and how easy it is for them to access information remotely.
Convene was universally embraced as a solution and this has led to a big increase in virtual meetings. Prior to Convene, our meeting packs were extensive and were made up of 400 pages. Since a pack went to ten board members, the paper volume was huge. We are passionate about environmental sustainability, so this was a key consideration for us. Not to mention that the production of a board pack placed considerable pressure on our administrators. The time taken to physically be in front of a copier, collating copies, and resolving issues such as a document going missing from one copy run was time that could be better spent on actual business tasks.
Our board members now use iPads, and we use the Convene system for our executive team minutes, our leadership team minutes, and all areas where we are required to demonstrate an audit trail. With Convene, everything is on the app.
When a recent, in-depth assessment took place we were able to supply board papers, meeting minutes, discussion points all at the touch of a button through Convene without having to spend precious time (not to mention stress!) locating the information requested by the regulators. Convene has saved us on administrative staffing costs which have further helped our balance sheet. It is highly commendable as a solution and has improved our systems and processes here at Grand Union Housing Group.
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