The client

Although Midland Heart began life as a housing association back in the 1920’s, it has undertaken a series of mergers to get to its current formation. The most recent of these mergers was in 2006 when two groups, Keynote and Prime Focus, came together to form what is now, one of the top ten housing and care organisations in the UK. Midland Heart currently has 7 sites throughout the Midlands, with its head office located in Bath Row in Birmingham.

The challenge

Midland Heart currently manages over 32,000 homes across 54 local authority areas and invests in excess of £100 million each year in its neighbourhoods. These figures are growing year on year, and as such so is the level of administration required to manage these houses, including an increased number of staff and the number of files that must be kept up to date and accessible.

Faced with these issues, Midland Heart took the decision to digitise their current live files. The project was put out for tender and after putting forward our proposed solution, we were selected to be their partner on this project.

We have received numerous compliments from staff that have worked with DDC OS at the sites adopting Paperlite. We are looking forward to working with them moving forward.

The solution

DDC OS provided an end-to-end solution, starting with an on-site packing service, and resulting in the digital file being uploaded to our secure server. We started out by creating a master manifest of all files that were due to be collected, allowing a full audit trail of all the work we were to undertake.

Creating the manifest also meant we were in a position to provide a ‘scan-on-demand’ service for the client, as in some cases they would need to access the file within a 24-hour period.

The files, being current live tenancy files, comprised of tenancy agreements, any correspondence and legal documents relating to the address, change of occupancy notices and, in some cases, anti-social behavioural orders. In many files, there were oversized plans, and so a solution was put in place to scan these document separately and merge them back into the digital file before it was uploaded.

Once the digital file was completed, it was uploaded to our secure server and accessed by Netcall who provide the EDRM solution for Midland Heart. We also store any documentation as required or alternatively provide a secure destruction service.

The benefits

  • Our end-to-end solution using a master manifest allowed for a complete audit trail for Midland Heart.
  • The digitisation process indicated all areas of files that were missing, and also highlighted some files that had been misplaced entirely.
  • Having been in a position where they were struggling for desk space, they now have additional space available having cleared 220m of shelving at the Bath Row site alone.
  • Some parts of the files needed to be available within 24 hours if required and DDC OS` scan-on-demand solution allowed for this.
  • Duplication was reduced as, in some cases, copies of files were kept at the local offices and at the head office.
  • Significant cost savings are expected in relation to storage, printing and posting.


Successfully converting the live paper files to digital ones has allowed Midland Heart to make use of an easily accessible and manageable document management system, that will not only provide them with valuable extra space across the 7 sites but will also provide them with significant cost benefits over the next 5-6 years. The project has also been an exercise in file organisation, highlighting missing files and parts of files.

It has been a first-rate experience working with DDC OS. They focus on building and maintaining relationships which have been evident throughout the project as they have been flexible and provided invaluable advice when required. We have received numerous compliments from staff that have worked with DDC OS at the sites adopting Paperlite. We are looking forward to working with them moving forward.

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