Orchard Digital Income Analytics

User-Driven Design for Intelligent Management of Property Arrears

Measuring Success

Every project has a unique story. However, success should always be measurable. Here are the stats and facts that sets this project apart.

Reduction In Arrears

Most Successful Product Launch

MVP in 9 Months

Setting the Scene

Orchard is an established software business in the social housing sector with a BIG team - there are over 200 employees, with most in the development team. Their business offers software that helps social housing organisations better manage their properties and tenancies.

One problem, however, was more common and more critical than the others: rent arrears.

Arrears are a tricky issue for all parties. They’re a logistical hassle for housing organisations, a stressful situation for tenants and unfortunately, a recurrent problem.



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Trust the Process

Our 5-Step process is core to all we do. Working through each project, we apply each step to maximise our output and bring a proven process to our work. All steps are configured to meet your teams’ individual needs and objectives. Here’s a sample of each step in action.


Building Awareness Around An Emotional Problem

Rent arrears are a people-driven problem - with the social housing arrears officers engaged in person-to-person contact regularly. To understand how technology could help them, we decided to conduct in-person user research to better grasp their problem.

We interviewed officers and shadowed them during their working days. We also interviewed internal stakeholders to understand theory frustrations from an organisational standpoint.


Intelligent Approach

We knew this was a sensitive challenge, so we needed to be best placed to find the smartest solutions that would support tenants, not add additional stressors.

To do this, we built our requirements from a place of empathy and build that into a data-driven methodology. To get a better picture of a tenant's situation we approached a technology company specialising in data privacy. They helped us to understand how to use tenant data in a GDPR-compliant way. We could then use this data to build prediction models that would identify when tenants might go into arrears.


Illustrating nuance to officers

Housing officers often had no real visibility over what a tenant’s situation was. Tenants were either in arrears, or they weren’t. During ideation, we used our acquired knowledge and a carefully defined problem to find the best solution.

By creating a data-driven product, we could add nuance and understanding to a tenant so that an officer could see the factors around a tenant’s situation. Were they, for example, always going into arrears for just a single day as they waited for their payment? Had they reported multiple repairs but not had them carried out?


A Team Effort

Orchard already had a large development team, so we helped drive the vision through consultation and product design. As mentioned, we worked closely with external organisations on topics like GDPR to ensure everything we did was compliant and delivered to best practices.

We delivered the full product in just nine months from the initial conversation with the client to launching live in-market.


The Outcome

The final result delivered a product that helped housing officers make better decisions about pursuing rent arrears while reducing the negative impact on tenants. Our efforts allowed the income analytics tool to debut in Orchard’s product stack which subsequently became their most commercially successful product launch of all time.

The product successfully reduced rent arrears cases, recovered significant revenue for housing organisations and became the fastest-growing success in the last five years of Orchard’s commercial history.

For the team at KOMODO, we got to do good work, drive great commercial results and most importantly, help reduce the impact of a sensitive issue. And if you asked any of us, the best technology we can build is stuff that really makes a difference.

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