Established in 1936, NHBC is the UK’s leading independent provider of warranty and insurance for new-build homes. Its purpose is to raise standards in house building by championing high-quality homes and protecting homeowners.
For most families, buying and owning a home will be the single most important purchase decision they make in a lifetime. NHBC offers new homeowners a sense of confidence in their purchase with its Buildmark 10-year home warranty and insurance product - which covers 70% to 80% of new homes built in the UK. Buildmark currently protects 1.5 million new homes against damage caused by structural defects in the property.
Its consumer-facing operations are powered by a custom-built technology stack with at least five NHBC websites hosted and managed by a third party. Due to user experience issues, NHBC required Uptrends to come onboard to monitor performance metrics.
NHBC faced several challenges as it emerged from the global pandemic. Besides a temporary dip in new home registrations during 2020, NHBC wrestled with quality control issues with their customer-facing portals. The portals, originally built and now managed by a third-party provider were generating complaints from users that wound up in the Customer Services department.
“Customers were saying the stability of those portals wasn’t great and they were not performing well. They were getting kicked out, getting error messages and getting 404s, etc.”
NHBC sought help several years ago from a monitoring solution but the provider fell short on a few key product features and NHBC decided they weren’t getting value for the money, so they decided to switch to Uptrends as their monitoring solutions provider.
“For one, it was expensive in comparison to the Uptrends offering. It was more like a bit of an add-on to their load testing service, and it wasn’t really as feature-rich as the Uptrends solution.”
NHBC needed a monitoring solution that offered the feature-rich, detailed dashboards offered by Uptrends to make performance metrics clear and easy to make sense of the incoming data. For that, NHBC turned to the detailed, cost-effective reporting that few monitoring providers aside from Uptrends offer. Product performance and cost-effectiveness now favored Uptrends as NHBC’s new monitoring solution provider.
Supporting the switch to Uptrends monitoring
NHBC chose Uptrends over many other competitors based on the quality of its offering, attractive pricing and the results monitoring brings toward MTTR. The monitoring solution in place prior to Uptrends coming on scene was not always reliable in terms of the metrics it was reporting back to NHBC systems engineers. For a company with many customer-facing web portals and a reputation as a leader in the home warranty industry, the lack of system observability was unacceptable.
“We were struggling with the supplier who was telling us that everything looked green on our Oracle-based monitoring that we had on the infrastructure stack. They were saying it was green, but we were saying it was not.”
NHBC thought the time was right to add another set of eyes on its IT stack. Uptrends transaction monitors, infrastructure monitors and Private Checkpoints are the solutions the company most relies upon to detect service failures that may be happening to its users.
Then there’s the human element. “For one, the service responsiveness and support NHBC receives from Uptrends is nothing short of top-notch.”
“I love the team in the Netherlands. They’re amazing. We have a great rapport that really helps the whole relationship. When we’re talking about service, the support team honestly in my view, is second to none.”
Business is looking up post-pandemic and NHBC is ready for it. New home registrations were up 33% in Q3 2022 compared to the same period in the previous year. Uptrends monitoring will be there as a partner to NHBC to help grow and retain business.
“Uptrends enables us to react quickly to service outages or degradation. Quite often Uptrends will alert us to this issue quicker than internal monitoring systems in the backend infrastructure, meaning we can rectify these and reduce reputational damage.”
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