Merlin Works has undergone a transition since transfer from South Gloucestershire Council to improve the service it delivers to its residents through increased use of ICT. Initially PDA's were introduced, trackers added to company vehicles and Opti Time introduced for dynamic scheduling of the workforce. Performance improvements have been evidenced throughout the process and ongoing improvements are recognised. The next stages are planned and fully tested and trialled prior to implementation to ensure the service continues to run smoothly at all times and no disruption is felt by the service users. Merlin Works ensures that its implementation of ICT is to improve the service for the residents it serves and the staff it employs.
Two years ago Shepherds Bush Housing Group took the rare step of setting up a joint venture (Domus) with our maintenance company (CMS). Domus is 51% owned by SBHG, 49% by CMS. Its 50 staff are part of SBHG and benefit from our culture and training (IIP Champion status) giving us a highly skilled, motivated team. Cost savings last year of £250,000 were re-invested in life-enhancing services for some of our most vulnerable residents. Improvements include real time information on repair progress using PDAs, a reliable appointment system booked when the repair is reported, text and phone to remind people when the operative will arrive, repairs desk open 8.00 am to 10.00 pm 7 days a week with email and on-line repairs reporting also available, and an effective CRM system to tailor services to the needs of individual customers. This year satisfaction with repairs hit 97%, making it among the highest in the country. Domus delivers even more ambitious goals as we sell its service to others which reduces overheads and offers our residents even greater value for money. In the past year this has paid for ten additional kitchen and bathrooms and allowed us to continue our home adaptation work for our most vulnerable residents.
A key element to sustaining the long term tenancies is to provide homes that meet the needs of tenants both now and in the future. To this effect, Three Oaks Homes Investment Programme was conceived and designed to enable our more vulnerable tenants to have access and use of their home for longer, enabling them to live in a safe environment, whilst preserving their independence and dignity through providing sustainable homes. For example as part of our investment programme, all tenants have a real choice of selecting their bathrooms, whether level access shower, shower cubicle or bath with integrated shower. This approach has been an integral element of our programme in relation to replacing any building component. Through this contract we have provided real choice to all our residents and ultimately this has maximised the level of customer satisfaction.
Orbit South entered into Partnership with MITIE Property Services Limited in April 2011 for the provision of Reactive Maintenance & Improvements (RMI Partnership) delivering services to over 15,000 homes across East Anglia and the South East. The partnership includes a number of innovative working practices and community benefits including price per property model, mobile working, apprenticeship opportunities for residents and funding from MITIE for investment projects to improve local community facilities. The partnership term initially for 10 years has an option to extend for a further 5 years, the estimated annual value is £15 million with cost savings of aroun13.5%. Although this is a relatively new partnership we believe the development and performance to date demonstrates the strategy and infrastructure of the partnership represents best practice.
Success through true partnership working, customer at forefront of service - "can do, will do" approach. Innovation through Target Costing approach led to savings and re-investment. Assessed via Considerate Constructors Scheme. Efficiencies and service improvements resulting in "performance above compliance". Accreditations include ISHAS 18001, ISO 9001 and 14001. Close relationship between partners was critical. Performance monitored through meetings and assessments. Contractors reputation and profile enhanced, customer satisfaction at record levels and benchmarks positively nationally. Significant investment with local labour and communities. Excellent performance and series of improvements experienced by customers. Many achieved at no Client cost. Financial audits confirm contract fully compliant. Further projected savings. Innovative good practice and successess could be replicated elsewhere. Genuine desire to work together is key. Culture change (remove traditional methods) and clear understanding of each others views / goals. Journey map at the outset is advantageous. Managers willing to share experiences and provide assistance.
Property Direct is the DLO responsible for maintaining 7,870 homes at Willow Park Housing Trust, an LSVT in south Manchester, with 180 staff and a turnover of £11 million. They set up Willows Future Academy to create training and employment opportunities in and around Wythenshawe, entirely funded from the £400,000 pa efficiency savings arising from increased productivity. This includes 10 new apprenticeships this year, 3 NVQ placements at The Manchester College, and 24 job trainees all of whom had personal development plans and 6 of whom got jobs at the Trust. With other local partners they helped run Get Hired events in the area giving local people access to jobs, with local employers who used the event to showcase their vacancies. 1,700 people attended and 101 were employed. Some 140 people have come off benefits as a result of this work, at a saving to the public purse of £475,000. Property Direct used £100,000 of their own resources to convert their old office HQ into a Business Enterprise Centre with 25 units, 14 of which have been occupied since they were completed in September 2011, enabling local entrepreneurs to create employment opportunities. They now provide evening and weekend repairs, largely funded from reductions in overtime, reducing the average time to complete a repair from 7 to 5 days, and increasing customer satisfaction from 92% to 96%.
Derwentside Homes is a five-year-old medium-sized housing association based in North West County Durham. It is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee with a housing stock of around 6,600 properties which were transferred to the company from Derwentside District Council in December 2006. Since then the journey of Derwentside Homes' in house DLO has been a one of modernisation, transformation and cultural change.
In response to our contractors request for training in regards to equality and diversity and tailoring their services, LHT Property Services developed the THINK RED project and Measuring Up project, aimed at Contractor front line staff. This involved a "toolkit" which incorporated numerous forms of training.
This award submission is from the 12 residents of Plus Dane Housing who are nominating them for their inclusion and engagement of residents in the procurement process of a £32 Million Contract for Plus Dane responsive repairs, out of hours emergency works, packaged repairs, work to void properties and gas servicing to 7,000 homes. Sitting alongside this process is the outstanding engagement and inclusion of residents in the process through the Procurement Commissioning Team and Asset Management Engagement Group. 'Our Story' tells you how it was managed and delivered from a residents view point and is an example of good practice to other organisations who want to include residents and give them more of a say in the quality of services they receive.