Prima team ‘elated’ at West Kent win
Published by EleanorS for Prima Service Ltd in Housing
Prima staff at work.
Covering 6,500 properties and a predicted 150 plus orders per month, Prima Service has announced the start of a new contract with West Kent Housing Association.
The win represents a significant milestone for Prima, according to managing director Joseph Giardina, as the first ‘open book’ contract taken on by his team.
“It’s no exaggeration to say we are elated at having been chosen to work in partnership with West Kent. As one of the Audit Commissions’ three star organisations they have already achieved the highest standard possible for a housing association on delivery and value for money, so it is an honour to have met their standards for selection.”
The open book contract will require a different way of working to the schedule of rates system usually used. Instead of simply applying fixed rates to the work performed, Prima and West Kent will agree on target costs included under contract and the margin that can be added to these costs. The project will then be invoiced to West Kent based on the actual costs incurred plus the agreed margin.
There will be a quarterly audit by West Kent to ensure Prima’s systems and targets have integrity, and if a job’s actual costs are cheaper than the target cost then the difference in price will be shared between Prima and West Kent.
“The open book contract is not common in our sector, so we are very proud to be involved. The system requires absolute trust on both sides,” Joseph explains. “Both organisations will have an equal say in the delivery of an efficient service. I believe targets for the service are likely to be driven higher because the two partners can work together to solve problems in a way which may not be covered under a traditional schedule of rates contract.”
The new contract will also allow Prima to undertake works without requesting authority each time, meaning the team can respond immediately to residents’ call outs.
“All works can be undertaken in an ‘excellent way’ according to standards agreed in the contract and using creative solutions, instead of being dictated by cost. We hope it will prove to be a very efficient partnership,” says Joseph.
Work for West Kent began officially on 13 July. Already the results from the first two months show Prima is performing at 100% for all targets including: resident satisfaction, completing jobs to time and first time fixes.
“Prima Services has the same philosophy as West Kent; prolonging the life and efficiency of double glazed windows and doors and reducing expenditure.”
West Kent project manager, Tony Croucher, welcomed the new contract saying: “We are excited about the change. Prima Services has the same philosophy as West Kent; prolonging the life and efficiency of double glazed windows and doors and reducing expenditure where possible by not prematurely replacing units.”
He also praised the fact that Prima Service works sustainably by recycling much of the waste generated from the work.
Prima has already started collecting data about the age, style and manufacture of West Kent’s double glazed windows. This will ensure they stock the correct quantity and quality of manufacturers components and replacement parts. They are also keen to look at the viability of ongoing maintenance programmes to ensure windows achieve their maximum life cycle.
“West Kent residents and officers can look forward to a long and productive relationship with Prima Services,” concludes Tony.
• For more information on prolonging the life of windows and doors read our latest blog The case against replacing replacement windows.