Are Price Per Property models the way forward?
Published by Craig Downs for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Communities
Mike Edwards, Managing Director at Keepmoat Property Services
Mike Edwards, Managing Director at Keepmoat Property Services gives us his views.
At the start of 2014, George Osborne promised more cuts and ‘a year of hard truths’ - a reminder (if we needed one) that we must all continue to look for ways to make savings. Of course, the Holy Grail for the housing sector is to do this without compromising on the quality of service – but this is not an easy balancing act, and certainly not in the world of repairs and maintenance.
For Keepmoat Property Services, our specialist repairs and maintenance division, we need look no further than our relationship with our client Spire Homes to see how this can be delivered.
Since we started working with Spire Homes, our relationship has grown and evolved to become one based on trust and openness – and this has been essential as 18 months ago we began the transition from a traditional Schedule of Rates contract to a Price Per Property (PPP) model for their 5,000 properties across Northamptonshire and Rutland.
As a result of our tender, we were re-awarded the PPP contract for up to 10 years to provide responsive repairs and maintenance, void and planned works. The new contract brought in new ways of working as well as extended hours and more flexible appointment times for customers.
Our thorough understanding of Spire Homes priorities for their customers and housing stock helped us to accurately price the PPP in a way which is beneficial for all parties involved. As a result there is now more predictability of spend, a significantly reduced amount of administration and smoother cash flow which in turn gives us more time to focus on customer service, community initiatives and supply chain efficiencies. The challenge to the industry going forward is for the clients to provide the tenderers with historic repairs data so that with exception of the incumbent contractor, all contractors are enabled to price PPP at the correct value which in turn will give clients the confidence that all of the tender values submitted are realistic and sustainable.
Truly knowing Spire Home’s values and their property standards enables us to take a proactive approach to the repairs. For example, when repairs are first reported and undertaken wherever possible, we always seize the opportunity to carry out any additional repairs which may need addressing whilst we’re there. The benefits of this approach includes less disruption to the customers, more accountability of our clients housing stock, a reduction in travel costs, a more efficient use of our workforce and ultimately and most importantly, greater customer satisfaction.
A key to the partnership’s success is the strong relations between Keepmoat and Spire Homes and the process of agreeing works which fall outside of the PPP model.
So what impact has our PPP model had so far? Key Performance Indicators are being exceeded on a monthly basis, the relationship between our teams is thriving, the contract has been recognised by being shortlisted for industry awards, the average time taken to complete routine repairs has reduced to 4 days (against industry standard of 28 days), the average void property has reduced by £250 and savings of £110,000 in the first year of delivery were received by Spire Homes.
Mark Rogers Head of Property Services, Spire Homes, said: ‘Thanks to the ongoing commitment and effort of everyone involved, this partnership is proving a great success and continues to improve – and I am sure the partnership Price Per Property model will be an approach looked at by other housing associations over the coming months and years.’
With results like this, to us, it’s a given that PPP is the way forward.