Housing associations join forces for a new approach to responsive repairs | Residents' Network news

Housing associations join forces for a new approach to responsive repairs

Peabody and Notting Hill Genesis have come together to deliver a new system that will deliver faster repairs and maintenance. 

The associations have appointed Plentific to help, with a Dynamic Purchasing System and a Digital Marketplace being key parts of the new approach. 

The organisations have already carried out a pilot of 43,500 jobs, which has seen 90% satisfaction levels. The two associations completed over 10,000 jobs during lockdown with an average seven day turnaround.

The ‘DPS Marketplace’ framework provides landlords with smart capacity management through a flexible and competitive labour force and trade businesses unprecedented access to work, providing they meet strict, trade-specific requirements.

Participating organisations have the chance to reinforce local communities by procuring their trade talent from those areas, while minimising carbon footprint – as contracts will no longer need to travel great distances to complete jobs.

The appointment comes after an extensive OJEU procurement process, which means that other associations and organisations can save time, and on up-front procurement costs, by accessing the system.  

Initial use of this solution will extend to the circa 106,000 properties in the London and Essex regions covered by Peabody and Notting Hill Genesis.

The partners believe this DPS Marketplace will encourage diversity of size and specialism in contractors, allowing them to range from national organisations to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - enabling further expansion and competition in additional geographies. 

It is free for all contractors to join, no licensing fees or subscriptions are required. Participating contractors can fully control the work they bid on and flexibly choose areas of work best suited to them, depending on their resource and capacity.

Ashling Fox, Chief Operating Officer at Peabody said: "The idea is firstly to provide choice and control to residents, enabling them to rate and select contractors themselves using the Plentific platform. Customer satisfaction using the system so far is close to 90%.

"Self-employed, skilled residents can bid for work themselves, and we’ve already seen hundreds of smaller, local tradespeople and businesses delivering quality responsive repairs in and around our homes. We think this is a valuable contribution to local businesses and economies.

"The system has enabled us to carry out thousands of jobs during lockdown to a high standard and we think this will be an excellent part of the mix in delivering modern, high quality repairs services quickly and efficiently.”

Elly Hoult, group director of assets for Notting Hill Genesis, said: “The digital marketplace is the cornerstone of our pledge to improve our repairs service and provide better opportunities for residents to self-serve.

"This will give them greater choice and control over who carries out work on their home and when that happens, as well as supporting the economy by helping smaller and independent contractors work with us to deliver a better local service.

Between our WorkWise portal and new housing model, which gives every household a named officer and the customer service centre, our residents are able to contact us how they want, when they want, where they want. This breadth of choice is central to the first-class service we are committed to providing.”

Plentific’s solution will be made available for housing associations, local authorities, ALMOS, the education sector and health providers to access from September.