BLOG: How we manage our repairs contractors
30 August 2023
By Kirstie Aulton, Repairs Support Manager
We’re committed to keeping residents informed about how we manage our services, and recently shared details on how we’ve been using resident feedback to improve our repairs service.
In a recent resident scheme meeting I attended, it became clear that residents were keen to know more about how we manage our repairs contractors and hold them to account. I have written this blog to share more insight on how this works.Kirstie Aulton, Repairs Support Manager
Keeping track of our contractors’ performance
Every week, we hold a meeting with our repairs contractor MCP. During these meetings, we discuss a several aspects of the service, including:
- number of open repair cases, work orders or work in progress (WIP)
- number of work orders in target versus out of target, broken down by trade
- number of repairs raised and completed within that week. We specifically focus on emergencies, appointments where MCP couldn’t get access into the resident’s home to complete the repair and repeated repairs within 12 months. We are averaging approximately 3600 repairs reported per month at the moment.
- any recruitment and resource updates covering plans to address any outstanding vacancies
- financial activity including work which has to be quoted for, and invoices or payments due
- open complaints and lessons learned (we are averaging at 58 complaints about repairs per month at the moment, which is approximately 1.6% of repairs raised)
- statistics provided by our contact centre including number of calls made for new repair enquiries, follow up calls and missed appointments.
Once a month, we have a more detailed contractual meeting, focusing on the previous month's performance. This includes:
- time taken to complete repairs
- number of repairs completed per day
- number of repairs fixed first time
- reported health and safety incidents and action taken
- compensation paid to residents as a result of complaints and missed appointments. We reclaim this from our contractors for not delivering the service we expect, and so far this financial year, we have reclaimed £44,000 from our contractors.
- satisfaction figures, feedback and lessons learned from our feedback surveys conducted by independent research company IFF Research. Click here to find out more about these surveys.
Improving the repairs service you receive
At the moment, we are also discussing progress made against an improvement plan that we have in place with MCP. We recognise that the repairs service has not been delivered to the expected standard since MCP took over our responsive repairs in January 2023, and this plan helps us to further manage progress against our expectations. The current improvement plan focuses on nine main areas:
- high levels of no access reports, which is when a contractor cannot gain access into the resident’s home to complete the repair, and insufficient evidence being provided to show what attempts were made to enter the home and complete the repair before recording the outcome
- unacceptable volumes of repairs that have been raised again within 12 months of it being fixed
- high volumes of repairs raised which need to be appointed, progressed or completed
- monitoring whether the planning team are following the expected processes of communication and assessing the quality of planning
- recruitment and vacancies
- unacceptable volumes of missed appointment
- answering phone calls within the expected timeframes, and minimising the amount of instances where residents hang up the phone call whilst on hold, known as abandonment calls
- productivity of contractors
- volume and management of complaints.
During the meetings, we look to arrange corrective action and establish action plans which address any areas of concern. All of the agreed actions and commitments made are captured within the recorded minutes, which we always cross reference at the beginning of each meeting to ensure we are satisfied that a matter has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
Outside of the meetings, we work in the same office as MCP, which makes it easier to manage any immediate issues in real time, as well as communicate with each other more effectively. We have a dedicated member of the Network Homes repairs team who sits with the MCP team, in order to assist them with any issues they may be experiencing when trying to plan or complete work.
We appreciate your patience whilst we work towards the improvement targets in place. We always welcome your feedback, and encourage you to share further feedback or suggestions you may have. You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘How we manage our repairs contractors’ in the subject line, and we will consider any feedback you provide.