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    Dartford Borough Council

    Value: £45.5 million over 7 years 
    Location: Throughout Dartford
    Form of Contract: JCT Measured Term Contract 2006 
    Duration: March 2010 – March 2017

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Project Brief

The Borough of Dartford comprises the town of Dartford and eight surrounding parishes: Stone, Bean, Darenth, Longfield & New Barn, Southfleet, Sutton-at-Hone & Hawley, Swanscombe & Greenhithe and Wilmington. Dartford is at the heart of one of the Government’s key growth zones within the Thames Gateway and will see around 20,000 new homes and commercial sites built over the next 25 years. At the heart of the Borough’s vision, to make Dartford the place of choice for living, working and enjoying leisure time, is a commitment to improving facilities and creating opportunities for existing residents.

With this massive programme of planned growth and development, our Client recognises the need to maintain the quality and construction of their existing corporate and residential stocks to ensure a collective high standard.

Scope of Works

Breyer Group was appointed by Dartford Borough Council as a Partnering Contractor to undertake Responsive Repairs, Voids Refurbishments and Planned Building Maintenance to their corporate property portfolio, including commercial and public buildings and their 4,400 residential properties across the Borough of Dartford. This Partnering contract introduced Breyer Group as a strategic Partner involved in the complete process from assessment of stock condition and delivery of repair/ maintenance thereof, delivered through our specialist Responsive Repairs and Maintenance Division, B-Line.

Key Challenges

  • To maintain accurate diagnosis which is an essential ingredient to ensure a ‘first time fix’. Our approach is to ensure a Repairs Advisor with a trade background is always available to assist Call Centre Staff to assist with accurate diagnosis and provide feedback
  • To ensure that every operative has their own van which is fully stocked with materials, components and tools conducive to Dartford BC’s housing stock. We have innovative supply-chain arrangements, which include merchants such as Buildbase who have a unit within our Dartford premises
  • It is imperative that we send adequately skilled operatives to the right job. During inductions and yearly appraisals a skills matrix is developed for each trades person. Multi- skilled operatives are of huge benefit and we also employ, for example, qualified Carpenters who can carry out other tasks

Delivery Targets

Integration of IT Systems – Breyer Group’s IT Team has integrated our OneServe system with Dartford’s Academy System. These systems link to provide a seamless upload and download of data instantly. We use Opti-Time as a dynamic scheduling ‘bolt on’ tool which enables us to allocate jobs in Operative’s diaries in real-time and this information is automatically downloaded to Dartford’s Academy System every 15 minutes. Voids orders are also managed through OneServe which produces a Void Tracker Sheet which is updated daily to record the day’s activities and capture productivity gains, rescheduling subsequent activities and improving completion dates.

Variations – Breyer Group’s Multi-Trade Operatives are currently able to self certify variations to void property works to the value of £50. To help improve First Time Fix rates, we are in discussions with Dartford BC to double this value
which will improve the service we are able to provide and improve customer satisfaction and First Time Fix figures.

Reducing Duplication of Roles – Breyer Group has been able to reduce the resource levels required in our Commercial teams, and the administration and resource required from the Client by using our PDA system. This facility can directly upload details from our Operative’s PDA’s to the Clients IT System, reducing the need to interrogate repair costs.

Operating an In-House Trade Counter – Breyer Group has set up dedicated store area at our Strategic Operations Centres in Dartford with our supplier, Buildbase. We work to analyse previous repairs history, packaged works/maintenance database and working with the reinvestment and development.

Innovation

On this contract, Breyer Group has provided home MOTs to the top 100 properties per year with the highest spend through the repairs service which identifies obvious maintenance issues leading to reoccurring defects and repairs call outs.

Any issues that are identified may be carried out during this visit in order to reduce future Call-Out/ Emergencies, therefore reducing costs and improving resident satisfactions. This has reduced spend for the individual properties by 10% and now this initiative has been introduced to our other Responsive Repairs contracts.

Key Outputs

  • Breyer Group works closely with Dartford Borough Council as a true Partner sharing risk and reward
  • Buildbase Partnership – To ensure operatives’ stocks remain constant, we partner with Buildbase who receive orders via our operative’s PDAs, ensuring all materials are available for our operative to collect
  • Emergency Repairs – These have reduced from 24% of calls to just 9%. We achieved this through a call centre training programme, helping call handlers to accurately diagnose issues
  • KPI – In addition to our monthly review of KPI scores we also carry out a ‘dig deep’ review of a specific KPI to investigate the process fully and identify areas of potential improvement such as a movement towards 2-hour appointments and extended standard hours.