Case studies

Building integrated communities

Wolseley UK helps Wakefield and District Housing save over £300,000 in supply chain efficiencies

19 June 2012

Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) is one of the largest housing stock transfer organisations in the country, with responsibility for over 31,000 homes lived in by 100,000 people in the Wakefield District. As part of the Decent Homes initiative, WDH has spent £750 million refurbishing properties which, in addition to the ongoing maintenance requirements, places high demands on the building materials supply chain.

WDH had to go through an expensive and time consuming process to individually procure all of the building materials needed, which were then delivered to five separate stores across the district. The stores were not fit for purpose and needed significant investment to bring them up to date. In order to create cost efficiencies and rationalise the supply chain, WDH decided to outsource the stores.

Wolseley UK's Integrated Services division was appointed after a tender process to operate the stores, providing all building materials for responsive repairs and maintenance. With Integrated Services already accredited by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), WDH was able to use the company to manage and source the majority of its building materials supply rather than having to procure items individually.

Martin Vaughan, area trading manager for Integrated Services at Wolseley UK, comments: "With so many stores and suppliers, the supply chain was very fragmented. We rationalised the number of stores from five down to just two stock consolidation centres on the east and the west of the borough, which we manage for WDH. We took on WDH's existing staff members to work in the stores as well as recently recruiting from the local community.

"All of the building materials needed for ongoing repairs and maintenance to the properties are sourced and transported from these two centres - which gives considerable savings in back office administration, economies of scale and a reduced amount of deliveries."

Once the initial supply chain efficiencies had been implemented, WDH launched a continuous improvement programme, in conjunction with Integrated Services, to identify further cost savings. These included further efficiencies in the storage and transport management system as well as negotiating with the kitchen manufacturer for products to be included within the two stock consolidation centres.

Sandra Beedle, senior technical officer - contracts from WDH, explains: "Every time we opened a new site, we had to set up a compound to store the building materials. Integrated Services identified that by taking a 'just-in-time' approach and delivering materials on the day they were needed, significant cost savings could be made.

"In addition, Integrated Services installed a mezzanine floor in the Horbury store and agreed with the kitchen manufacturer for all products to be stored there, rather than paying for separate storage sites. As a result of implementing these recommendations, WDH will save over £300,000 per improvement scheme through a reduction in compound costs, fuel and more efficient operations.

"We expect to make further savings as we aim to implement these efficiency measures at all future technical services managed improvement schemes. Our improvement programme runs until 2013, supporting WDH's aim to bring all of our homes up to the Wakefield Standard by 2013 - a higher specification than the Government's decent homes standard."

Wakefield and District Housing is committed to building thriving communities and helping people to take pride in their neighbourhoods. Integrated Services is supporting this ambition by paying a community rebate, which sees a percentage of the turnover from the project being given back to WDH to invest in local community projects such as playgrounds.

More than bricks and mortar

Wolseley UK helps Housing Maintenance Solutions improve efficiency and boost service levels

08 January 2013

First established in 2004, Liverpool Mutual Homes became the newest Housing Association in Liverpool when it took transfer of the City Council's remaining housing stock in 2008. Since the stock transfer, Liverpool Mutual Homes has invested over £1.5 million a week improving homes and services and, in 2011, set up Housing Maintenance Solutions (HMS), a subsidiary organisation to undertake the extensive repair and maintenance requirements.

When responsibility for maintenance and repairs was transferred to HMS, it needed a supply partner to provide all of the materials needed to maintain Liverpool Mutual Homes' 15,500 strong housing stock throughout the city. Following a tender process, Wolseley UK's Integrated Services was chosen to run the dedicated stores facility to provide all the supplies needed for both reactive repairs and planned maintenance. This includes timber, joinery, ironmongery, heating spares, kitchens, sanitary ware, plumbing and construction materials. Integrated Services also provides a delivery service and van stock management for the operatives out in the field.

Wayne Booth, Commercial Director for HMS, explains: “Integrated Services was an existing supply partner for contractors working for Liverpool Mutual Homes. We chose to continue the contract with them because they offered us the most cost effective service and were able to use their expertise, knowledge and facilities in the area to provide a seamless transition of the repair and maintenance service to HMS.”

Grant Richardson, Trading Director Integrated Services & New Channel Development Director - Wolseley UK, comments: “We have been supplying materials for Liverpool Mutual Homes since it was established in 2004. Being an integrated supply partner is about more than just supplying bricks and mortar. Flexibility and continuous improvements to deliver better service and achieve further efficiencies is a critical part of the supply partnership, particularly in the housing sector where budgets are becoming tighter. We have worked with HMS to provide solutions to waste management, van stocks, controlling HMS owned stock and also introducing an online portal which provides them with live spend reports and key management information to track performance.”

Wayne Booth adds: “LMH is planning to invest over £900 million over the next 30 years to continually improve and maintain homes and services in Liverpool. Finding efficiencies, while maintaining quality and improving service, continues to be a key objective for HMS. Despite the ongoing financial challenges in the housing and construction industry, in our first year we have met all of our customer and operational targets and increased turnover. Integrated Services has played a key role in helping us to identify efficiencies throughout the supply chain, helping us to control cost and stock levels and dramatically improving service levels, particularly in the areas of responsive maintenance.”

Community benefits

Walsall Housing Group achieves cost and community benefits through Integrated Services supply partnership

08 February 2013

Walsall Housing Group (whg) is one of the largest providers of housing in the West Midlands. Owning and managing around 19,000 properties across Walsall, whg provides affordable and good quality homes to the local community.

whg, was originally formed after a stock transfer from Walsall Council. As an independent company, it needed to move away from council premises. At the same time, it was reviewing its materials supply and waste management processes. With stores spread throughout the borough and an increasing demand on building materials as a result of investment in upgrading properties, whg undertook a review and tender process to decide whether to continue to manage the supplies in house or outsource them to a supply partner.

As a result, Wolseley's Integrated Services was appointed to manage all materials supply and waste management including tool and plant hire. The specialist team took over the running of whg's own building supplies stores for the first three months, before transferring existing staff to a new distribution centre from where all deliveries and collections are co-ordinated. As well as the large materials store, the site is also large enough to house whg's own contract offices and provide overnight operative vehicle secure parking and manage the collection and transfer of waste.

Kate Copeland, Stores Contract Officer from whg, explains: “We had lots of different materials suppliers and we decided that there would be more benefit to ourselves and our tenants by outsourcing and working with a supply partner from a single modern facility. As a result we have gone from having offices and stores dispersed across the borough to everything being on one site. All of the building materials needed for ongoing repairs and maintenance to our homes are sourced from this one centre which Integrated Services manages for us, giving significant savings in back office administration, consolidated invoicing and economies of scale.”

whg was so impressed with Integrated Services that it nominated them for an internal supplier of the year award. Kate Copeland continues: “We originally had a four year contract with Integrated Services and since carrying out an exercise which demonstrated they were delivering real value for money, the contract has been extended for another three years. Our customers and the local community also benefit from the partnership because Integrated Services supports our Community Benefits Fund with the provision of free materials for our regeneration and improvement projects in the local area.”

Catherine Fenton, Area Trading Manager for Integrated Services, adds: “We manage deliveries on a just in time basis to whg's sites, saving them from storing large amounts of materials on site. Accessing materials out of normal office hours for urgent repair work is also critical for whg as it houses almost 40,000 people, around a fifth of the borough. We provide them with a 24-7 service where they can access a container of materials needed for urgent work or we can open up the distribution centre if necessary. We also offer an out of hour's service for emergency repairs, adverse bad weather or the needs of vulnerable tenants.”

In addition to managing all of whg's materials supply, Integrated Services also manages disposal of waste through its national partner BIFFA and plant machinery and tool hire through Brandon Hire.

Framework agreement

Wolseley's Integrated Services delivers supply solution for Together Housing Group

15 March 2013

Supply chain and procurement specialist Integrated Services has formed a firm partnership with the Together Housing Group, supplying the social landlord with all its building materials under a unique framework agreement.

To deliver the planned maintenance and responsive repairs programme, the Together Housing Group selected Integrated Services to supply parts for kitchens, bathrooms, electrical, joinery and central heating to the wide range of properties it manages. The Together Housing Group manages 37,000 properties across the Pennine Lancashire, Yorkshire and Humber regions.

By creating a single source of supply through its four branches throughout Lancashire, Yorkshire and Humber, Integrated Services has created the platform for a solid partnership that the Together Housing Group was seeking. The relationship was secured under a framework agreement with housing provider Procure Plus.

Ian Rumsam, Together Housing Group Head of Repairs and Maintenance, explains: “Not having to worry about supply chain management means we can save a considerable amount of time, which in turn leads to cost efficiencies. Integrated Services identifies the needs of our in-house maintenance team on a day-to-day basis and ensures that the right products and services are always available.

“Because we are working as a partnership, we ensure Integrated Services knows and understands our work programme and supply materials as and when needed. This arrangement provides us with security of supply at competitive prices with the added benefit of Procure Plus, which monitors the actual cost compared with those charged.

“This helps to ensure that our programme of works can flow as planned at the right price, without interruption. In fact, Wolseley UK's Blackburn branch has gone an extra step and together we are providing materials to Places for People, one of the largest property management, development and regeneration companies in the UK. This collaborative working arrangement provides tangible operating benefits to all, which underscores how well the partnership is working.”

Grant Richardson, Trading Director - Integrated Services, says: “Together Housing Group had told their tenants they would improve the repairs and maintenance carried out on their homes, ensuring value for money.

“In choosing to secure the supply of goods and services for repairs and maintenance under a procurement framework agreement, they were looking for a partner who could deliver more than the simple cost and efficiency savings that such arrangements are designed for. The Together Housing Group's main priority was to find an organisation they could build a solid partnership with, so that the customer/supplier relationship would be virtually seamless, which we have fulfilled.”