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.