Keeping control of quality

Corporate

12.01.18

We are determined to keep repairs and maintenance in-house, as well as using ambassadors in a bid to provide the best service possible.

Karbon workman fixing light switch

(Written by Bill Tuddenham, General Manager – Property services for Karbon Homes. This article originally featured in the January 18 edition of 24housing magazine.)

Karbon Homes has an excellent reputation for its repairs and maintenance services, and we take a lot of pride in our team’s achievements.

We have maintained and invested in our in-house repairs and maintenance function, while others in the sector have chosen to outsource their requirements.

We know how much our customers value a reliable, high quality repairs and maintenance service. To this end we employ a workforce who act as our ambassadors in how they go about their day-to-day activities on behalf of Karbon Homes.

In a region like ours where the population density in rural areas is very low, and given our geographical stock profile, it’s even more vital that we manage our repairs and maintenance function as efficiently as possible, to maximise the time spent with our customers rather than travelling between properties.

We believe that employing a well trained, well equipped, directly employed workforce, is a huge benefit to our organisation. It allows us to deliver the best possible service to our customers, and to keep control of quality and costs.

We created and invested in our own repairs and maintenance function to improve customer satisfaction, quality control, cost control, reliability and to embed a ‘right first time’ culture.

Our customer satisfaction surveys bear out our belief that an in-house repairs and maintenance function is the best way forward. 97% of customers are satisfied with the repairs service overall.

Bill Tuddenham

We have invested £35.7m in repairs and maintenance over the last 12 months, including £12.9m in responsive repairs and £22.8m in cyclical and planned maintenance.

More and more businesses are realising that the only sustainable way to provide services to their customers is to deliver effectively on cost, quality and satisfaction.

Where the focus for procurement used to be all about cost, now there is a growing realisation that investment in a high-quality service is, in the long term, more cost effective. The adverse effect of lower cost and potential lower quality options are no longer acceptable within the sector.

We believe our customer satisfaction surveys bear out our belief that an in-house repairs and maintenance function is the best way forward.

  • 97% of Karbon customers satisfied with the repairs service overall
  • 98% of customers satisfied with the planned maintenance service overall
  • 92% of routine repairs completed within target

We also now have the ability to provide services to partner organisations through our established cost sharing vehicle.

This has already seen us providing heating servicing and repairs for Castles and Coasts Housing Association across the North East and Cumbria, and a repairs service to Byker Community Housing Trust, which manages the listed Byker Wall estate in Newcastle.

These partnership agreements provide an excellent service for our clients, ensuring we maximise capacity from our infrastructure, assets and staff.

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