The options for a repairs and maintenance managed service have grown significantly over the last few years and we continue to see new providers entering the market. National builders merchants, plumbing merchants, consultants and independent merchants are all developing solutions to meet the growing demand in the social housing sector. But with so many options where do you start? Below are the first of our ten things to consider when choosing a managed service provider.

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Product Range

Supplier consolidation is a quick win for local authorities and housing associations to improve the supply chain effectiveness for their repairs and maintenance service. But one thing to be mindful of is the available product range through the supplier. A typical core product range for a repairs and maintenance service is extensive covering building materials, plaster, timber, flooring & tiles, doors & ironmongery, electrical, plumbing & heating, bathrooms, kitchens, painting & decorating, sealants & adhesives, tools and cleaning. Working with a supplier that can provide a one stop shop solution for your repairs and maintenance materials will enable you to realise the full benefits that a consolidated supply chain can bring, such as reduced risk, economies of scale and improved relationships.

Branch Network

Over recent years we have seen a wave of large-scale mergers, most notably the 2016 Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing Group merger which created Clarion Housing the UK’s largest housing association with over 125,000 properties across 170 local authorities. This super sized geographical spread is not uncommon anymore but the requirement to provide a localised service is still a priority, this is where it is important to consider your managed service providers branch network. The approach we find works best in this scenario is a selection of strategically placed local branches, with local staff and knowledge that is replicated across a national branch network.

Fulfilment & Distribution

It is important to look past the store or branch network that your supplier can provide and delve into their wider supply chain capabilities. From warehousing and materials management to product availability and delivery times it is your suppliers supply chain strategy that is going to have the biggest impact on your repairs and maintenance service. Just a few things to explore are your suppliers delivery strategy, how quickly can you get your product? Logistics, are they insourced or outsourced? Automation, what is the process for stock replenishment? Distribution centres, is there a central point where stock is held so supply can meet demand?

For more tips on choosing a managed service provider, download our infographic here:

View our FREE infographic here