Two London housing associations adopt new repairs and maintenance technology platform – Inside Housing



Peabody and Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) have appointed a technology company to run a new platform for sourcing local repairs and maintenance contractors.

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Two London housing associations adopt new repairs and maintenance technology platform #ukhousing@PeabodyLDN and @NHGhousing to use new tech platform focusing on local contractors #ukhousing“The idea is first to provide choice and control to residents, enabling them to rate and select contractors themselves,” says @PeabodyLDN #ukhousing

The platform, developed by technology firm Plentific, provides a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) and digital marketplace through which social landlords can source a “flexible and competitive” labour force, the associations have said.

NHG and Peabody claimed the solution will improve sustainability, efficiency and value for money while creating “measurable social good”.

The organisations also said that residents will be able to choose from a selection of local contractors on the platform, minimising the carbon footprint caused by workers travelling long distances.

A trial of more than 43,500 jobs by 470 contractors was carried out by the two landlords, which achieved a customer satisfaction level of nearly 90%.

More than 10,000 jobs were completed during lockdown, with an average seven-day turnaround.

The DPS marketplace will encourage diversity of size and specialism in contractors, allowing them to range from national organisations to local small and medium-sized enterprises, the associations said.

Elly Hoult, group director of assets at NHG, said: “The digital marketplace is the cornerstone of our pledge to improve our repairs service and provide better opportunities for residents to self-serve.

“This will give them greater choice and control over who carries out work on their home and when that happens, as well as supporting the economy by helping smaller and independent contractors work with us to deliver a better local service.”

NHG admitted it had issues with its repairs and maintenance service in 2019 as its annual report revealed its customer satisfaction rate was only 65%.

It began using Plentific services, marketed as the “Uber of repairs”, in the same year.

Ashling Fox, chief operating officer at Peabody, said: “The idea is first to provide choice and control to residents, enabling them to rate and select contractors themselves using the Plentific platform.

“Self-employed, skilled residents can bid for work themselves, and we’ve already seen hundreds of smaller, local tradespeople and businesses delivering quality responsive repairs in and around our homes.

“We think this is a valuable contribution to local businesses and economies.”

Landlords will only incur the cost for work orders placed through the DPS and a licence fee to Plentific, which will be determined by the number of firms added to the platform.

The platform is free for contractors to join and will be made available to housing associations, local authorities and ALMOs from September.

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