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Case Study – Diocese of York

Client: The Diocese of York

Dates: Ongoing contract that has been running for over 10 years.

Brief:

The contract comprises of maintenance, repair, replacement and 24-7-365 emergency call-out service for a diverse range of domestic gas, oil, LPG and electrical appliances across The Diocese of York’s domestic properties. Equipment mainly includes gas and oil-fired boilers, gas fires and gas cookers.

The contract covers over 300 domestic properties, located throughout Yorkshire. The properties are predominantly occupied by members of the clergy, as well as a handful being occupied by the general public through a letting agent. Some properties require works to be undertaken in the presence of vulnerable adults, children and young people, therefore contract induction and regular refresher training include a focus on the client’s Safeguarding and Reporting Procedures.

The Diocesan property portfolio’s reputation is heavily dependent on the delivery of a consistent, efficient and quality driven service. Achieving a quick response time to any breakdowns is therefore an extremely important KPI. To measure our performance and the general management of the contract, monthly meetings take place between Katie Challis and the Diocese’s Contract Manager. All elements of the contract are discussed during the meeting, including performance against KPIs, the status of servicing, and the average response time to all breakdowns within the month.

Engineers are required to deliver the service in compliance with the Diocese’s Procedures and Code of Conduct, with instances of non-compliance included in KPIs against a target of zero.
Access arrangements and call outs are made directly with/by tenants.

Challenges and Risks:

1. We have overcome many challenges to deliver this contract and consistently perform well against the Diocese’s KPIs. One of the key challenges is the vast array of different assets that require servicing, including many different manufacturers, makes and models.
There are many different makes and models of gas and oil appliances across the properties, meaning a huge array of possible reasons for a fault as well as any subsequent parts that may be required. Due to the number of properties within the Diocesan portfolio, some of the boilers are very dated and therefore parts may be difficult to source or obsolete.

2. A further challenge faced by the Diocese of York was the upkeep and servicing of the chimneys within the properties, which they asked us to assist with. Even though this is not an in-house service that we provide, we embraced the challenge and assisted them in establishing procedure which ensures that all the properties have their chimneys swept in a cost effective and time efficient manner.

How challenges and risks were managed:

1. We overcome the challenge of multiple and varies assets in numerous ways. Firstly, our facilities management software used by the office team and engineers on site enables the engineer to view the asset details of the property prior to attending, meaning they can look up any information they think relevant and the parts that they might need. Secondly, we have a vast supply chain across Yorkshire whereby parts can be ordered and collected immediately. This negates the need to carry an impossible amount of parts in the van and still ensures a fault can be rectified the same day.

In the case of an emergency breakdown to a property, it is priority that an engineer is scheduled to attend as quickly as possible. All breakdowns must be attended to within 4 hours, and within the past year 100% of emergencies were achieved within this timescale. It is not only vital to rectify the problem with the asset to ensure it is up and running efficiently and safely, it also hugely minimises the risk of damaging the reputation of the Diocesan property team.

Once the chimney sweep process was established, we managed it for 12 months before they decided to continue with the process directly. By using our knowledge and experience in the sector, we were able to assist the property team in setting up a robust process and stay compliant which was hugely valued by The Diocese of York.

Outcome:

Over nearly 10 years we have built a brilliant trust and established an excellent rapport with The Diocese of York, as evidenced by the accompanying testimonial. We hope very much to be able to continue to support them as they expand their portfolio of properties across Yorkshire.

As well as assisting with the implementation of the chimney sweep programme, another key area where we have hugely added value to The Diocese of York is assisting them in rolling out a standardised health and safety risk assessment and
method statement process. By providing a template, along with sharing our knowledge of how we implement this process, they were able to smoothly introduce this to their way of workings.

Over the 10-year period, we have also assisted in creating and implementing KPIs for The Diocese of York to monitor the performance of the contract. To ensure our continuous improvement, we work with the Diocese to regularly revise KPIs and their targets to ensure they continue to drive performance.

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