Bromford to bring all repairs work in-house
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Bromford is bringing all of its repairs and maintenance work in-house with the aim of being more cost-effective and achieving more consistent delivery of our proactive approach to maintenance for all customers.
The change will take effect early in 2012 when the current repairs and maintenance contract with supplier Lovell - covering around four out of ten Bromford homes - comes to an end.
Bromford's existing property maintenance and repairs teams will grow to include the existing Lovell engineers - creating a bigger single team under the Bromford Living brand.
The decision follows a thorough review of repairs and maintenance cover for Bromford's 26,500 homes across central England by Bromford's director of asset management, Alex Dixon.
He said: "This move reflects on the success of our in-house repairs and maintenance teams, who deliver excellent value for money and get extremely positive feedback from customers.
"We have worked well with Lovell, who stepped in to take over from Connaught when they went into administration in September 2010.They have shown real commitment to the contract, mobilising quickly and performing well since they took over. That said, we feel the time is now right for our own repairs team to be the sole provider of repairs across the Bromford map.
"There are a number of benefits for customers - most notably, the single team will ensure a consistent, proactive maintenance service and ensure all customers experience what we call 'the Bromford touch' - from their initial call through to the completion of the job."
Lovell engineers affected by the changes were fully briefed before the announcement and a full consultation process is under way. It is hoped that this will expand the in-house team with more than 50 engineers moving across to become Bromford colleagues - roughly a third of them working in the West Midlands and the rest in other parts of central England. Staffordshire and Gloucestershire are not affected by the change as they are already covered by Bromford's in-house team.
At the same time, Bromford will add its new-style repair vans to the fleet. The first 24 of these vans - kitted out with special racking and new palmtop computers - were delivered to repairs teams in Lichfield and Cirencester towards the end of September.
The new equipment is part of the switch in November to a single, streamlined mobile working, repairs planning and back office system at Bromford, one of the leading providers of affordable housing and support services in central England.
The new handheld computers, or EDAs, are a smarter, faster way for Bromford's repairs engineers to receive information about appointments and property servicing while they are out and about. They can also order stock and even make appointments with a customer for future work.