Bristol council benefits from a single source of supply

Published:  04 August, 2015

Graham Plumbers’ Merchant and Jewson have, since 2013, combined forces to supply Bristol City Council’s in-house trade teams with materials for maintenance work, resulting in cost savings and improved resident satisfaction.

Bristol City Council has a housing stock of approximately 28,000 properties to service and maintain, a mixture of traditional homes and two to three storey and high-rise flats. In excess of 300 tradespeople work for Bristol City Council at any one time, covering everything from carpentry, plumbing and heating, gas servicing and repairs, electrics, plastering and painting and decorating.

After recognising that improvements could be made to the maintenance process, Bristol City Council began the original tender process in 2013 as part of a major transformation of the repairs service, which resulted in Graham and Jewson being appointed to supply a range of general maintenance materials, kitchens, bathrooms and plumbing and heating materials.

The partnership has resulted in cost savings, achieved through reductions in operative downtime, reduced mileage, improved product specification and leveraging supplier support, product standardization and improvements to first time fix rates. The supply of material packs to sub-contractors has helped to standardize the materials for installation on gas heating and bathroom installations, reducing the variety of products our maintenance teams need to carry in van stocks and improving the ability to deliver a repair on a first visit.

“The combined reach of both merchants was a key factor in our decision to award the contract, to meet the needs of a mobile workforce managed by an electronic appointments system,” said Andrew Gilborson, project manager of housing delivery at Bristol City Council.

“As part of the service transformation and new ways of working we had to move away from the workforce being serviced by a single central store and we now have a number of branches in and around Bristol to utilise.

“In addition, Jewson and Graham identified that Southmead would be a key location for our teams – however there wasn’t a pre-existing branch. We worked together to identify a suitable site and a dedicated branch was opened, which is now manned by a Jewson and Graham representative.

“Together the merchants are helping to improve the council’s efficiency and productivity. Graham and Jewson hold our core stock in branches for our in-house maintenance teams and they also deliver materials directly to site when needed or through a van replenishment service, which is being developed and evolving to meet the changing needs of the workforce. The new processes have helped to achieve cost savings and a more efficient service.”

Bristol City Council, Graham Plumbers’ Merchant and Jewson are continuing to work together on improvement plans that include product reviews, operative efficiencies and product distribution.

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