During August, Integral, who provide maintenance services in parts of our Regional Prime South West contract, confirmed they would like to exit their contract and we are currently working with them to agree a suitable date for their departure.
This has provided us with a great opportunity to make some changes to our supply chain model in the South West, with our focus being on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and self-delivery. We have experience of managing this type of change, more recently in our South West Housing contract, where we introduced four local SMEs to deliver our maintenance, which has seen a notable reduction in customer complaints and an increase in customer satisfaction. This model will also soon be rolled out across our South East Housing contract in time for the winter period.
Since Integral’s announcement, we’ve mobilised a team of 16 individuals from our business who are fully focused on managing the transition and will be ensuring our service and our customers are not impacted during this period of change.
We’ll be adopting a direct delivery model across Service Delivery Area (SDA) 18, with the exception of UKHO Taunton, and will be recruiting new members of staff as well as welcoming current Integral employees to our team. In the remaining three SDAs (19, 29 and 30), we have the opportunity to consider delivery by a single SME or a number of SMEs with our Tier 1 supply chain and we are already meeting with a number of suppliers who have expressed an interest.
Our specialist suppliers will now be managed directly by us, something that is already embedded in our other Regional Prime contracts, and provides greater control when scheduling work and receiving certification for completed works.
As is always the case, looking after staff who have been affected by these changes is vitally important to us and we are working closely with those employees who will be transferring from Integral to us or into one of our other SMEs. We know changes like this can have a real impact on those involved, so we’ll be ensuring all staff transfers are carried out in a controlled and efficient manner, to minimise the time that people feel unsettled.
Above all we’re committed to maintaining service delivery throughout this period which we expect will be completed during October, ahead of winter.
Integral have formed a key part of our delivery team on the Regional Prime South West contract over the last three years, we’d like to thank them for their support during this time and wish them all the best for the future.