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Beyond KPIs: Contract Management And Property Services

KPIs are a vital management tool. They highlight where things need to improve and indicate how well the overall system is working. But they are an output and far from the whole story when it comes to effective contract management.

There’s also the question of choosing the right KPIs and putting them into context. KPIs should focus on things that make a real difference to cost efficiency, resident satisfaction and asset values. They need to be focused enough to be manageable and actionable, yet broad enough to give a balanced picture of overall performance.

Take education as an analogy. Tracking exam and national test results is a direct measure of performance. But is it the most effective way to evaluate how well the education system functions overall?

KPIs Don’t Know the Future

KPI data for property services is the product of a fairly complex system with many stakeholders and moving parts. They’re good at telling you what’s happening now but not much help in telling you how the system would be affected by unpredictable events.

If there’s one thing that 2020 and ‘21 had plenty of, it’s unpredictable events. Brexit was predictable in that we knew it was going to happen. What form it would take and how it might affect labour and material supplies was much less certain. And while flu epidemics would feature in most risk registers, a virus like Covid-19 is unprecedented.

Business Continuity

Effective contract management covers more than just how well things operate under normal conditions. Business continuity is critical. Osborne was able to continue delivering critical services and maintain 100% safety compliance across multiple property services partnerships in the face of Covid and Brexit. We even managed to mobilise a new repair and maintenance contract just as the first lockdown hit.

It would be naive to think that a large-scale property services partnership would never experience performance issues, delays and external influences that knock plans off track. In many ways you learn more from how a potential provider has managed these issues than you can from a proposal that claims faultless performance.

As a learning organisation Osborne makes it a priority to recognise when things go wrong, put them right as quickly as possible and to share the learning from that experience openly.

Supply Chains

Supply chain management is a critical piece of the jigsaw. Well-motivated and engaged supply chains are built on the foundations of collaboration and genuine partnership. Prompt payment must be a given, as is effective sharing of knowledge and ideas.

Our supply chain partners are a key component of our delivery teams. We treat them as part of the organisation, which brings continuity and consistency to service delivery and the resident experience.

Sound processes and organisation allow us to deliver multiple contracts to a consistently high standard. But this has to be combined with listening and collecting feedback so that service delivery is always adapted to specific resident needs and the priorities of each customer.

For more information contact Jo Fletcher (jo.fletcher@osborne.co.uk).

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