Right Repair, Right Time: Better for Tenants and Budgets

It’s easy to throw around terms such as Total Asset Management (TAM) in relation to social housing stock. It clearly sounds like a good idea, but what does it really mean? Clearly, it means much more than just carrying out repairs properly and on time.

Ultimately, TAM is all about improving the quality of the housing stock along with the experience of residents, while generating savings that can be reinvested in much needed new homes. It may seem that these are conflicting goals but, in reality, it doesn’t have to be that way.

For us, TAM involves a large element of intelligent long-term planning. It takes asset performance and durability into account as well as condition. The concept is based around the principle of the effective repair in the most efficient way.

When you are responsible for maintaining thousands of homes and carrying out large volumes of repairs and maintenance works, looking for trends and root causes is essential. It’s then possible to opt for the course of action that delivers the best long-term value.

Replacement may be better than repair. Planned maintenance is always preferable to an emergency. And the fewer emergencies you have, the less disruption there is to voids and planned works.

Relationships Make it Work

TAM won’t work if there is an arms-length transactional relationship between clients and service providers (or between service providers and their supply chains). There has to be trust, openness, and shared risk and reward with regard to innovation and improvement.

In our partnership with Dacorum Borough Council, we have co-located teams and a completely open-book approach to the contract. This enabled us to realise £300k of savings in year 1 with a further £500k reinvested in the service through a pain/gain mechanism linked to performance.

Residents represent the other key part of the partnership that makes TAM work. An efficient call centre and meaningful consultation help us to empower residents and keep our focus on the things that matter most.

Find out more about Osborne’s Total Asset Management approach here.

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