Shepherds Bush HA
Shepherds Bush HA
Head of Client Services
Number of properties and location:
5000 properties in and around West London
Why did you join PfH?
We switched to an open book costing process with our repairs contractor in 2007 and we therefore wanted to achieve better value for money through our supply chain.
What PfH agreements are you currently using?
We are currently using; Building and Gas Materials through PTS, Unimer and Dulux; Decorating vouchers through B&Q; and Vehicle Leasing through Lombard.
We are also considering Fuel through Shell UK; and possibly Postal services.
What benefits has PfH created for your organisation?
We have achieved better value for money through PfH, as prices are market tested and are fixed for the materials included in the agreement. We have been provided with clear proof of VfM through purchasing materials using the PfH and Unimer agreed rates, which will only be endorsed further with the anticipated annual savings certificates. We have also experienced significant savings due to the reduction in administration costs, through Central Billing – receiving just one invoice per month.
PfH has enabled us to build long term relationships with our suppliers, they have made a commitment to provide materials based on our needs. This ensures that we can get the right quality materials and that stock is held to ensure that materials are available as required. This reduces repair turnaround times and prevents wasted trips to our suppliers.
What volume of business do you put through PfH’s Agreements?
Approximately 60% of all our material purchasing is done through PfH. We are also considering passing our vehicle fleet to PfH once existing agreements expire.
How has central billing helped to streamline your purchasing?
We are able to pay without touching any invoices. There is simply a single monthly direct debit payment that is reconciled through a single invoice and a detailed transaction listing, all produced centrally by PfH. As the PfH suppliers add our purchase order numbers to the transactions, we are able to upload this data electronically to our job costing system.
What challenges did you face when setting up central billing?
It wasn’t a challenge at all. Once we understood the upload process in to our own job costing system, it was plain sailing.
What savings do you make annually? (If you can estimate a value then please do so)
It’s difficult to put a value on this, but we have done some benchmarking with other suppliers and we know we are getting value for money. Not everything is cheaper, but being able to have a reliable stock means that our operatives aren’t wasting valuable time driving around looking for supplies. Also the saving in the back office through central billing is significant. On an annual contract value of £4m, we achieve about £50k in savings through PfH.
How do you plan to reinvest your procurement cost savings?
As we work on an open book arrangement, any savings made through PfH are either passed on to our clients or used for further investment in our properties.
How will your residents and their neighbourhoods benefit from this reinvestment?
It may result in more residents getting new boilers, or refurbished kitchens and bathrooms.
What do you expect PfH to achieve for the sector in the longer term?
I expect PfH to continue to grow the number of building merchant outlets as part of this arrangement. Ideally, it would be good to go to any major builder merchants in London and purchase materials through PfH. This would save on travelling time for operatives to reduce wastage, and help the environment through reduced journey times.
What would you say to other housing organisations that are considering becoming a PfH member?
I would encourage all housing organisations to join PfH, either for their own direct labour force or for their term contractors. This is because the higher volume of take up that we achieve through PfH, the better bargaining power we will have on price.
Please detail any other comments or thoughts you would like to include on the services, people and agreements etc that you have experienced through PfH.
I have found the staff working for PfH to be professional, supportive and reliable. As a result it has been a pleasure to be involved in these arrangements over the past 3 years and we have an ongoing commitment to working with PfH.