Eden Cuts Refurb Costs by 17 Per Cent

Eden Housing Association has achieved a 17 per cent reduction for its kitchen refurbishment programme following a pilot into strategic procurement methods.

As part of the project which explored best practice and value for money, Eden Housing Association trialled two different methods for the procurement of its kitchen refurbishment programme – a traditional tender process and a collaborative consortia approach offered by Cumbria Housing Partners (the Cumbrian division of North West social housing consortium, Procure Plus).

Following a review of the two methods, the housing association found that the route offered by Cumbria Housing Partners and Procure Plus provided better value for money in terms of price, efficiency and effectiveness.

Kevan Guest, asset director of asset management at Eden Housing Association, explains: “There were clear advantages of switching our kitchen programmes to Cumbria Housing Partners. Not only did we receive excellent value for money, in terms of cost savings per kitchen, the tradesmen also provided high levels of customer service and performance throughout, which impressed both us and our tenants.”

In comparison to the traditional tender process, Cumbria Housing Partners helped Eden Housing Association to save around 20 per cent on the cost of each kitchen. The consortium approach also came out on top on supplier performance and customer satisfaction ratings, plus delivered added value benefits to the local economy, as Lesley Dixon, project manager at Cumbria Housing Partners explains: “As well as leveraging economies of scale to get the best price on services and supplies,  the project was also designed to maximise the benefits to the local area where possible. The scheme used local contractors who were selected through a rigorous procurement process, which helps ensure the money spent on the refurbishment scheme stays within the area. We were also able to build in training opportunities for local people too, meaning the positive impact of the project is really felt long after the works are complete.”

After being impressed with the high standards of service and costs savings it during the initial trial, Eden Housing Association has now switched its entire kitchen programme to be delivered under the Cumbria Housing Partners framework.