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Bristol Council benefits from a single source of supply
Published:  11 August, 2015

Since 2013, Graham Plumbers’ Merchant and Jewson have been combining forces to supply Bristol City Council’s in-house trade teams with an extensive range of high quality materials for both reactive and planned maintenance work. The partnership has resulted in cost savings on the contract value and has helped to improve resident satisfaction.

Bristol City Council has a significant level of housing stock to service and maintain with the responsibility for approximately 28,000 properties, which are a mixture of traditional homes along with 2-3 storey flats and high rise flats. In excess of 300 trades people are working in the field for Bristol City Council at any one time, covering everything from carpentry, plumbing and heating, gas servicing and repairs, electrics, plastering as well as painting and decorating – meaning a comprehensive range of materials is required on a daily basis.

After recognising that improvements could be made to the maintenance process, Bristol City Council began the original tender process in 2013 as part of a major transformation of the repairs service, which resulted in Graham and Jewson being appointed to supply a range of general maintenance materials, kitchens, bathrooms, along with plumbing and heating materials.

The partnership has resulted in cost savings, which have been achieved through reductions in operative downtime, reduced mileage, improved product specification and leveraging supplier support, product standardization as well as improvements to first time fix rates. The supply of material packs to sub-contractors has helped to standardize the materials at installation on gas heating and bathroom installations, reducing the variety of products our maintenance teams need to carry in van stocks improving our ability to first time fix.

“The combined reach of both merchants was a key factor in our decision to award the contract, to meet the needs of a mobile workforce managed by an electronic appointments system,” explained Andrew Gilborson, Project Manager, Housing Delivery at Bristol City Council.

“As part of the service transformation and new ways of working we had to move away from the workforce being serviced by a single central store and we now have a number of branches in and around Bristol to utilise. In addition, Jewson and Graham identified that Southmead would be a key location for our teams – however there wasn’t a pre-existing branch. We worked together to identify a suitable site and a dedicated branch was opened, which is now manned by a Jewson and Graham representative.

Together the merchant’s are helping to improve the council’s efficiency and productivity. Graham and Jewson hold our core stock in branches for our in-house maintenance teams and they also deliver materials directly to site when needed or through a van replenishment service, which is being developed and evolving to meet the changing needs of the workforce. The new processes have helped to achieve cost savings and a more efficient service.”

Working together collaboratively, Bristol City Council, Graham Plumbers’ Merchant and Jewson are continuing improvement plans within the partnership including product reviews, operative efficiencies and product distribution.

For further information visit: www.grahamplumbersmerchant.co.uk or www.jewson.co.uk