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Assessing the viability of a DLO, delivering 20% savings on their capital programme and higher customer satisfaction

The Organisation

Broadacres Housing Association was established in 1993 and manages 5,900 homes in North Yorkshire. The Association has grown both in terms of the number of properties it manages and its awareness of the needs and aspirations of its customers.  Broadacres have strived for many years to provide outstanding services for their tenants and ‘more than just the bricks’.  The organisation prides itself on being truly customer focussed but with a strong commercial ethos and ranked in the 2016 Sunday Times list of 100 best not for profit organisations. 

The Outcomes

A radically redefined approach, encompassing mobile solutions in IT, a private sector approach to performance management and training and mentoring staff across the whole organisation.  Vantage advised on the implementation and provided guidance and support every step of the way.  The project has delivered £2 million annual savings, 80 jobs for the local community, an apprenticeship scheme and considerable knowledge and skills transfer process. 


The Benefit

“We commissioned Vantage to advise us on whether an in-house service was the best option for us. The approach was thorough and informed us on the scale of what the service should provide. The implementation was challenging as we did not want to just simply transfer over a contractor service, but provide a leaner and more customer focused approach.

We now have great levels of productivity, excellent customer satisfaction and are making significant savings. Without the drive and guidance from Vantage, we would not have achieved it.”

Finance Director, Broadacres

Project In Detail

The Challenge


Setting up an Internal Direct Labour Organisation

In 2016 Broadacres were trying to decide whether to bring their repairs and maintenance service in house with a Direct Labour Organisation (DLO). The decision would need to focus on putting the customer first, increase productivity and deliver significant cost savings to justify the change.

Our Solution: Options Appraisal

Vantage worked closely with Broadacres to undertake an options appraisal to review the feasibility, scale and capability of an internal delivery model.  The transformation began with baselining the current position so that improvements could be measured and evidenced.  Broadacres implemented tracking mechanisms, redesigned their management accounts and used a suite of KPI templates to drive and measure best practise. 

Following this extensive appraisal, our advice was to develop a hybrid model, with a significant portion of repairs and maintenance delivered in-house. The model includes an element of partnering with other local RPs to deliver aspects of the service to geographically dispersed regions. Broadacres transformed their Repairs and Maintenance service, undertaking organisational change to create a customer first internal service.

Broadacres are now delivering responsive repairs, voids, gas, kitchens and bathrooms internally with a team of 80 operatives and in October 2016 hit an average of 9.5 repairs satisfaction rate against a target of 9.

In 2015/16 the Broadacres team completed:

  • 416 boilers upgraded to A rated boilers
  • 15 air source heat pumps fitted
  • 311 kitchens replaced
  • 135 bathrooms replaced
  • 22,391 repairs completed