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The number of organisations establishing their own internal maintenance services is on the increase.

Given that a number of these set ups were driven by failing contractor models or by an objective to improve service delivery – are these particular drivers likely to continue with the new economic climate for the sector?

Clearly some DLOs (I will use that term for simplicity) were set up to make cashable savings. Just transfer the staff and save the VAT and profit margin – simple right? Certainly not it seems.

Our work with a number of existing and new DLOs shows a number of common mistakes that are being made (that’s for another blog) which, despite the positive PR being sent out, is actually behind the scenes causing some major concerns. This is despite significant investment and employing specific staff to manage the TUPE transfer, procure the materials and fleet and get the service up and running.

Indeed we are working with some Executive teams who are almost ready to give up on relatively new DLOs and revert back to a contractor model.

We know that it only takes some small sensitivities in a few key areas and those VAT and profit margin savings will have vanished into thin air. Never mind the headache that having the DLO can sometimes seem to cause (although the pain of previous external models is too often forgotten).

Over the past 15 years we have been working with RPs to get the right model for them which may include external or internal delivery (and the varying options within those).

What we are absolutely certain of is that unless you address the root cause issues of why the existing model may not be working perfectly it is likely that the grass won’t necessarily be greener on the other side.

Those who have got one model right but are choosing another to allow them to take the next step in the search of greater efficiency are the most likely to succeed in my view.

Those who are choosing another delivery model because not that many things about the current one are really working, are probably missing the point.

This is why it is absolutely critical to complete a robust and objective options appraisal specific to your circumstances to test whether you are making the right step.