Awarded to Unboxed Consulting Ltd

Start date: Monday 10 August 2020
Value: £43,750
Company size: SME
City of Lincoln Council

Repairs Online - Technical Alpha

9 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 2 large

16 Completed applications

16 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Monday 15 June 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 22 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 29 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We want to understand the feasibility of implementing the common service pattern for end-to-end housing repairs as defined from our Alpha report. Focusing on the integration options with leading suppliers of housing repairs systems. This will inform the development of our Beta phase.
Latest start date
Monday 3 August 2020
Expected contract length
4-8 weeks
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
City of Lincoln Council
Budget range
£45,000 (including expenses)

About the work

Why the work is being done
Councils are responsible for providing repairs to socially rented properties. Most users access the service by phone and it is typically the service with the highest volumes. Following the completion of an Alpha we want to understand if the technical development and integration of a common service pattern for housing repairs is possible and what it would look like.
Problem to be solved
Based on the common service pattern defined in Alpha we want to:
- understand the feasibility of developing a reusable product that can be adopted by the local government sector .This should be open source, scalable and accessible.
- iterate/suggest iterations to the common service pattern and highlight boundaries to adoption such as repair type and localisation setup.
- engage with leading suppliers of housing repairs systems to document and propose integration options
- identify cost implications to integrate with leading housing technology suppliers in the local government sector.
- investigate if scheduling should be a part of the final product.
- consider how this will work for all types of repair, including rechargeable, communal and leaseholder

Required outputs:
- comprehensive market research report of incumbent housing repairs systems suppliers and the prospect of them adopting / allowing their customers to adopt the common service pattern and the costs involved
- Options appraisal with plan for iteration and continued development to demonstrate how this will become a product
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a customer
-report, book, update and track repairs at my convenience, so I don't have to chase
-raise emergency repairs that are handled quickly, so I don't have to worry
-request repairs to communal areas, so they are safe and well maintained
-understand at the earliest opportunity the responsibility for the repair, so I know what I have to pay
As a customer service agent
- I need to be able to log repairs at convenient times for customer so I can help callers
- I need easy access to information, so I can help callers.
As a repairs operative I need to:
-know what I’m expected to fix, so that I arrive able to fix it.
-raise additional jobs, so that repairs are resolved
-know jobs are recorded accurately, so that I am paid correctly
As a contractor I need to receive job information so I can complete the work required
Early market engagement
Existing team
1x Project Manager at each authority
1x Digital Change and Innovation manager at Southwark
1x Organisational Change Lead at Lincoln
1x Business Analyst at Lincoln
1x Business Analyst at Royal Borough of Greenwich
1x Business Analyst at South Kesteven District Council
1x Future Technology Lead at South kesteven District Council
1x Head of Improvements and Repairs at South Kesteven District Council
1x Repairs Officers from Southwark, Lincoln, Royal Borough of Greenwich and SKDC
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
You will be expected to conduct market research with suppliers, this may include remote or onsite at various locations. You will also be expected to engage with each partner authority - City of Lincoln Council, Southwark Council, Royal Borough of Greenwich and South Kesteven District Council.

All associated expenses, including travel costs, should be included in your costs and will not be reimbursed separately.
Working arrangements
We expect daily stand-ups in order and the use of digital tools such as Trello/Google Docs/Office 365/Miro . These tools should be accessible by all partner authorities without chargeable licence requirements.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Technical experience of development and integration options
  • Iterative design experience using Agile that is accessible
  • Experience of developing design patterns that can be re-used by organisations
  • Proven track-record of user-centred design and Agile approaches
  • Share their work freely and openly with the partner organisations and the wider community
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of working to the GDS service design manual
  • Have delivered a service that has been assessed against the Local Government Digital Service Standard or government service standard
  • Worked on a project with multiple partners
  • Have the ability to impart knowledge and skills to our in-house team during delivery of the project
  • Have additional resources available to call on to rescue delivery timelines should significant slippage occur

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstration of essential skills and experience criteria
  • Evidenced technical experience of accessible development and integration options
  • Understanding of user needs from the service
  • Clarity of the approach
  • Experience from a similar project
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Identification of risks and plan to mitigate them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Work openly
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. It's really common to assess the technical approach and recommend a solution required for Beta, whilst in the Alpha phase. Why wasn't this done in this Alpha?
A technical assessment was completed which can be seen in the alpha report. However we want to explore options for implementation further, as outlined in the 'Problem to be solved' section.
2. Have discussions taken place with DXW about them carrying out this extended Alpha?
All suppliers are encouraged to place a bid. We operate a transparent and open procurement process which does not advantage any supplier in particular. DXW's recommendations for taking the project forwards can be found in the 'Any work that's already been done' section.
3. Can you please advise who (if any) is the incumbent supplier
Referring to the Required Outputs section; we would expect that the main housing software suppliers in the local government sector are engaged with to understand barriers to adoption of the product. These would include, but not exclusive to, Civica, Northgate, Orchard etc.
4. Due to the current Covid-19 situation, will on-site working during the market research phase still be required?
We would like to limit on site working where possible and favour the use of digital tools as outlined in the Work setup section. However, if and when an onsite visit is necessary, this will only be done adhering to the current government advice.
5. "Have additional resources available to call on to rescue delivery timelines should significant slippage occur" Has this been a current challenge with the project so far? Do you have any significant project milestones that we should be aware of?
We have not experienced this as an issue in previous rounds of this project. As this is an Agile project we would expect the significant milestones to be the Sprints suggested in your plan. We would also expect the project to be delivered within the expected contract length. You should have sufficient resource to supplement any unforeseen long-term absence of a member of your project team.
6. "Have delivered a service that has been assessed against the Local Government Digital Service Standard or government service standard" – Are you able to define and clarify what you mean by Local GDS Service Standards?
The service standard and assessment criteria can be found on the website: