Hackney Council

Improve the customer experience and extend the features of raising a repair to a Hackney property

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
5 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
3 SME, 2 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 22 February 2018
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 1 March 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 8 March 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Improvement to the digital repairs service and development of the contact centre service.
Latest start date Monday 26 March 2018
Expected contract length 6 months
Location London
Organisation the work is for Hackney Council
Budget range Up to £150,000 exc VAT for the whole project - but we’d expect the investment in improvements to be linked to benefits.

About the work

About the work
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Why the work is being done Hackney is undertaking a programme of work to develop the digital services necessary to ensure that tools for tenants, leaseholders and staff are so good, people prefer to use them.

Hackney has approximately 32,000 tenants and leaseholders. Its repairs contact centre receives 171,000 calls per year, which are roughly split between new requests and calls following-up existing requests.

This is one of three projects to improve repairs. The others will tackle the process of sending an operative to a job, and managing the finances around a repair.
Problem to be solved The previous online repairs solution had low uptake whilst a number of frictions in the technology experience of handling calls frustrated residents and staff. The technology integrations between part of the repairs service are complex and cannot be monitored in realtime.

This project is designed to improve the current solution, ensure that the software in the repairs contact centre supports a high quality experience, and support the raising of communal repairs.
Who the users are and what they need to do As a resident, I need to easily request a repair online so that I can do it at my convenience.
As a resident, I need to be able to raise a repair easily on the phone so that emergency requests are handled quickly.
As a resident, I need to request repairs to communal areas so that my block or estate are safe and well maintained.
As a customer service agent I need to handle calls quickly and easily so that I can give callers the information they need.
Early market engagement FutureGov led a discovery phase to establish the strategy for improving our housing technology services.

DXW has developed the online repairs service improvement.

We have developed some of the other digital services to support housing in-house, using Outsystems and Dynamics 365.
Any work that’s already been done Hackney has been working to improve the experience of raising a repair. A new online service is in beta for repairs to a property. Last year, the council launched a mobile solution for its direct labour organisation.

This is one of three projects to improve repairs. The others will tackle the process of sending an operative to a job (which is expected to start at a similar time), and managing the finances around a repair (which may be commissioned once these phases have been completed).
Existing team Repairs service manager, responsible for overall development of the service.
1 Product Owner within the Housing Service, responsible for delivering improvements to working practices within the Repairs Service.
2x in-house .NET developers who have built the REST API to support repairs
1x Delivery Manager
Current phase Not started

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, E8
Working arrangements We would prefer a team onsite for 3 days a week, most weeks in order to engage with ICT and Repairs Service colleagues and build broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells).
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional information
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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.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Provide a multi-disciplinary team, including user research, service design, front-end and back-end developers
  • Demonstrate a track-record of user-centred design and Agile approaches
  • Have delivered a service that’s been assessed against a government service standard
  • Demonstrate experience designing services for a wide range of digital skills and confidence
  • Share their work freely and openly with the Council and the wider community
  • Be able to build or design a tool that’s so good, people prefer to use it
  • Show how it can support development of REST APIs to Hackney’s standards
  • Experience of developing design patterns that can be re-used for other services
  • Have experience working with social housing providers or repairs providers
  • Experience of using analytics and user research to prioritise a backlog of improvements
  • Ruby on Rails expertise
Nice-to-have skills and experience Show how it has supported development of an in-house team

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 4
Proposal criteria
  • 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
  • Price per sprint
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Please could you advise IR35 status of this role. We are looking for a team to provide an outcome. The tax status of any individual working on the project will be a matter for the agency and its employees.
2. You mention that you have two .NET developers that created the REST API. Given the API is open can we assume that the technology used to deliver this outcome doesn't necessarily need to be .NET? Yes - that’s correct. The developers do not necessarily need to be involved in the project.

The API is documented: https://github.com/LBHackney-IT/api-standards and the repairs service: https://github.com/LBHackney-IT/maintain-my-home
3. We believe the outcomes you're looking for can be achieved by using a customisable service desk package solution with specific add-ons. Are you willing to consider using COTS software, already used by thousands of teams around the world including UK government? This solution would also come in under specified budget and take less time to implement than custom development. If there are cheaper ways of meeting user need, we would be open to these. As outlined in the brief, we have developed an existing solution which based on our user research, already represents a significant improvement. So we would need to consider the costs of changing the technology against the likelihood of better meeting user needs.
4. Is Hackney Council's preference to procure a supplier to build on the existing functionality based on Outsystems? Or are Hackney Council considering off-the-self systems (such as a repair diagnostic tool) to integrate with existing systems to extend the functionality? The existing functionality is not based on Outsystems - as per the documentation available in Github. This requirement is primarily about improving the ruby on rails service and extending it for use in the contact centre.
5. The specification mentions both "buy vs build" and "sharing work freely and openly". Would the council entertain licensing arrangements to minimise up-front and total costs by leveraging existing proprietary code and libraries? Yes. We currently use four proprietary systems as part of this journey. However, we would expect any IP developed as part of this project (eg user research, service patterns and APIs, where appropriate) to be shared openly.
6. Is there an expectation to have a cloud-deployed service, and, if so, are there any existing accounts or relationships that would prove advantageous? Yes - our approach is cloud first, mobile first. We do not have a preferred cloud vendor currently.
7. Is there a preference to .Net solutions given the existing .Net developers? Or are they responsible only for building the REST APIs to be consumed? No - the new repairs service is built in Ruby on Rails whilst some of our services are developed on Outsystems. The .NET developers can take responsibility for building the REST APIs to be consumed (as part of the team) but do not necessarily have to be involved in the project.