Awarded to Orange Maple Ltd

Start date: Friday 8 February 2019
Value: £72,875
Company size: SME
Southwark Council and partners

Discovery on housing repairs and defining a common service pattern

8 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 2 large

19 Completed applications

18 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Tuesday 18 December 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 25 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 1 January 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Councils are responsible for providing repairs to socially rented properties. We want to run a discovery on whether a common service pattern for end-to-end housing repairs is possible and what it would look like.
Latest start date
Monday 21 January 2019
Expected contract length
8-12 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Southwark Council and partners
Budget range
£60,000 to £78,000 including all 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 highest volumes. The service is attractive to provide digitally, however when an acceptable telephone channel exists take-up is often low.

Consequently housing providers do not always realise expected savings from channel shift and providing digital repairs services that meet the service standard may not be economical for smaller providers.

We want to run a discovery on whether a common service pattern for housing repairs is possible and what it would look like.
Problem to be solved
The national cost of repairs call handling is estimated at >£30m p/a. Based on our experiences only ~50% of calls are for new repairs implying significant levels of failure demand. Take-up of online repairs is also low compared to telephone channels.

We want to understand:
-Barriers to adoption of digital repairs services
-Elements best suited to automation/self-service
-Optimal uses of technology to improve user satisfaction and reduce costs
-Is a common service pattern for end-to-end delivery of repairs possible
-How the service pattern can be mapped to the Housing Associations' Charitable Trust repairs data standard.
Who the users are and what they need to do
-request 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
As a customer service agent 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
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We are collating user research from organisations and other councils that have previously taken a user-centred service design approach to repairs. We want the existing user research to be taken into consideration so we are not starting from the beginning. More information can be found as part of our successful bid for MHCLG funding
Existing team
1x Project Manager at each authority
1x User Researcher at Lewisham Homes
1x Business Analyst at Southwark
1x Business Analyst at Lincoln
1x Business Analyst at Gravesham
1x Repairs Officers from Lewisham Homes, Southwark, Lincoln and Gravesham
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The supplier will be expected to conduct one week of user research at each partner organisation site - Southwark Council, Lewisham Homes, Lincoln Council and Gravesham Council.

Base organisation will be Southwark Council at 160 Tooley Street, S1 2HZ, London.
Working arrangements
We would prefer a team onsite for 3 days a week, most weeks in order to engage with Digital and Repairs Service colleagues and build broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells).
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Discovery must be completed by end of March 2019.

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
  • Provide a multi-disciplinary team, including user research, service design, and delivery management
  • Have experience of working to the GDS service design manual
  • Demonstrate a track-record of user-centred design and Agile approaches
  • Have delivered a service that has been assessed against the Local Government Digital Service Standard or government service standard
  • Demonstrate experience designing services for a wide range of digital skills and confidence
  • Share their work freely and openly with the partner organisations and the wider community
  • Be able to build or design a tool that’s so good, people prefer to use it
  • Experience of developing design patterns that can be re-used by organisations
  • Have experience working on repairs service within social housing
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Worked on a project with multiple partners

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
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
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
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Re your guidelines, are the 3 days per week on site for all four sites, or do you mean the team we would do a week’s field work on all four sites, and then locate at your ‘base office’ in London for the remaining time?
One week's field work per partner organisation so a total of 4 weeks. Remaining weeks will be located at Southwark Council with at least 3 days of those weeks on -site at Southwark Council.
2. Regarding your request for experience of 'working on a project with multiple partners', can you please confirm you a referring to multiple buyers/clients, rather than supplier partnerships?
Yes multiple clients - in our case Southwark's partners are Lewisham Homes, Lincoln Council, and Gravesham Council.
3. Given the Christmas period, will an extended deadline be offered for supplier responses?
Unfortunately it is a condition of MHCLG's funding that the discovery has to be completed by end of March hence the timelines are compressed.
4. Not all of the points in the DSS are relevant to discovery phases. Can you confirm you are looking for evidence of work that meet the relevant points in the DSS?
You refer to assessment against the DSS. In Local Government we are not familiar with an external assessment against this standard. Can you clarify what kind of assessment you are referring to?
Yes we are looking for evidence of work that meet the relevant points for discovery rather than all the points from the Digital Service Standard. In regards to assessment against the Local Government Digital Service Standard, a number of councils have been running internal, self-assessments, for example Examples of work that have gone through similar assessments and/or demonstrating evidence of work that meets the Digital Service Standard is what we are looking for.