echelon operates as a trusted independent critical friend in its role as partnering advisor to organisations across the housing sector. Our mission is to help mobilise and improve the relationship between client and contractor partners. Clients include Origin Housing, Basildon, Croydon and Brentwood Councils and Stonewater.
A partnering advisor is there to offer impartial advice to both parties while bringing in valuable external input. Intervention during dispute is an element of the role but ideally a partnering advisor will facilitate the relationship in a way that avoids dispute at the outset by promoting collaborative working and identifying mutual objectives. We complete a 360 review of the partner relationships and what emerges from that forms the challenge around improvement: what is working, what’s not, what can be improved. We use a common-sense approach based on the results of the review, which is where an impartial, independent standpoint is invaluable.
A housing organisation with a social agenda and a contractor with a commercial agenda may need someone to speak a common language and echelon is able to sit between the two parties, review the facts impartially and use its industry knowledge to help both partners reach a fair and practical solution. We have many long-term relationships with clients in our role as partnering advisor. We work with Origin Housing across a suite of contracts, we have advised Basildon, Croydon and Brentwood Councils for some years on partnerships that we helped them procure and Stonewater is a very new client which is already seeing the benefits of our approach.
“echelon has worked with us through the whole life cycle of this contract, from scoping requirements and facilitating the procurement process through to mobilising the new contract and supporting its ongoing success. So, they really understand both the ‘hard’ requirements of the contract and commercials but have also worked with us to develop a positive three-way relationship with Basildon BC and its partner contractor, built on mutual respect and trust.” Peter Long, Property Services Delivery Manager, Basildon Borough Council