Procurement Consultancy

We have worked with housing providers to procure over £5 billion of asset management services.

Basildon Council


Improving lives, creating opportunity

echelon was appointed to facilitate the procurement of the repairs, planned works and gas servicing and installations contract for Basildon Council.

We undertook an initial scoping exercise to gain an understanding of Basildon Council’s primary objectives and aspirations for the new service and 57 specific improvements were identified, all of which were incorporated as requirements in the development of the tender documents and the new service going forward.

A single provider was recommended to deliver all services as a single integrated model using a long-term contract to encourage investment from the service provider and its supply chain.

Morgan Sindall Property Services was appointed to deliver the £336.7 million contract over 15 years. Following a robust mobilisation programme facilitated by echelon, it is carrying out repairs, maintenance and planned improvement works to the council’s housing stock.  It is also undertaking repairs and maintenance work to its non-residential properties as well as undertaking gas servicing, repairs and boiler renewals to 10,000 domestic gas heating systems.

United Welsh


New beginnings

echelon was appointed to review the existing service delivery of United Welsh’s asset management services while identifying the needs and aspirations of the contract’s stakeholders going forward.

The aim of the procurement process was to develop a model to improve customer service standards and reduce the time it takes to resolve enquiries from the first point of contact.

A detailed analysis of the service levels and cost of service delivery identified the strengths and weaknesses of existing service provision and highlighted aspirations for the service going forward.

The options open in relation to commercial models were also considered and following a comprehensive review of United Welsh’s asset management services, a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) was decided upon.

Mears emerged from the process as the preferred partner and was appointed to manage the delivery of asset management services through the new WOS – Celtic Horizons.

The organisation, which was mobilised over 16-weeks becoming fully operational in 2013 and has grown steadily over the first five years of operation, from 92 employees to over 150, providing services to 5,800 properties. Training and apprenticeship opportunities have remained at the core of the model and it continues to deliver on increasing and improving customer satisfaction.

“Employing a procurement specialist, such as echelon at an early stage of the process, allowed Basildon Borough Council to maximise the opportunity to engage with all stakeholders, define clearly what it wanted from the contract and also to procure this in a timely and effective manner”
James Henderson – Property Services Business Manager Basildon Council

Options Appraisals & VFM Reviews

We extract and analyse hard data and undertake detailed stakeholder consultation to review services holistically, enabling tailored recommendations for improvement.

Homes for Haringey


Working with residents to provide quality housing services and decent homes

echelon has been commissioned by Homes for Haringey to undertake two reviews of its direct labour organisation, Haringey Repair Services (HRS), which comprises a responsive repairs team (including the repairs control centre); a planned works team (which includes void works) and a finance services team.

Following a rigorous stakeholder engagement programme in 2012 we made a series of recommendations for developing HRS which led to cashable savings in the region of £2.9 million and a fall in operating costs from £19.4 million to £16.5 million.

Four years later we carried out a second two-stage review to ascertain how the recommendations from 2012 had been implemented and focus on the future delivery of the repairs service.

While performance had greatly improved and the recommended policies and procedures from the 2012 review were all in place, we discovered that they weren’t always followed.

We provided a detailed report making recommendations to ensure that the procedures were implemented properly, and a service improvement plan was developed identifying 16 key areas with target dates set against priority.

There is now a greater focus on communication with contractors and the contact centre and the new ICT system is allowing HRS to make great strides in terms of mobile working and more effective use of materials.

East Devon District Council


Redefining an in-house repairs service

echelon was appointed to review the existing service delivery model for repairs, voids and planned works and to consider potential alternative delivery models including outsourced, shared service models, joint ventures and limited liability partnerships and wholly-owned subsidiaries.

A multi-stakeholder workshop identified three primary drivers– greater control over the service, cost savings and efficiencies and Incentives for service improvement.  As well as identifying objectives and aspirations for the future it highlighted strengths and weaknesses with the existing service delivery model.

Following the detailed options appraisal, it was decided to procure an integrated asset management contract with a single provider with refinement of the new delivery model through dialogue.

It was recommended that EDDC extend its existing contracts and then enter into a contract with a single service provider for a minimum of 10 years, building a series of recommendations into the new delivery model.

“It is not about management and consultants implementing change, which is what had happened in the past when reviews had been carried out. With echelon it is about engaging with all of our staff and getting them on board to change the culture for the future” – Paul Young, Head of HRS Operations, Homes for Haringey

Strategic Asset Management

Helping organisations to develop and implement long-term strategies to make the best use of their assets.

A2 Dominion


A model for building relationships with local authority partners

echelon was appointed to review the current asset management plan and develop a new strategy focusing on dealing with difficult properties, developing relationships with local authority partners and giving A2 Dominion visibility in the many boroughs in which it works.

Following a five-stage asset management review, we built a ground-up structure for a new asset management strategy.

Existing documents were reviewed, and a gap analysis was carried out, to ensure that they were fully up to date and that they captured the organisation’s aspirations while reflecting what is practically deliverable. Additional sections were created as required and new documents were drawn up with input from the asset management review group.

A five-year asset management plan, which was designed to be able to evolve, was put in place enabling A2 Dominion to take a more holistic, strategic approach to managing and planning for its assets.

Croydon Council

Thomas Personal Profile Analysis

Personal profiling insight enables organisations to better motivate and develop individuals, teams and cross-partnership working.

Helping Teams Work Better

Using behavioural insight to recruit and develop staff and help teams work better together

Echelon Director Aaron John is a fully trained Thomas International Practitioner and is qualified to undertake Thomas Personal Profile Analysis (PPA).

A PPA, which takes just eight minutes to complete, provides an accurate insight into how people behave at work. It gives employers a greater level of certainty when recruiting, identifying where to maximise their learning and development budget, and understanding where to boost morale to avoid staff turnover, as well as enabling them to spend less time managing underperformers and focus more time on those who will truly drive the business forward.

It can also be used to build teams, identifying people with different work-based behavioural profiles that can complement each other and help team members to understand how their colleagues work.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

Engagement and consultation with all stakeholders is an integral part of how we work with all our clients.

“echelon ran workshops with some of our customers and the was that it was the best meeting they had ever been to” Mike Costigan, Repairs Manager, Johnnie Johnson Housing

“We feel engaged as equal partners” Phil Pemberton, Director of Asset Strategy and Delivery, Asset Services, Riverside

“echelon worked well with us. They took the trouble to understand us as a business and worked very well with our tenants and staff in shaping the model. It was a very inclusive approach” Lynda Sagona, Chief Executive, United Welsh

“echelon is approachable and responsive to our needs and willing and able to adopt to any changes in direction of travel that might arise during an assignment” Geoff Muise, Operational Director, Magenta Living