My name is Paul Barry, I am the managing director of Newydd Maintenance Limited. I look after the maintenance arm of Newydd. I must confess this is my first ever blog. However, I’m reliably informed (I don’t use social media) that everyone now engages with a ‘#’, so, welcome to #BarrysBlog. I’ll learn how to use these #’s over the coming months. There’s always something new to learn and new ways to communicate (apparently).
It’s taken time to consider what I should write that may be of interest to you as a reader. I hope you find this interesting and gives you an insight into our maintenance team.
I’ve been with the team since 1st April 2019. My role is varied with every day bringing new challenges for the team, and for me personally. Repairs are an important subject. Situations can be stressful for tenants, so it’s important that we get the service right to make sure all homes are safe, and that our tenants feel proud of their home.
Since I arrived, the focus has been on stabilising the maintenance team. There are several branches to maintenance, and I addressed the issues faced by the team to allow each one to work effectively and meet our targets. Progress has been made, but we’re still some distance away from meeting the aims and objectives set out in the original business plan. We’re committed to making sure we achieve everything set out in the plans and I hope this blog will give some insight into what’s happening to transform the service.
When I started here, one task was the main priority. We had data problems that showed we had a backlog of repairs, some of which were overdue. This was causing dissatisfaction among our tenants. I spoke to the team, and rather than look back and point fingers, we agreed that we needed to simply knuckle down and get the works scheduled and make sure the repairs happen for our tenants. I’m pleased with the progress made.
Since then, we have seen a 48% reduction in overdue repairs and a reduction of 35% to the number of open repairs on our system. This has been a very challenging process, but we are making positive strides.
Many of our tenants work and there has been demand for repairs to accommodate working hours. Our solution was to introduce extended working days. We have two new multi-trade operatives working from 9:30am to 6:00pm. This means our service is now provided from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday. To complement this, we continue to provide a back-office service from 7:00am until 5:30pm each working day.
We’ve made significant improvements in the void service we provide. Voids are simply properties that do not currently have a tenant. We had an early setback, but the team has worked extremely hard to pull this back on track.
We have also started our planned maintenance programme and are now installing new bathrooms, central heating boilers, and kitchens for our tenants. The one constant since my arrival has been the ‘comply or die’ team (also known as the gas team). They’ve continued to ensure tenants are safe and make every effort to ensure all gas services are completed on time.
Other improvements relate to our materials suppliers. I could go on for hours about the supply chain, but the outcome is the only thing I am focusing on. We need the right materials in our vans, and within our suppliers, to make sure we can deliver high quality repairs when the tenants need us. By working with suppliers to get this right, our office-based team can focus on appointments and customer experience.
It will take some time to get everything running as we want, but one thing I can say is that we will get there. I’m grateful for the efforts across the team to muck in and just get things sorted.
I’ll see you in 18 weeks’ time for the next #barrysblog