PfH expertise helps Pickering & Ferens design a winning paint contract


Pickering & Ferens Homes manages approximately 1,250 properties in Hull and East Riding, providing housing for more than 1,400 tenants, all aged 60 and over.

In 2015, the housing association began planning a major window and door replacement programme. Like many smaller housing associations, Pickering & Ferens doesn’t have a dedicated procurement team so it approached PfH to provide category expertise around painting windows and doors and to offer specialist advice on tendering and resident engagement.

Pickering & Ferens wanted to reduce costs on both paint materials and labour and change its painting cycle to fit with the new stock upgrade.

How helped Pickering & Ferens Homes realise an annual saving of £38,000…

In line with the long term refurbishment programme, PfH supported Pickering & Ferens to develop a five year approach to cyclical painting. Done right, intelligent procurement can provide a unique vantage point across a business. PfH helped Pickering & Ferens to take a wider view of their asset management costs, identifying sustainable options and ensuring they aren’t restrained by existing buying practices.

PfH worked with the association to develop a bespoke tender approach in partnership with its resident-led scrutiny panel. Not only did the tender have to reflect the phasing out of a five-year painting cycle for timber windows. It also had to accommodate the introduction of a seven-year painting cycle for timber items – such as fascias and fencing – on properties that have been fitted with new UPVC windows (in all areas except conservation and listed buildings). Additionally, the tender had to allow for reduced maintenance requirements.

PfH recommended a shift away from a traditional supply and fit approach in favour of two separate contracts for materials and labour. This separation enabled Pickering & Ferens to leverage improved materials rates via PfH’s Paint Supply framework with contractors bidding on a labour-only basis. This attracted smaller, specialist contractors who were highly skilled but cost-effective due to their size and local base – an important social value outcome for Pickering & Ferens.

As a result, the housing association will save 30% on the cost of paint materials – approximately £48,000 over the five year contract. Over 25.6% savings will be made on labour – approximately £141,000 over the contract lifetime. Overall, the new contract will generate £189,000 in cashable savings.

Non-cashable savings will be made by reducing the amount of time Pickering & Ferens’ staff spend putting contracts together and communicating to residents – something managed by the new contractors.

PfH also worked with the association to embed resident liaison and social value outcomes in the contract. This included weighting tender questions towards a supplier’s ability to involve Pickering & Ferens residents (many of whom are elderly and vulnerable) and also to meet high customer care standards.

For instance, suppliers were scored on how they would communicate with residents, deal with complaints and minimise inconvenience.

PfH weaved these considerations – as well as how suppliers would deliver social value such as job and training opportunities for tenants – into the process.

Pickering & Ferens, PfH and residents all scored the bids and two contractors were chosen.

The end result is an agreement that complements the landlord’s wider refurbishment programme, delivers substantial savings, maintains quality and supports the local economy.

Don’t take our word for it…

“Having PfH on hand to provide expertise around the procurement process helped us to line the contract up to our wider stock refurbishment and involve our tenants. We now have a new contract in place that better suits our needs and delivers significant savings.”

Sharon Brookes
Property services director, Pickering & Ferens Homes

“Pickering & Ferens wanted to maintain the quality of the painting service and make more savings but ultimately ensure residents are happy with the results. Now they are getting equal quality, considerable savings on top, as well as increasing resident satisfaction.”

George Pouncey
Procurement consultant, PfH

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