Friday, 22 March 2013

Procurement Puzzles

One of the (many) complexities in the whole ECO landscape is how different organisations are procuring ECO.  I know of a few RPs where the Energy Companies have been brought in through a relationship with the R&M contractor which obviates the need for a procurement process.  Another popular route seems to be the frameworks like Re:New.  Of course, it’s the usual players on the frameworks.  Finally there’s going the OJEU way – but with the time scale of ECO who wants to spend months tied up in competitive dialogue?  For all this, what we are seeing most of is procurement being done through good, old fashioned contacts and customer management without a formal procurement process.  It’s worth remembering that in effect the energy companies are giving away cash.  As one industry insider said to us last week “Why would I pay (through a tender) to give you money?”  So, too early yet to tell what the preferred way of getting hold of ECO funds is.  As always, we’d love to hear your opinions, thoughts and ideas.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

ECO early movers get great deals

On the face of it, it’s a great opportunity.  I’m talking about the £1.3bn ECO fund which launched to much fanfare back in January.  To date, I think most people have been keeping their powder dry and watching what the market will do.  From talking to Registered Providers across the UK many are still unsure if they have schemes which will work, some are waiting to get the 2013/14 capital budgets approved and others are waiting to see what level of contribution they could expect to get.  It’s our view that organisations that move early will get some great deals from the energy companies.  There are schemes available with 100% funding – genuinely 100% including all the associated making good and other works after the measures have gone in.  We working with 40 RPs at the moment and the number is growing by the week.  To find out more about what we’re doing click over here and see for yourself.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

What We Do

Hillcroft Partners helps housing organisations improve service and efficiency levels by becoming more "tenant centric".

We do this via a 4 stage process:

1. Generating tenant insight We help organisations to manage tenant data and generate research and insight in order to better understand who their tenants are, what they do and why they do it, what they like and don't like about the services they currently receive and/or might receive in the future.
2. Developing tenant strategies and servicesWe help organisations to act on the insights gained in order to design and improve service delivery and efficiency levels. We help clients to track key service and efficiency measures to ensure that customers are at the heart of decision making
3. Engaging with tenants and delivering services We help organisations to communicate with and deliver services to tenants. We help to ensure that communications - whether via the call centre, in person, via the post, internet or mobile phone are relevant and effective. We help organisations to use insight to improve the ways that repairs are reported, planned and delivered; to optimise rent collections and minimise voids through effective targeting of resources. We help use insight to "test and learn" new ways of service delivery and efficiency improvement. 
4. Gathering tenant feedback 
We help organisations to gather feedback from tenants on the services they have received in order to help understand what is and isn't working

Organisation alignment
We also help organisations to create a "tenant centric" vision, business plan and measures that are understood throughout the organisation; we help create "tenant centric" job descriptions and measures; help build customer centric IT solutions and help improve HR and management processes
Private sector partnering
Where appropriate we help organisations to develop partnerships with private sector companies in order to improve services to tenants.

Our Philosophy

Successful organisations must carefully balance the sometimes conflicting needs of their key stakeholders e.g. their shareholders or providers of capital, their staff, their customers or consumers of services (e.g. tenants) and the communities in which they operate.

We believe that for almost all organisations the key stakeholder group is the customer, consumer or tenant and this is because satisfied customers tend to create satisfied communities and staff and this in turn creates satisfied shareholders.

We see Tesco as the best example of an organisation that successfully follows this approach and we believe that the same philosophy and processes that have made Tesco successful in the private sector can be learned and transferred to the social housing sector.

About Us

Hillcroft Partners is a consulting and services business that helps participants in the social housing sector to improve services to tenants and achieve efficiencies in delivery.

Hillcroft Partners combines best practice gained from the private sector with over 20 years experience gained in the social housing sector.

Andrew Gray (Director)
Andrew has over 20 years experience in the social housing sector as a consultant to housing organisations throughout England, Scotland and Wales. He was a director of RDHS, Managing Director of Consult CIH and a former President of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
He has developed a strong focus on "customer insight" and is an expert on "tenant recognition and reward" programmes.
Andrew has spoken widely at national and international conferences including The Chartered Institute of Housing, National Housing Federation, NAHRO (USA) and the CHRA (Canada).

Steve Gray (Director)
Steve is a senior adviser to Boston Consulting Group and runs his own company SG-Retail. He is former chairman and CEO of emnos a leading private sector management consulting and services business whose clients include Co-op, Morrisons, John Lewis, Waitrose, Boots, BT, Camelot and British Gas. emnos have offices in London, Munich, Madrid, Paris, Warsaw and New York.
Steve was previously Managing Director of dunnhumby - a research and marketing consultancy owned by Tesco and well known for their work supporting Tesco's Clubcard loyalty programme and helping Tesco to better understand and serve their customers.