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Public Sector Contract Management Solutions

Thornton & Lowe's Public Sector Contract Management consultancy is a comprehensive offering designed to provide public sector bodies with the necessary expertise, tools, systems, and capacity to manage suppliers and contracts effectively.

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Are you happy with the performance of your suppliers?

Do you have the capacity and expertise to manage contracts and suppliers effectively?

Are you receiving what was promised in the bid?

Let Thornton & Lowe become your outsourced Contract Management Team.

We understand the importance for public and third-sector bodies to receive exceptional customer service, quality, social value, and value for money throughout their supply chain. We also understand the challenges the sector has with regard to capacity and expertise in order to achieve this.

Our contract management solution is designed to help achieve these goals by working in close collaboration with clients, providing consultancy and processes and also providing the contract management capacity. Ensuring you are proactively managing your key contracts and supply chain partners.

Our team of experts has extensive experience in managing contracts and suppliers in a range of sectors, including housing, healthcare, education, local government, and more. We take a focused approach to contract management, working closely with our clients to understand their needs and objectives and tailoring our services accordingly. Our goal is to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes from their contracts, including cost savings, improved supplier performance, and increased value for money.

At Thornton & Lowe, we understand that effective contract management requires a range of tools and systems, which is why we provide our clients with access to the latest technology and software solutions. Our team is also available to provide training and support to ensure that our clients can maximise the benefits of these tools and systems, if we are not delivering the service on their behalf.

Overall, Thornton & Lowe's Public Sector Contract Management Solution is designed to provide public sector bodies with the expertise, tools, systems, and capacity they need to manage contracts and suppliers effectively, drive customer service, quality, social value, and value for money, and achieve their objectives.

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Housing Association Grounds Maintenance Consultancy and Contract Management

At Thornton & Lowe we understand the challenges facing Housing Associations in the UK. Dave Thornton, Msc Housing Practice, founded the business in 2009 with a background in Housing Association procurement; helping organisations achieve compliance and value for money.

Our specialised Estate Services division has developed from this foundation and is now headed by Steven, Director of Housing Consultancy. Steven is a leader in the facilities management sector, with 25 years’ experience in Housing Association grounds maintenance and wider estate services.

Steven's focus is on service design and specification, delivery and outcomes, improvements, customer satisfaction, health & safety, social value, procurement, and supporting Housing Associations to bring the service in-house. His extensive experience in mobilising and managing over 50 multi-million pound contracts in the sector has given him a deep understanding of the challenges, frustrations, and opportunities that come with managing these services. He is committed to developing, improving, and creating accountability and transparency throughout the service while maximising value for money.

We offer a range of support to help Housing Associations manage their estate services, grounds maintenance and cleaning services more effectively.

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Housing Association Grounds Maintenance Solutions

Grounds maintenance audit
Bringing a grounds maintenance service in-house
Grounds maintenance contract management

We conduct a comprehensive audit of your existing grounds maintenance service to identify areas for improvement and cost savings.

For many housing associations, their grounds maintenance service is one of the critical elements of ensuring resident satisfaction. For this reason, Thornton & Lowe offers Grounds Maintenance Service Audits. Our experienced auditor will analyse the full service, from specification, site visits, commercials, supplier interviews and resident and service user satisfaction surveys. Not only do these audits provide a tool to independently verify your grounds maintenance performance, along with improvement actions, they can also identify quick wins, potential problems ahead of time and a chance to reassess and develop the service. This can be a vital tool in contract management, as well as a starting point for the next procurement exercise.

Continually assessing the delivery as it happens allows for a flawless service delivery whilst at the same time identifying training gaps within the team. It’s also a great opportunity to monitor compliance and health and safety, both for team members but also the general public.

Issues that get highlighted in these audits can have a large bearing on the customer experience but include points such as:

  • Quality of work
  • Missed items from the specification
  • Missed areas of the site
  • Quality of the finish
  • Health and Safety
  • Contract and wider compliance
  • Security
  • Interaction with the residents or general public
  • Environmental issues
  • Training opportunities
  • Brand and appearance - how the team are perceived

It’s also an opportunity to collect feedback from residents, asses if the specification is still 100% relevant, check site plans, and collate ideas and future proposals to improve. Undertaking regular independent audits and recording this data demonstrates a high level of commitment to quality and value for money. It also provides a route to consistently monitor whether you are receiving the service and social value which has been promised in the bid.

Auditing contracts prior to contract start and then at regular intervals also gives the client a benchmark and KPIs, as well as demonstrating continuous improvement.

One of the challenges many public sector bodies face is whether they are better bringing the service in-house, as part of a DLO. This is driven largely by the increasing cost of the service and by the poor quality of service, which in turn delivers low levels of resident satisfaction.

Below we detail some of the risks and options when a housing association is considering taking their grounds maintenance service in-house.

Common concerns for a housing association bringing their grounds maintenance service in-house


Mitigation Strategy

Increased costs

Cost benefit analysis and business plan - is it financially feasible and what benefits do you expect? What additional costs are there for delivery beyond staff, equipment, technology? T&L can complete a full commercial analysis along with financial and quality monitoring and management tools.

Lack of expertise

Recruit or up-skill management staff with the necessary expertise to a manage grounds maintenance service. T&L can help you identity the right person for the role and what skills and systems they need.

Equipment costs

To purchase or lease equipment? What can be planned in advance? Likely budget for ongoing maintenance and replacement costs? Benefits and challenges of buying used equipment? T&L can advise on where you can save money, what deals are available and what is worth investing in.

Staffing challenges

Recruitment and retention in grounds maintenance is no easy task. Beyond TUPE, is your HR team familiar with recruiting GM operative and supervisor roles? T&L can review and propose recruitment and retention strategies, which are tried and tested in grounds maintenance, for the housing sector. Can you offer competitive salaries and benefits packages, and provide opportunities for professional development and advancement within budget? Let T&L advise and propose options for your assessment.

Legal and regulatory compliance

What laws and regulations in grounds maintenance will impact you? Are you sure your service and depots are compliant? Let T&L develop the strategy and monitor compliance.

Health and safety risks

Do you have comprehensive health and safety procedures and appropriate training for your grounds maintenance team? What’s the best way to structure your safety audits and inspections, and take corrective action as needed. Let T&L advise.

Disruption to service

Plan carefully to minimise disruption to service during the transition period. Communication is key with all stakeholders including residents of course, but what can be achieved with your contractors? How can they help you? T&L create a plan and manage your process throughout.

For Housing Associations trying to improve their grounds maintenance service, we can provide:

  • Audits of the existing service, including value for money and commercial and quality analysis
  • Customer satisfaction reviews through surgeries and surveys
  • Review of current cost and expected costs for budget creation
  • Continued contract management of existing contracts
  • Development and refinement of specifications
  • Supporting the preparation of tender and procurement exercises, including evaluation, site visits and interviews
  • Assisting in the preparation and process of bringing the service in house.

To discuss this further please contact us now via or submitting the contact form here.

Our outsourced contract management solution for grounds maintenance services can bring significant benefits to housing associations. Including:

Expertise: By outsourcing grounds maintenance services to Thornton & Lowe, housing associations can benefit from the expertise and experience of professionals who specialise in not just contract management and supply chain but also grounds maintenance. This can help ensure that grounds maintenance services are delivered to a high standard, with minimal disruption to residents

Time savings: We understand capacity can be tight. Let us free up staff time and resources, allowing you to focus on core activities. This can help improve efficiency and productivity, while providing a source of accountability for the contract

Cost savings: We understand the cost of doing business in this sector and therefore the opportunities for cost savings. By having regular and informed discussions we can carefully negotiate the delivery and maximise what is available from contractors

Improved service quality: By systematically and proactively reviewing service delivery we can not only improve quality and satisfaction, we can also identify and help plan for future requirements

Risk management: Contract management providers can also help housing associations manage risk by ensuring that suppliers meet all relevant legal and regulatory requirements and that appropriate insurance and liability arrangements are in place.

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Contract Management Solutions

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