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FEATURE


open to multiple users. By registering our entire supply chain on Access Maintain, costs are locked in and we have the control to know which jobs are open, which contractor is attending, and when, giving full visibility of how much the work is going to cost in advance, rather than getting some nasty surprises afterwards.”


Expectations Moving from a temporary system without proper procedures, reviews of quotes or contractor performance, across to implementation of Access Maintain delivered instant results. The average call-out cost dropped by a third in the first two weeks of use and introducing an audit trail gave immediate accountability. Ultimately, Greg and Lifeways expects that Access Maintain will reduce their annual reactive property maintenance budget by between 30% and 50%.


Greg added: “The reporting structure delivered greater reassurance to the Lifeways Board, as we were able to demonstrate that we had full control over what was being spent and that the value and effectiveness was being measured. This gave them the confidence to increase authorisation levels so that the property team have greater ownership and autonomy, making the property maintenance process even more efficient.”


“Our contractors also love us using Access Maintain as the automatic generation of PO Numbers gives them reassurance that the payment system is streamlined and that they can commence works as soon as authorisation is received. With checks and queries completed at the outset, they know they will be paid on time as there are no lengthy queries when the invoice is raised. They can also check that they have the right health and safety procedures in place, and we can send out updates and special instructions to


www.tomorrowsfm.com


everyone quickly and easily, which was particularly helpful during the changing pandemic regulations.”


Future ambitions The Lifeways property team has found Access Maintain easy and intuitive to use and even the least experienced had soon mastered it. Greg added: “The benefits of the technology were immediately obvious and we’ll continue to refine how we use it to maximum effect. Where procurement and compliance can be integrated to have one sign on and need as few clicks as possible to navigate through open jobs, cost, authorisation, compliance, processing invoices and reporting, it makes a significant impact on a multi-site business such as Lifeways.”


Access Maintain will provide a smooth process for statutory compliance and streamline getting the right contractor for the right job, at the right place and time and at the right price. It is contributing to greater accountability at quarterly contractor review meetings and delivers an overview of assets, flagging up potential problems before they happen.


Instead of blindly repairing a boiler on a regular basis, for example, Access Maintain will highlight the recurring issue and we can decide whether it would be more cost effective to replace it. With the majority of the estate being leasehold, we need to ensure that we are complying with statutory requirements and providing a safe environment for our residents whilst being mindful of a landlord’s property. The upcoming Estates Manager Module, enabling custom map builds and giving a map of areas that contractors can and can’t work in will further enhance the systems functionality and operability when it is released.


www.theaccessgroup.com/property-maintenance TOMORROW’S FM | 35


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