DMA Maintenance has been a major player in M&E contracts for almost 200 years. Its comprehensive services extend to construction, maintenance, joinery, and mechanical services. DMA's experience encompasses social housing, residential development and maintenance, estate renewal, education, leisure, health, retail, commercial and industrial sectors.
M&E contractors traditionally have an adversarial relationship working within the housing sector, and have therefore tended to avoid it. DMA Maintenance originally fell under this bracket, until the potential in this target market made it determined to break the mould, and make a success of it.
Amicus, who own Swale Housing Association in Sittingbourne, Kent, shared this vision. But with 3,700 dwellings and 1,000 garages, both companies had their work cut out to ensure that a fully integrated system was going to be successful.
Partnering alongside DMA, FSI (FM Solutions) Limited took the lead and wrote the integration tools required to allow the flow of data across the partners' implementation of the scheduling solutions. According to DMA, the requirement for development of the sector was to move to open book costed partnership. FSI's Concept™ system, integrated with the Xmbrace scheduling software to give absolute times, based on travel, optimum resources and other parameters, together with mobile data solutions for real-time job dispatch and job tracking.
This meant avoiding duplication of electronic information and tasks between the contractor and the client. All data needed to be shared and a system established to enable the end user to make a phone call to book an appointment and the maintenance operative to confirm, respond and act on the enquiry within a sensible and efficient journey plan.
Customer satisfaction was vastly improved (greater than 95% satisfied or very satisfied), together with lower client costs for the total service (in the region of 10% to 20% plus internal savings in the region of 10%) and increased quality standards (greater than 95% against the standard, with recalls less than 0.5%). The open book accounting system with fixed management fee provides the framework and stability that allows the contractor to strategically plan and invest for the future. This solution implemented by DMA, is being included by the Audit Commission in an IT Best Practice Guide for Housing Association's room booking."