We’re WiP-ing our repairs into shape

Posted on 08 May 2024

Investing more in our repairs service is essential - we know how important it is to our customers, and that it’s our responsibility to fix things.

Every day, our Repairs teams are in our customers’ homes providing vital services, from tackling damp and mould, to fixing leaks, and helping to get empty properties into shape for new families to call home.

The teams help keep our customers safe and comfortable, day in day out.

Since the pandemic, demand for repairs has increased. The average number of repairs per home has risen by more than a fifth in the past two years. Responsive repairs have increased from 2.7 repairs per home to 3.3 repairs - a 22% increase.

What’s a WiP?

‘Work-in-Progress’ or WiP, is all the responsive repairs we know about, that are waiting to be completed. The aim is to keep the WiP at around 5,000, which is about two weeks’ worth of jobs. In other words, all responsive repairs take no longer than 10 working days to complete.

We knew that the timeline around our responsive repairs had to be better, and how important it is for our customers. Towards the end of 2023, we set a new ambition to be below 5,000 for our WiPs and ideally below 4,500. The good news is that we’ve already hit under 5,000.

Mark Batchelor, our Property Services Director tells us more about what we did, to lead to a faster response time:

“After we came out of the pandemic, the demand for repairs quickly grew whilst we were in the process of bringing teams back from furlough.

“Typically, we would expect to run at 2,000 jobs per week prior to Christmas and run down to about 1,500 jobs per week by the start of April. But, straight after Christmas, we saw a sharp increase in 2,500 jobs per week. We needed to get on top of this – managing the jobs was critical.

“We’ve never allowed the number of unfinished jobs to run away with us. So, we’re investing more in our repairs service.

“We’ve invested financially, and brought repairs ‘in-house’ – we easily have 100 more trades specialists now.

“We implemented a WiP recovery plan which saw us using more directly employed, sub-contractors.

“We finally got it down to 5,000 jobs, actually 4,923, on 19 April 2024. (With the additional demand, we completed in the region of 8,000 more jobs than we did at the same time last year.)

“A huge thanks to our Repairs teams – they’ve all been brilliant. And, we couldn’t have done this without support across the business – particularly our Neighbourhood teams and Service Centre teams, who have just helped by standing beside us throughout these three months.

“We still have a few more trades colleagues to recruit and we’ll continue to drive down to 4,500. This should give us an average repair time of eight to nine days, which will be faster than we’ve ever done.”

Find out more about our Repairs team and MyAccount.