Attendees Explore New Complaints Handling Code and More in Our Latest DIG Meeting

Attendees joined us on Tuesday 5 March for our latest Disrepair Improvement Group Meeting. 

Kate Joannides, Head of Pricing and @Rita Lad, Business Development Director at Travis Perkins Managed Services updated attendees on commodities pricing, the impact of the Red Sea disruption on freight costs and the Boiler Levy, which came into effect on 1 January 2024.  

The costs of steel and timber have now stabilised, but the costs of diesel and fuel will continue to rise. The price of insulation products is also expected to increase in May.  

Disruption in the Red Sea has seen freight costs increase by 300% in just a few weeks, however, a lull in demand means there is currently no major impact, and prices are starting to soften.  

Kate also reminded attendees of the boiler levy, which came into effect on 1 January 2024 and will affect all boiler manufacturers who fail to meet their quota of air force heat pumps, with subsequent levies being passed on to suppliers.  

Sarah Wilcox-Jones, Interim Customer Experience and Scheduling Consultant Norwich City Council outlined the key areas of the new aligned Complaint Handling Code from the Housing Ombudsman, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, which will become statutory on 1 April 2024, including providing easy access to complaints procedures, the structure of the complaint’s procedure, and ensuring fairness in complaints handling.  

Annie Clarke, Repairs Contract Manager Norwich City Council explained how the council transformed its complaints handling process and tackled issues such as resource challenges, knowledge gaps and backlogs. The council reviewed its stage one and stage two complaints procedures and created a wholly owned company to manage the entire process. This led to improved communication with residents and stage two escalations have reduced from 16% to 7%.  

Dan Bourke, Damp, Mould and Disrepair Manager at Abri Group explained how it has overhauled its approach to damp, mould and disrepair. “Customer satisfaction is the responsibility of everyone” said Dan, who showcased the organisation’s internal reporting tool ‘See Something, Say Something’ (SSSS) which aims to put things right before they go wrong.  

The SSSS reporting tool allows colleagues to raise concerns that require attention in customers’ homes and communities using a short online form. So far, it has received and processed over 1000 reports and Dan was able to share case studies on how it has remedied the concerns raised. 

Finally, EIP showcased some excerpts from its condensation mould training video created with building surveyor and damp and condensation mould expert Geoff Hunt. The full video can be viewed here: Disrepair Improvement Group – Echelon IP  

Our online DIG meetings are free for AMIP members to attend. You can sign up for the next one, taking place on 23 April here: Disrepair Improvement Group – 23.04.24 – Echelon IP 

Published On: March 8, 2024

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