Covid Groups

When COVID-19 hit in March 2020 EIP and Echelon created a free weekly forum, offering a neutral platform for clients, suppliers and contractors to share information and experiences, plus a website to discuss developments and analyse trends emerging through the crisis. The focus was on business continuity: anticipating resident needs and benchmarking around specific data and issues.

Through the groups clients were supported to manage existing relationships with contractors within the context of COVID-19, giving guidance for managing future procurement strategies throughout the pandemic and keeping communication flowing when meeting in person wasn’t possible.

The Echelon team interpreted government guidance and put it into practical terminology, writing a suite of inserts for commercial models, specifications and contracts. EIP issued a COVID-19 closedown, contingency and restart procedure and timetable, including a health and safety checklist which offered COVID-secure guidance for working in tenants’ properties.

A spin-off group developed guidelines around delivering works safely and experts gave data and insight to the group on a weekly basis, enabling pinch points to be identified.

Membership grew to over 130 organisations, including 69 housing providers, 54 contractors and suppliers, and 10 industry experts and other third parties.

The groups continued to meet throughout the pandemic and beyond, supporting members as they got back to business as usual.