Over 500 public buildings in Lincolnshire are now being fully managed and maintained under an NEC3 Term Service Contract. It is believed to be the first time the TSC has been used to procure the entire range of management and maintenance services across a major property portfolio.
In 2015 Lincolnshire County Council engaged VINCImouchel, a joint venture of VINCI Facilities and Mouchel, to undertake a full range of facilities management services as well as design, project management, property management, energy management and estates management to the council’s corporate property estate for up to 10 years.
Worth £90 million, the TSC option C (target contract with price list) covers more than 500 properties. These include the four main county offices, 230 schools, fire stations, libraries, community centres and traveller sites. It also covers listed historic buildings, such as the 1000-year-old Lincoln Castle, the Judges Lodgings in Lincoln and two windmills.
According to county property officer Kevin Kendall, ‘NEC was a natural selection from the outset as it aligns with the Council’s vision to enable a collaborative and transparent relationship between the parties. The NEC3 Term Service Contract option C fosters trust and cooperation via an open-book approach, early warnings and key performance indicators linked to pain and gain.’
A ‘one-team’ approach has been adopted from the outset, with a shared open-plan office for council and contractor staff in Lincoln, plus a shared approach to efficiency using Lean Six Sigma methodology plus Green and Yellow Belt training. There are monthly awards to recognise individual and team excellence, twice yearly conferences for all and incentives for innovative ideas.
Service manager meetings review aspects such as contract notices and early warnings, using Concerto software to provide real-time data. These meeting are supported by quarterly, board-level contract review meetings.Staff have been trained in the use and approach of NEC contracts and, importantly, the cultural expectations of ‘one-team’ behaviours and leadership. This includes using the ‘Flex Styles’ tool and ‘Empower’ courses, which are designed to create a common set of values and behaviours for the workforce.
NEC processes and procedures are also embedded in supply chain sub-contracts along with an ongoing culture of mutual trust and co-operation via pre-start meetings and performance reviews.
Tasks completed by the team during 2015 and 2016 include a £12 million project to extend 12 existing schools to create over 600 new primary school places. Improvements in the capital repair maintenance programme have also significantly reduced reactive maintenance requirements.
Kendall says cost savings of over £1 million have been achieved in the first two years. This includes a 50:50 gain share for the council and contractor of £60,000 in 2015 and £170,000 in 2016. ‘The contractor’s pain and gain are linked to performance – and the KPI scores have risen from 92% in the first year to 94.8% in the second year,’ he says.
Pete Moore, executive director of finance and public protection at the council says, ‘I have been delighted with the performance of the partnership, particularly with the excellent mobilisation process, which was the best I have experienced. By harnessing the market-leading NEC3 contract, the partnership is producing excellent achievements and I would like to congratulate all involved.’
Experienced NEC specialist Neil Earnshaw of NE Consult is also impressed. ‘The Lincolnshire County Council property services contract is one of the most innovative contracts I have been involved with. In my opinion, the contract and the level of workforce collaboration is market-leading’.
Benefits of using NEC
- NEC’s requirement for parties to act in a ‘spirit of mutual trust and cooperation’ has fostered a ‘one-team’ approach for managing Lincolnshire’s critically important and diverse property portfolio.
- The open-book approach, early warnings and KPI-linked pain/gain mechanism of TSC option C has encouraged a genuinely collaborative approach within the project team
- NEC contract efficiencies and incentives have helped to deliver over £1 million of cost savings in the first two years and significantly reduced reactive maintenance demand.