Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH)

Project: Procurement of 10 year Planned Maintenance Contract (5+5)

Project Value: £168m over 10 years

Housing Stock: 12,075 homes, plus 778 leasehold properties

Procurement Objectives:

To seek an innovative way of packaging the work and working in true partnership with the appointed contractor to:

  • Deliver cost savings
  • Maintain high contractor performance and customer satisfaction throughout the 10 year contract term
  • Establish meaningful and challenging KPIs

Form of Contract: NEC3 ECC, Option C (target cost with activity schedule)

Commercial Arrangement:

  • Open book cost reimbursable with target prices
  • Open book cost reimbursable with target prices

Contract Period: 2017-2027

NPH wanted a new strategic approach to service delivery to improve the quality of its housing management and to deliver a cost effective investment programme. This required a move away from its traditional use of multiple contractors employed under JCT contracts to employment of a single delivery partner.

The works programme is focused on regenerating the entire housing stock to the new Northampton Homes Standard, including landscaping, home improvements (internally and externally), regenerating neighbourhoods and community spaces, plus ongoing maintenance works such as structural repairs and fire safety works.

Key Features

  • 8 month procurement timetable + 4 month mobilisation period
  • Development of a truly collaborative relationship to reduce costs, improve quality, promote opportunities for SMEs and maximise opportunities for social investment and community engagement

We explored alternative delivery methods with NPH until we agreed on the most effective model for them.


  • Advised on the best way to package the works to ensure that contractors could submit competitive tenders
  • Evaluated the current NPH team structure, identifying existing skills and skills gaps
  • We developed:
    • Strategic Brief, including innovative ideas for achieving best value
    • Clear partnering and open book plan for the contract
    • Processes and systems to manage the partnering contract on an open book basis, including recommendations and training
    • Cost models (full pricing matrices) for each category of work
    • Meaningful KPIs and performance measurement systems
  • Once the strategy was agreed we managed the entire procurement in close partnership with NPH (preparation of documentation, tender evaluation criteria, assisting with contractor interviews, preparing a contract award report and assembling the contract documentation pack ready for signature) – all within the tight procurement timetable

During the mobilisation period

  • Trained the full NPH project team to use the NEC ECC form of contract and in particular how to achieve efficiency savings on a complex open book arrangement
  • Introduced effective collaborative cost management processes and procedures, together with a comprehensive risk management system, leaving the NPH team well-equipped to achieve its commercial and operational objectives

Both NPH and Stradia were thrilled to win the following award for this procurement

Winner of the CIPS Supply Management Awards 2017:

Best Procurement Consultancy Project


From the Award brochure

“NPH introduced innovative ideas when it set out to forge a long-term relationship with construction consultancy Stradia to deliver its capital works program. NPH, which manages Northampton Borough Council’s housing services, decided to appoint a single contractor to deliver its works programmes. As this was a new way of working for the organisation, it was considered prudent to appoint a consultant. The contract designed by Stradia included a payment system based on actual validated costs, subject to an agreed maximum price and involving a ‘pain/gain’ share mechanism based on the achievement of three KPIs (time, defects and customer satisfaction).

Non-achievement of the KPIs leads to a tapering reduction in savings apportioned to the contracting partner. The Partnership, based on full open-book accounting with clear cost visibility, was designed to deliver best value, cost savings and improved performance throughout the potential 10 years contract duration”.

‘Just a quick note to say thank you for all your help and support in appointing a new partnering contractor. With a project of this size we expected a bit of pain along the way, but actually the whole process was relatively painless! I think we included some really good things in the tender and there are definitely parts of the evaluation process I would use again. We feel that we’ve got a really good outcome and have appointed a contractor who will work with us to take the organisation forward. The team is now also better equipped to manage the relationship with the new contractor’.

Jenny Swainson, Procurement Manager, NPH