We needed to get the decision right as the quality of the print service affects everyone in the organisation. Arena’s status as the number one provider on the PfH framework gave initial reassurance as we knew they had already been through strict checks during the tender process for the framework.
Financial Procurement Advisor
Salix Homes is a multi-award winning social housing provider based in Salford, Greater Manchester. We’re a not-for-profit charitable organisation who put our customers at the heart of everything we do, from investing in our homes and communities, to how we go about providing our services.
They began as an arms length management organisation (ALMO) operating on behalf of Salford City Council in 2007, but in 2014, their tenants voted for Salix to take over ownership of their homes from the council. In March 2015 Salix officially moved away from the council and became a stand-alone Registered Provider (RP) responsible for providing the people of Salford with the high-quality homes they deserve.
Whilst an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) to Salford Council, Salix Homes had previously used the Council’s print framework; the decision to choose its own print and copy supplier was not taken lightly. Financial Procurement Advisor, Michael Crook explains; “We were very careful with this piece of work, although relatively small in value, we needed to get the decision right as the quality of the print service affects everyone in the organisation. Arena’s status as the number one provider on the PfH framework gave initial reassurance as we knew they had already been through strict checks during the tender process for the framework.”
Salix Homes ran its own tender competition as well. “We included seven suppliers in the procurement exercise, and chose the most economically advantageous bid on the basis of 60% price and 40% quality. Arena won the competition.”
Michael explains the weighting of the process; “Value for money is more important than ever before; we are hopefully in the near future going to become a registered provider and demonstrating value for money is key to achieving registration with the Homes and Community Agency. Arena was the cheapest but also provides a far superior level of service, demonstrating that true value for money is not simply achieved by reducing costs.”
Salix Homes then used the PfH framework for peace of mind; “The luxury of awarding the contract through the framework is that we signed up to the framework’s terms and conditions which are very biased towards the customer.”
Before deciding, Michael visited Arena’s Leeds showroom; “It was a nice environment; the team was approachable and came across as trustworthy. They clearly demonstrated that Arena are a professional organisation that can provide a high quality service. We met in the early stages of the procurement process and Arena played a key role in designing and building our specification free of charge, this enabled us to choose the best printers for our exact requirements.”
It was important that the winning provider’s values aligned with Salix Homes’. “Treatment of employees and Social Value are key themes throughout both of our organisations. Arena demonstrated a happy working environment and on the day we visited some staff members were on an away day. Salix Homes will only associate itself with suppliers and contractors who take care of their employees.”
Michael tells us how straight-forward the installation process was; “There was no stress in the end. Everything was implemented to our tight deadlines as planned. There may have been technical work going on in the background but, as a user, there was no gap in the service; it was a totally seamless process.”
Salix Homes chose Arena for their service reputation and Michael has not been disappointed; “The service from Arena has exceeded our expectations. The printers hardly ever break down and on the rare occasion they do, the issue is resolved within a couple of hours.”
Michael notes the effect this has had; “Printers affect everyone, it is a relief to have a quality service and to no-longer be dealing with multiple complaints from all areas of the business.”