Gateshead Housing
February 22, 2016

“With increasing demand for affordable housing, we have to make our funds go far as possible. HousingTeam has supported this goal by helping us cut the cost of our office supplies.”

Queens Cross Housing Association

The Challenge

Demand for affordable rental property is increasing. One of Queens Cross’ strategic objectives is to provide excellent value for money to its residents. As a charity and not for profit organisation, any savings generated go directly into supporting this aim. So, when HousingTeam approached Queens Cross to discuss strategies to cut its office supplies costs, Queens Cross was keen to talk.

In addition to cost savings, HousingTeam’s solution also presented higher service levels than the previous supplier – representing true value for Queens Cross and its customers.

Our Solution

To demonstrate the savings HousingTeam could offer, we provided a free audit of Queens Cross’ past invoices. When we compared the previous year’s stationery spend with our proposed discount pricing, the savings were significant.

Based on the proposed savings, Queens Cross decided to switch supplier. To support the service, we appointed a local Account Manager supported by named contacts within our Customer Services team.

In addition to being able to place orders with Customer Services, we set up Queens Cross on our online ordering system. After the system was successfully demo-ed to the Contract Managers, Queens Cross provided a list of users to be set up on the system. This tool includes mechanisms to control purchasing activity, helping Queens Cross control costs further. All orders are routed to the Contract Managers who have been set up as authorisers and can accept, amend or reject orders.

Through this service, we now supply stationery for Queens Cross’ Head Office as well as several satellite offices. Typically, one large order is placed at the start of every month. However, throughout the month ad-hoc orders can be placed for any additional needs which arise.

The Account Manager regularly visits Queens Cross’ sites to ensure the service is meeting expectations and to discussany new requirements. In addition, formal contract review meetings are scheduled on a quarterly basis. These provide an opportunity to review service levels and purchasing activity to identify opportunities for cost or service improvement. For example, reviewing any regularly ordered products which can be switched for better value alternatives to achieve savings.

Based on the quality of the products and service delivered to fulfil Queens Cross’ stationery requirements, HousingTeam has since been considered for other supply categories. We have already supplied several ad-hoc furniture items.

Who is Queens Cross Housing Association?

Queens Cross is a community-based housing association and recognised Scottish Charity. It provides nearly 4,500 homes in an area that stretches north from Glasgow city centre along either side of the Forth and Clyde Canal.

In addition, it operates several initiatives to provide sheltered and supported accommodation for a variety of residents, including older people, homeless young people and individuals with mental health issues.