Repairs and Maintenance
Adopting a proactive approach
Managing repairs and maintenance in heat networks can be complex, especially when there are multiple contractors and internal teams responsible for different aspects of the system. The ownership of a repair can often be passed around different contractors and departments, and while this happens, it’s the customer that waits and suffers.
Inefficiencies on heat networks can start a domino effect and it can often be hard trying to pinpoint the exact moment when it went wrong. The longer it takes to find the root of the issue, the more likely it is that customers will start raising complaints.
Chirpy Heat understand these frustrations and have developed services and measures that aim to overcome management obstacles, and allow for a more proactive approach:
- Specification: when component parts fail or become obsolete, third-party contractors may replace them with like-for-like solutions. Replacing certain technical aspects of the heat network without considering the wider portfolio could result in you being tied into poor-performing contracts. Chirpy Heat use sector-leading knowledge to advise organisations on specifications by developing key principles and identifying different pathways that are available, while highlighting the risk, cost, and benefit of each
- Procurement: asking the right questions during the procurement stage is an essential part to ensuring you futureproof contracts to provide good service. Getting clarity on aspects such as step-in arrangements and job referral times when they are not the liable contractor protects both the heat network owner/operator, and the customers living on the network
- Contract management: getting it right at the contract start by creating KPIs and SLAs for third party contractors working on heat networks. This will ensure that callouts and repairs are attended and resolved in the expected time period, taking into consideration potential customer vulnerabilities
- KPI & SLA action plans: making sure that if service provider standards drop below an agreed KPI, a clear action plan has already been pre-agreed, so everyone understands what needs to be done and achieved, in order for the contract agreement to continue
- Data analytics: we use heat network data to identify trends or anomalies, that lead to triggered actions that organisations can pass on to their repairs and maintenance . More information about this can be found on our Heat Manager page
Our client requested support due to ongoing issues with their heat network, where they were in a stand-off with their metering and billing provider. The heat metering equipment was not fully operational and was leading to large debts accumulating on customer displays, but the metering and billing provider would not attend repairs due to the remote geographical location of the scheme.
Chirpy Heat conducted a site survey and analysis at the scheme to fully understand the extent of the issues, and worked alongside the client, listening to their organisational needs. To rectify the issues and to avoid any future contract stand-offs, Chirpy Heat created a heat and payment meter specification and drafted essential metering and billing procurement questions, specifically addressing the requirements for future repairs and maintenance support to be conducted in that geographical location. The contract also included:
- Clear KPIs that the metering and billing provider must achieve
- Clear SLAs in relation to repair turn-around times
- Handover processes to contested liability issues between different contractors
- Contract targets, where if service drops below a certain performance percentage, a process must be followed to get service back to expected threshold
Due to the robust contract requirements, our client has now been paired with a metering and billing provider that has confirmed they can meet the specified performance targets. In the event of any service drop-off, our client now has a clear process in place and is protected by the terms of the contract in case of poor performance.
To find out more: