The network of contractors will be run by Morrison FM, Morrison’s facilities management division. Morrison FM managing director Gordon Morrison said that the service would be similar to the company’s Repairline business, in which insurers and loss adjusters employ Morrison FM to undertake work after insurance claims.
Morrison FM uses nine contractors, including Try, Midas and Mansell, for these repairs. Customers will pay immediately for the repair service, which will be launched in 18 months. The service will be subject to a minimum call-out charge. “Without it, the big danger is that we go to 60 jobs and they’re not worth it,” said Morrison.
However, it will be backed by a guarantee. “This means we are providing a quality service that customers will pay for,” said Morrison. He added that his company expected to make a minimum profit margin of 5% on the work.
Morrison said the network of contractors currently running the Repairline scheme would not be sufficient to cover the new workload. “We are currently looking to expand our network of contractors,” he said.
Repairline works by signing up network contractors for one year at a time. They are paid according to a schedule of rates calculated at the beginning of each contract, then reviewed every six months.
Morrison issued a warning to other firms considering a move into the domestic repair and maintenance market, that the entry barriers were high.
“We have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in IT so we can co-ordinate our contractors,” said Gordon Morrison.
Morrison is currently working on about 1000 homes a month through Repairline.
The construction firm estimates that the repair and maintenance market is worth £20bn a year.
Whereas Morrison employs and manages a framework of contractors, Mowlem recruits its own tradesworkers.
Operating from 12 branches spread throughout the UK, Skillbase is expected to turn over £45bn this year. Its turnover last year was just under £35m.