Accountability for maintenance expenditure

Cut costs and ensure quality with the National Schedule of RatesIt was Christmas 2009 and water was seeping through Tony’s ‘fashionable... in the 80’s’ Artex ceiling in the lounge again. Surely another costly roof repair was shortly to follow to remove the temporary water feature? Tony is the sort of guy who would peel an orange in his pocket, and always got three quotes for every job that needed doing before choosing the cheapest. Last week’s drama was no different.
Sure enough Bob the Builder came in with the cheapest quotation. No detailed breakdown of roofing jargon was provided by Bob, just a simple one line quote. Tony liked this. It was a ‘no brainer’ to Tony, by choosing Bob he was going to save £1000 compared to the next cheapest quote. After the carousel of tea serving and constant delays due to Bob having to source materials, the roof eventually got ‘repaired’ and Tony could watch his favourite documentary about the Amazon Rain Forest in HD without the HD sound effects! Or so Tony thought until last week, when the Chinese water torture recommenced.
Tony has a clear problem, a roof that is in a state of ill repair… it needs fixing primarily for safety reasons and for Tony’s enjoyment of the lounge. Fortunately, being a single man, Tony’s decision making only affects him and no one else. This lack of accountability is the reason for Tony’s clouded judgment when deciding upon the most effective and practical way of fixing the roof at the ‘right’ cost. Indeed Tony is ‘price sensitive’ and he needs to be sure that the price he pays is a fair reflection of the work, materials and plant involved in the correct type of repair.
Whether you are in charge of the maintenance expenditure for a local authority, a shopping centre, a NHS Trust, a housing association, a bank, an insurance company, a university or indeed any company who has a property portfolio getting the correct repair done and the right price is the key. Never has this been more prevalent for those of us in the public sector who need to reduce wastage to reduce the national public spending deficit. Accountability is the answer, and this accountability can be achieved by comparing expenditure with a National Benchmark… known as The National Schedule of Rates.

National Schedule of Rates
The National Schedule of Rates allows you to issue a series of works orders, showing the breakdown of materials, plant and labour, confident that the charges are based on pre-determined and agreed basis of measurement and pricing. We research and update our schedules regularly and price over 16,000 items. Each rate is individually researched and updated annually and broken down into its elements of material, plant and labour.
The key to using the National Schedule of Rates is in the tendering process. All contractors will be asked to price in accordance with the National Schedule of Rates by applying a percentage adjustment to allow for overheads and profit, items that aren’t contained within the rates. This percentage adjustment can be a negative or a positive figure. The client who then places future orders to the winning tenderer/s will know exactly how much each maintenance job will cost, on the basis that each job is broken down into the elements of labour, plant and materials, maximising accountability and maximising time savings. Indeed this tendering and price mechanism system from the National Schedule of Rates optimises all areas of time, quality and cost equally.

Awareness and training
Maintenance and Measured Term Contracts are an area often neglected by cost consultancies and therefore being aware of all aspects involved in maintenance and MTCs is important to both the client and the contractor. The training provided by NSR Management shows the client and the contractor how to maximise the value of their Measured Term Contract, with an explanation of best practice in using the schedules as well as best practice in tendering and administering a Measured Term Contract. For more information please contact NSR Management’s trainer, Dale Jones on 01296 339966 or email

Computer software
As an alternative or in addition to using hard copies of the National Schedule of Rates, clients and contractors often find our computer software version of the schedules easier to use especially for non-technical staff.
eNeStimator is the well established software package from NSR Management for managing term contracts using the National Schedules of Rates:

  • Creates orders and invoices using the National Schedules and the National Housing Maintenance Schedule, together with unitary and composite and schedules created by users in NSR format, where these exist.
  • Includes desktops for creating estimates of cost, orders and invoices.
  • Incorporates comprehensive item search and find facility.
  • Rates adjusted for the Tendered Percentage Adjustment and large order discounts, where required by the contract.
  • Facilities for despatching orders and invoices in print format, saving to disk and transmission by e-mail.
  • This software comes in either a CD version or web based version for more flexibility

For more information
Tel: 01296 339966
Fax: 01296 338514