Karbon Homes, based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is one of the North of England’s largest housing associations, employing about 800 people. The organisation owns or manages nearly 30,000 properties in the North-East and Yorkshire, located from the Scottish border almost to the Humber. These include social or affordable rent homes, shared ownership dwellings and supported housing for people with disabilities or mental health issues.

The organisation’s portfolio includes some homes operated by York Housing Association, which became an independent Karbon group member in December 2017, and 1,300 acquired from fellow social landlord the Guinness Partnership five months later. At the time of writing, in late 2018, Karbon was working towards increasing the new properties it builds annually with partners from about 350 to 500 and planning to invest over £233m in constructing dwellings during the next five years.

The Relationship

The current contract between Karbon Homes and JTM began in 2013, although the relationship originated some years earlier. JTM is now Karbon’s sole provider of commercial laundry machines and related services.

JTM has so far delivered and installed about 220 appliances at around 75 Karbon sites – some housing up to 60 residents – from North Yorkshire to Northumberland. Most machines the customer now operates were made by Miele, as the supplier is the authorised dealer for this German global market leader in Yorkshire and the Humber plus North-East England. Karbon retains a small number of other commercial laundry appliances too, partly as a result of its deal with the Guinness Partnership, but is now working with JTM to replace these, as they become inoperable, with Miele products.

This standardisation will see the full maintenance and rapid-reaction repair service JTM currently operates for machines it has provided extended to all Karbon’s commercial laundry appliances. The service delivers advantages such as minimising damaging downtime, as the supplier has fast access to more than 350,000 relevant parts and boasts an enviable overall 94.6 per cent first time fix rate. Other benefits of JTM’s service include maximised machine speed and output quality, optimised energy efficiency and minimised bills, plus continued legal and regulatory compliance.

JTM also maintains an asset register, so it can alert Karbon when maintenance visits are due, for example.

What the client says

Mark Mulhern, Support Services Team Leader, Karbon Homes, says: “We’re absolutely happy with the relationship with JTM, which is very good from top to bottom and ticks all the boxes, as far as we’re concerned.

“The main thing JTM provides to us is reassurance. We’re always confident in, and act on, their advice, as the information from people in their office and reports from engineers on the ground can be trusted, relied upon and are and of the highest professional standard.

“JTM’s back-office staff provide us with quotes and obtain parts very promptly and, as it’s quite a small team, I know who does what and who to go to with a given query.

“Their engineers’ response times are always good too. Their technical knowledge also means they spot issues and get to the bottom of them quickly, then set out the options clearly for us about where we can go from there.

“The contract with JTM is probably our easiest and smoothest to manage. We have contracts involving smaller volumes and lower costs, yet they’re more problematic, because of supplier performances. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend JTM to other businesses.”