Case Study: Keepmoat Homes

Keepmoat Homes Adopts Contractor Management Software For Increased Safety And Efficiency

About Keepmoat Homes

Keepmoat Homes is a leading partnership home builder, delivering high-quality new homes across the country. 

Keepmoat has over 1,100 employees and works with over 10,000 sub-contract workers to build high quality, new homes across the United Kingdom. They deliver mixed tenure homes, including new homes for private sale, affordable rent, and Private Rented Sector (PRS). 

Leading the Group’s Health, Safety & Sustainability function is Director, Nick Martens. Nick manages a team of H&S, Environmental & Quality Assurance Business Partners, and Insurance staff. 

The Challenge

Keepmoat Homes has over 80 live developments across the UK where construction of new build homes is carried out by their workforce, including subcontractors.

To train and onboard subcontractors on each development, Keepmoat historically onboarded them by providing site-specific safety training in a very traditional manner.

“When workers arrived at the site, site managers would sit them down, in person, and take them through the site orientation. This would include amongst other things, key legal requirements and standards, including specific local requirements.” shares Nick, Keepmoat Director of Group Health, Safety & Sustainability. 

“We used to spend a significant amount of time doing this. Our site managers were spending around 10 hours per week inducting our subcontract workers when they arrived on site. This is a significant amount of time for these people They’re fully capable of delivering this information, but it should not be 25% of their role.”

For the subcontractors, this wasn’t the best learning experience. For Keepmoat, onboarding subcontractors in this fashion was not delivering value, and no longer aligned with other methods of construction used within the organization. Looking to improve their onboarding, drive efficiency, and ensure safety, Keepmoat decided to implement contractor management software to facilitate their orientations and safety training.

The Solution

Keepmoat selected GoContractor to facilitate their orientations and safety training for their sub-contract workforce.

The Keepmoat Health and Safety team produced a Keepmoat Safe orientation, hosted on the GoContractor platform. This safety course acts as a Keepmoat approved orientation, which also can include site-specific and localized information, as well as multilingual, and hearing-impaired content options. Workers no longer need to arrive on the job site and wait for site information or orientations before work. With the completion of the Keepmoat Safe orientation, subcontractors are qualified to be on-site before they arrive. Workers complete Keepmoat specific required safety training through the GoContractor platform, on any smart device, before access to the project site.

“We had to communicate this process change to around 10,000 workers in total. We stressed that no one would be allowed on-site without completing our new online orientation.” shares Martens. “GoContractor is very straightforward and easy to use, but many subcontractors were apprehensive about making the switch. When we showed them the platform, however, our people quickly realized there was nothing to be afraid of.”

Martens shares that although some at first can be apprehensive about using new tech, GoContractor is so straightforward that everyone will get on board. “Our people were able to complete their orientation on their phone or tablet, easily. Many will tell you how simple it is to use.”

The Outcome

Since implementing GoContractor to facilitate orientations and safety training, Keepmoat has seen huge savings on time and improved overall safety and compliance efforts. 

Now, subcontractors come to the sites qualified, trained, and equipped to work. Their safety training completion is also documented in GoContractor, easily accessed in reports for efficient, digital record keeping. 

“We know the people who report to the job site are qualified. They’ve completed their training through the GoContractor portal, where it’s easily verified. We also took a lot of assurance from the fact that we developed the orientation content. We can feel safe knowing every training adheres to certain standards and guaranteed comprehension of the material. Workers are tested showing an understanding of the content and completion of the orientation. And we can document that, further protecting our workers and Keepmoat as a whole.” says Martens. 

Subcontractors are not just onboard with the new Keepmoat orientation experience; they’re also using GoContractor themselves on other projects of their own. Martens shares, “One of our largest subcontractors adopted GoContractor on the back of working with Keepmoat, and are now using GoContractor on other project sites of their own!” 

Why GoContractor?

Marten’s says that a competent contractor management system needs to be versatile, and work cohesively and as efficiently as the other Learning Management Systems your employees use. 

“GoContractor is incredibly versatile. Businesses have Internal Learning Management Systems, but it’s very rare in construction to find that same experience for subcontractors that your employees receive. GoContractor is everything you want for your business, for your internal employees, but you can use it externally for your subcontractors.”

The traditional route, either training in person or via poorly organized digital administration and processes, results in errors. “It’s full of holes” says Martens, “Unfortunately, people can easily fall through the cracks and put themselves, other workers, and the business at risk. With GoContractor, you have a digital record that you’ve both received an orientation, and understood it well. The system is defensible. GoContractor allows us to present to enforcing authorities, regulators, insurers, and more that we have discharged our legal obligation to induct people and that the individual concerned comprehends the rules and their required behaviors.”

Lastly, Martens shares, “When we started to share and communicate that we were going to adopt a new digital process, we sold the benefits of more time to our teams. Now, we all see it as an absolute value, even greater than that. We continuously customize the way we use GoContractor to improve efficiency and safety on our job sites. Right now, it’s for orientations and COVID-19 specific safety training, but it’s proved to be a powerful tool that we’re excited to use in even more ways to keep projects and processes safe and efficient.”

How Keepmoat keeps customers and subcontractors safe while working during the Global COVID-19 Pandemic

The UK construction industry was put on hold when the global COVID-19 pandemic hit. Construction nearly stopped completely as government officials deliberated and then defined which industries and sectors would be named essential. Ultimately, the housing sector in construction was named an essential business by the government. It gave projects the green light to resume. 

Workers returning to work would need adequate guidance on moving forward, delivered by safe, social distant communication. While some scrambled to verify emails and phone numbers, Keepmoat utilized their existing GoContractor platform for communicating COVID-19 orientations with their subcontractor workforce. Subcontractors and employees were able to access safety guidelines and practices essential to understand before resuming work. 

Keepmoat Homes created and launched its COVID-19 specific orientation through the GoContractor platform. This enabled workers to adhere to health guidelines and return to work safely.

“We were able to put together a tailored orientation on COVID-19 immediately,” says Nick Martens, Director of Group Health, Safety & Sustainability. “We were able to safely communicate COVID-19 protocols, no gathering in canteens, cabins, or even together in the open air. Our COVID-19 orientation can be done remotely, by workers, on a smart device. This helped us to return to work in a planned, controlled way.”

Keepmoat homeowners can also rest easy, knowing those working on home repairs included in the Keepmoat service warranty have been adequately briefed and prepared to work safely during the pandemic. “We’re proud to share our robust process that ensures all of our customer-facing employees have received and passed the necessary training to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

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Sonya Sikra

Sonya is the Brand Strategy Manager at GoContractor. She specializes in communicating how implementing tech in construction can drive productivity and profit.