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August 10, 2022

HS2 supports University of East London postgraduates into employment

HS2’s civils contractor Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS) has formed a partnership with the University of East London (UEL) to support its MSc Civil Engineering graduates into employment on HS2. The partnership, which was cemented last summer, was initially put in place to provide students with an eight-month paid work placement supporting

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Modular Low-Carbon Affordable Homes Coming to South Downs

Seventeen modular low-carbon homes are to be built in the South Downs National Park in West Sussex – nine of which will be for affordable rent or shared ownership. The homes have already been manufactured offsite in Dorset by offsite building specialists Rollalong and they will be transported and installed

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Prologis acquires two logistics centres in London 

Prologis, a leading owner and developer of UK logistics real estate, has continued its focus of strategic investments in London and the South East markets with the acquisition of two additional sites at Erith and Croydon.   Totalling over 330,000 sq. ft. on 20.4 acres, the two distribution centres are let to Ocado and Royal Mail and form key parts of their distribution networks, being two of the largest low density last mile logistic facilities inside the M25.  The assets, on Church Manorway, Erith and Beddington Farm Road, Croydon are located

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New-build price growth outperforms existing homes by 20%

The latest research by Unlatch, new homes progression and aftercare platform for developers and housebuilders, reveals that the annual price growth of British new-build homes has outperformed existing homes by almost 20% in the past year.  Homebuyers and professional property investors alike are keen to buy homes that can promise

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Construction Innovation Hub project set to de-risk platform and offsite manufacturing approaches in construction

The Construction Innovation Hub has today launched the Construction Product Quality Planning (CPQP) framework. CPQP is a new quality assurance framework setting out a best practice approach for manufacturers to follow during the creation of new platform systems and offsite manufactured construction products. Aimed at driving improved quality and safety

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How to Create a Supply Chain Risk Management Protocol

There’s no question that the pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live and work, and the impact it has had on different industries has been monumental. Supply chains are just one factor in this equation, however, they’re crucial to the success of many global enterprises.  As supply chains become

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

August 10, 2022

HS2 supports University of East London postgraduates into employment

HS2’s civils contractor Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS) has formed a partnership with the University of East London (UEL) to support its MSc Civil Engineering graduates into employment on HS2. The partnership, which was cemented last summer, was initially put in place to provide students with an eight-month paid work placement supporting HS2’s construction. Placements allow students to develop vital hands on industry experience, in a real life setting, whilst progressing the theory element of their studies. Throughout the duration of their placements, the calibre of work delivered by the UEL postgrad students was so high that SCS has now offered permanent jobs to the participants. Ambrose Quashie, HS2’s Skills Manager for Greater London said: “With such a high calibre of talent studying at universities near to our major construction sites, it’s vital that we seize the opportunity to work in partnership and create opportunities for students and graduates to play their part in HS2’s construction. “Ensuring that HS2 leaves a lasting skills legacy is central to the overall success of the project. This initiative is one of many that we are forging across Greater London to ensure that people benefit from the career opportunities HS2 is creating into the next decade and beyond.” The success of the partnership in its first year means that SCS will continue to work with UEL and offer placement opportunities to students throughout 2022 and 2023. James Richardson, Managing Director of Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, said: “SCS JV offers unparalleled opportunities for people to develop a career in our industry. We are proud to engage with communities across our route, allowing them to gain practical experience working in complex programme delivery. The diversity of roles available means there are career opportunities for everyone, and we are proud of our relationship with the University of East London that will help shape the careers of our stars of the future.” Postgraduate students bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and forging partnerships with universities along the route of Britain’s new railway will play a vital role in helping HS2 to address the skills shortages the UK is facing. Attracting and harnessing new talent into the construction and rail engineering sectors is vital, not only to HS2’s delivery, but to the pipeline of major infrastructure projects across the UK in the future. Patricia Stevenson, Placements Manager at University of East London said: “Partnering with SCS has been a fantastic development for the University of East London’s Post Graduate Placements programme. Our MSc engineering students have benefited from being placed on leading industry projects such as HS2. That is a significant milestone in itself, but the really good news is that they have all gone on to be offered permanent jobs with SCS’s parent companies and we’ve developed an ongoing relationship that will see us working together to place future students from every cohort.”  Basil Paul, who is now joining SCS as a site engineer said: “I’m thankful to everyone at SCS for their immense help and support. Before finishing my placement, I was offered a full-time job as a Site Engineer on HS2. I was so shocked and extremely happy. “I’ve now started my new job and I can’t wait to learn more, as I know this will really enhance my career” Aravind Chandanathil Narayanankutty has also secured a full-time job on HS2 and said: “I’d like to thank everyone at SCS for being so welcoming and supporting me on my placement. “I really enjoyed the work environment and the collaborative approach to working with stakeholders. I’m so happy to have secured a job working full-time on HS2 as a site engineer.” HS2’s construction is already supporting over 27,000 jobs, with over 2,550 business actively engaged in the supply chain. For information about career opportunities at HS2 visit hs2.org.uk/careers

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Modular Low-Carbon Affordable Homes Coming to South Downs

Seventeen modular low-carbon homes are to be built in the South Downs National Park in West Sussex – nine of which will be for affordable rent or shared ownership. The homes have already been manufactured offsite in Dorset by offsite building specialists Rollalong and they will be transported and installed on site in the autumn. The site on land south of Heather Close in West Ashling near Chichester is allocated for housing development in the South Downs Local Plan. Planning permission for the development was granted by the Planning Committee for the National Park Authority, following a Planning Committee meeting in October 2020. West Ashling will be a flagship land-led development and Rollalong’s first on behalf of its parent company, the Newship Group, which owns a number of packaging, construction, manufacturing and premium hire businesses. “Modular offsite construction has many benefits compared to traditional builds: it’s faster and less disruptive, it guarantees quality and it reduces costs,” said Steve Chivers, Managing Director of Rollalong. “Modular buildings are precision-engineered in tightly controlled factory conditions and adhere to a ‘right first time’ philosophy, which results in a high-quality, consistent product time after time. “We’re excited to be working on Newship Group’s first land-led housing development and we’re looking forward to breaking ground on the site.” Jamie Turpin, Construction and Development Director at Newship Group, said: “West Ashling is a great rural residential scheme and the perfect development opportunity we’ve been seeking to combine our current ideal blend of scale and location. “There has long been a shortage of modest new homes in the favoured western sector of Chichester and the addition of 17 new homes will help support the local housing needs. “We are currently working closely with South Downs National Park Authority to fine-tune the sustainable approach on construction, material selection, drainage strategy and hard/soft landscaping designs. We look forward to getting the scheme under way in the coming months.”

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Prologis acquires two logistics centres in London 

Prologis, a leading owner and developer of UK logistics real estate, has continued its focus of strategic investments in London and the South East markets with the acquisition of two additional sites at Erith and Croydon.   Totalling over 330,000 sq. ft. on 20.4 acres, the two distribution centres are let to Ocado and Royal Mail and form key parts of their distribution networks, being two of the largest low density last mile logistic facilities inside the M25.  The assets, on Church Manorway, Erith and Beddington Farm Road, Croydon are located in two London markets that continue to see excellent customer demand whilst servicing significant, growing conurbations.  Erith is considered a major growth area for jobs, transport and industry, providing easy access to central London and M25 connectivity to the wider motorway network, whilst Croydon is a densely populated south London location popular with a number of last mile delivery customers. The purchases of both assets will add to Prologis’ existing holdings in these markets.  Paul Weston, Regional Head of Prologis UK:   “Our purchase of these two prime distribution facilities shows our continued confidence in the UK’s logistic sector and reconfirms our strategic focus in London and the South East. We welcome Ocado as a new customer and look forward to working with them. It’s great to expand our strong relationship with Royal Mail at a location well known to both parties.”  Erith was acquired from a UK fund, whilst Croydon was acquired from a segregated mandate client of CTI Real Estate. Prologis was advised by JLL on Erith and Knight Frank on Croydon. Gerald Eve and Acre Capital advised the vendors.  Matthew Howard, Fund Manager at CTI Real Estate Partners:  “We are delighted with the sale of Mail Centre Croydon, which continues our client strategy of recycling capital into a more diversified pool of higher yielding assets.”

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New-build price growth outperforms existing homes by 20%

The latest research by Unlatch, new homes progression and aftercare platform for developers and housebuilders, reveals that the annual price growth of British new-build homes has outperformed existing homes by almost 20% in the past year.  Homebuyers and professional property investors alike are keen to buy homes that can promise good investment returns. So what is their best, most reliable option? Should they be buying new-build homes or investing instead in existing properties? The current average price of an existing home in Britain is £272,851 having increased by 8% in the last year.   At the same time, the average price of a new-build has risen from £330,662 to £422,414, marking annual growth of 28%. New-builds in Britain have, therefore, outperformed existing homes by 19% when it comes to house price performance. But where in Britain do new-builds offer the very best returns when compared to the performance of existing homes? On a regional level, new-builds have performed most strongly against existing homes in Wales. The average new-build home in Wales has seen its value increase by 34% in the past year, rising from £246,740 to £331,159. This growth is 23% higher than that of existing homes which, in the same time period, saw their value increase by 11% from £181,199 to £201,633.  In Scotland, new-build growth of 29% compared to existing property growth of 7% – a difference of 22% – while in the East Midlands, South West, and North East respectively, new-build growth outperformed existing homes by 21%.  In the East of England, South East, Yorkshire & Humber, and West Midlands, new-build price performance is 20% better than existing homes, in the North West the difference is 19%, and in London, it’s 15%.  On a local authority level, new-builds are outperforming older properties by the largest margin in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, up by 38% in the past year, 18% higher than existing homes which have seen their value increase by 20%.  This is followed by Scotland’s Western Isles where new-build growth of 35% matches against 17% growth for older homes – a difference of 18%. In East Ayrshire, East Lothian, and Glasgow new-build performance is 17% higher than existing properties.  Richmond ranks top in London, where new-build house prices have outperformed existing by 14%, while Bexley (12%), Camden (12%), Hackney (12%) and Tower Hamlets (12%) also rank amongst the highest in the capital. Lee Martin, Head of UK for Unlatch says: “New-build homes are increasingly desirable. Their overall finish and quality has improved dramatically over the past decade and they are vastly better than older properties when it comes to energy efficiency and fuel consumption. In today’s world, this looms large in homebuyers’ minds, even more so since the cost of living crisis kicked in. This is not only true for end users, but also for investors alike. Investors on the whole do prefer to go for a new build property for many reasons, one more being that by the time said investor completes on their purchase, the agent usually already has a tenant lined up to move in; meaning no void periods.  In a fast, frantic, and highly competitive housing market, new-builds also offer more reliability in terms of the actual purchase itself. Fewer sales are subject to falling through as a result of unwanted discoveries during the surveying process, as well as the fact there is no dreaded chain to contend with.  Of course, this heightened attraction does mean that new-builds have seen a far greater level of house price growth when compared to the existing market, but the flip side to this is the fact they also make a far sounder investment.” Data tables Data tables and sources can be viewed online, here.

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Ox Tools UK Reaps Rewards of Cloud ERP Solution and Recommends Global Strategy to Other Subsidiary Businesses 

Ox Tools, a world-leading manufacturer of hand tools, diamond tools, workwear and safety products, is delighted with its decision to implement a complex digital transformation project with business software partner BrightBridge, and urges other businesses in a similar siloed position to make the switch. One year after the ‘go-live’ of its cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution – NetSuite OneWorld – the firm is not only reaping the rewards of consolidating disparate financial, stock and CRM systems, but also the global firm has visibility over all its subsidiaries. Plus, Ox Tools UK no longer requires significant resource to tend on-premise servers. Donovan Payne, Director at Ox Tools, explained: “By having one central solution – NetSuite – we have naturally benefitted from more automated, slicker and accurate processes and accessing it from smartphones on the move is extremely useful. However, our primary aim was to gain visibility over each corner of the business and be 100 per cent sure that the data painted the true picture – with BrightBridge’s expertise we have certainly achieved that. “The UK subsidiary was previously siloed from the rest of the global business in its architecture; now having spent 12-months having consolidated accounts with the other OX regions we can see, predict and strategically do so much more. I would recommend any companies in a similar position to plan their global platform transformation – it has been a game changer and a move that has become increasingly vital as global economic turmoil and supply chain challenges continue.” Ox Tools’ UK subsidiary is in-part driven by operations, decision making, and in-house software developed in Australia, which is where the company was founded in 1974. Therefore, the design and execution programme for the chosen solution – Oracle NetSuite – required meticulous planning, open communication with teams across the world and reliable connectivity with multiple systems. BrightBridge is the only European partner of both Oracle NetSuite and leading API integration platform Jitterbit, so Ox Tools was confident in its ability to unify all external system data with the cloud ERP solution rapidly. The data assimilation included areas such as pricing and inventory, and Jitterbit negated weeks of intricate coding. Furthermore, BrightBridge has a wealth of experience with resolving rebate challenges through automation and has also developed a custom-made interface for managing multiple shipping carriers within NetSuite; both solutions were integral to streamlining Ox Tools’ business processes, creating greater efficiencies and negating the potential for manual errors. Ox Tools selected Oracle NetSuite because it was already implemented across the other subsidiaries. However, finding the right expert partner to design and execute the sophisticated system was a more demanding process. Ox Tools turned to BrightBridge due to the Leicestershire-based company’s focus on clients within manufacturing, retail and distribution. Donovan added: “We were focused on the solution benefits at the start of our digital transformation project, and the company already had confidence in NetSuite. However, we quickly realised that it was equally as important, if not more, for our UK implementation partner to have specific sector expertise, possess in-depth knowledge about third-party tool integration and be easy to get along with. When we met the BrightBridge team, we simply knew the partnership was the right fit for us.”    Ian Robertson, Sales and Marketing Director at BrightBridge, said: “Ox Tools came to us with a number of specific implementation and integration challenges at a time when they were also feeling the challenge of not being able to find the right solution provider. We were able to quickly illustrate our team’s skills and experience of working on similar projects as well as build that all important rapport, giving them the utmost confidence in our ability to deliver. “Our unique NetSuite app partnerships and own custom-made solutions allowed us to design the architecture rapidly and to confidently drive the project forward for Ox Tools. This digital transformation project is a great example of productivity enhancement and global strategic change we’re delighted Ox Tools are just as happy with the architecture 12-months on.” For more information, please visit www.brightbridgesolutions.com, or follow BrightBridge on Twitter – @brightbridge_uk – or LinkedIn. Learn about Ox Tools by visiting the company’s website, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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UK’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT AIR CONDITIONING MANUFACTURER CELEBRATES ITS GOLDEN YEAR  

Air conditioning innovator, Weatherite, celebrates 50 years in business. West Bromwich-based, Weatherite, has racked up 50 years of operation, a milestone that reflects the strength, stability, and success only a few companies ever achieve.  Founded in 1972 by current Chairman John Whitehouse, Weatherite’s early days of business were carried out from a sun lounger with his late business partner, Lou Simmonds, and over the last 50 years as John recalls “it’s been quite a journey”. Its defining qualities over the past five decades have been a combination of ability, agility, flexibility and responsiveness, and proof that thriving, not just surviving, is a true test of grit in business.  The company began life selling Diakin air conditioning equipment and as John recalls his first ever order “was a job in Combe Abbey and was designed, installed and wired by us and worth £585.” Weatherite soon began rapidly expanding by selling more HVAC equipment, so much so, that six years later the company moved to larger premises and started its journey into manufacturing its own equipment. “This was a game changer when we received an order for a huge fan-coil unit order for local office block “Midland-House” in Halesowen – a £250,000 job. It considerably improved cashflow and helped us ride out the peaks and troughs in the AC market.” Then came the 80s when Weatherite built its first free-cooling telephone exchange cooling unit for telecoms giant BT– still one of its flagship products, albeit somewhat evolved, 42 years on. The company continued to supply over 15,000 units across the UK, first in the Midlands, then Manchester and Wales. But it was as London got to grips with the digital exchange that work really started to take off for Weatherite. “That’s when we seriously got into manufacturing as a business. When BT called, we sprang into action, designing and testing within three weeks,” he said. Another significant milestone in the mid-80s came when Tesco made its was first order for a ‘packaged’ Rooftop Air Conditioning Unit. “We had been making regular trips to Daikin’s Japanese factories and became increasingly impressed by the quality and detail of their equipment,” said John.  “We soon realised that we had a number of well-trained engineers in the factory to give us the ability to manufacture our own bespoke designs. “Tesco and Marks & Spencer grabbed us by the collar and took us aboard the retail express train. We moved premises again and doubled the workforce to cope with the expanding demand as they were both developing their sales floor areas and needed air conditioning. Needless to say the 90s were a period of considerable growth and Weatherite also acquired DLT Shopfronts & Shutters Ltd, as part of an opportunity with Tesco. Now named Weatherite Aluminium Solutions Ltd, the company works for many major UK retailers and contractors delivering bespoke manufacturing solutions for commercial security systems including shopfronts and high end curtain walling systems, windows and doors. Weatherite’s free cooling and AHU systems were being manufactured at an extraordinary rate during this period before the decades of trigeneration, power generation, heating and cooling which then moved towards the more user-friendly “energy centres”, driven by Tesco’s need for onsite energy – a demand that quickly widened to other supermarkets. In the early 2000s, Weatherite started working with JLP, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Next, Primark and continued to grow its retail portfolio. In 2006 Weatherite moved into larger premises to cope with further demand for its expanding HVAC product solutions. A concerted push to target the data centre market was made in 2008 with its extensive knowledge (through BT) of IT mission critical cooling techniques, ensuring the company continued to expand. In 2012, the company celebrated its 40 years in business and grew its data centre business with clients including Virtus, EE, Equinix, Vodafone, Virgin Media, to name a few. As well as telco and retail, the company further expanded into other sectors including leisure, pharmaceuticals, and health. Weatherite was soon recognised as the UK’s largest independent manufacturers of bespoke HVAC equipment in all sectors and won its largest ever single data centre order valued at over 12 million euros, as well as industry awards along the way. Today the business turnovers over £34 million as a Group, primarily through Weatherite Air Conditioning, which represents the major proportion of that turnover with about £25 million. Like many other businesses, the company has encountered some major obstacles over the last few years but working with organisations which operate within a mission critical environment has meant the company continues to thrive. “We survived the effects of the pandemic in good shape and are looking forward to an interesting market in very interesting times, said John. Weatherite has recently doubled the size of one of its existing factories and continues to invest in new manufacturing equipment and storage areas to counter-manage the global shortage and price hike on raw materials. There are many who will affirm that John’s entrepreneurism, leadership, and willingness to take a risk on ideas are the major reason for the company’s success. “We never walk away from a problem. If we’ve got a problem, we solve it satisfactorily,” says John. However, it takes more than one person to make a successful business and marking the five-decade milestone is an opportunity to both reflect on its past and to look forward to its future. John’s son, Tim, has also worked at the business for the past 25 years and John believes an emphasis on family helps when it comes to retaining staff. “There’s a big difference between being a family business and being part of a multi-national. There is a bigger sense of belonging. We have a lot of people who have worked at the company for a long time – our staff retention is excellent and somewhere between ten and fifteen people have one or more family members working here out of a workforce of 209,” he said. “We would like to think that our continued success can be attributed

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Construction Innovation Hub project set to de-risk platform and offsite manufacturing approaches in construction

The Construction Innovation Hub has today launched the Construction Product Quality Planning (CPQP) framework. CPQP is a new quality assurance framework setting out a best practice approach for manufacturers to follow during the creation of new platform systems and offsite manufactured construction products. Aimed at driving improved quality and safety standards, CPQP sets out a five-phase process, ranging from product definition to product launch. It also includes the creation of a live control document, which provides a digital audit trail that forms the basis of a building safety case. At launch, a set of guideline documents is being made available including the CPQP Guide, the Construction Product Approval Process (CPAP) Handbook and nine supporting guidelines to follow which help complete crucial aspects of the quality assurance process.   Amongst the benefits of using the new framework, CPQP will ensure that products and platforms are manufactured to the highest standards, in line with best practices and regulatory standards such as BSI 99001 and the Building Safety Act. QPQP also provides means for effective change control measures to mitigate risk, and product journey mapping from design through to manufacturing. CPQP also ensures accurate product data is managed and maintained throughout as per the golden thread recommendations.  The CPQP framework is designed to complement the Hub’s Product Platform Rulebook and Value Toolkit. It aligns with the ambitions of the Construction Playbook, where the Government is enabling more investment in innovation by committing its buying power to encourage offsite and platform construction. As part of the Hub’s Platform Programme, CPQP aims to support this approach. Speaking ahead of the launch of CPQP, Dame Judith Hackitt said: “I am delighted to see this very positive response to the new regulatory requirements for quality assurance. Learning good practice from Manufacturing sectors is a smart way to accelerate the pace of change in Construction.” Keith Waller, programme director at the Construction Innovation Hub said: “CPQP provides tools that will enable the accelerated adoption of platform approaches by helping to ensure quality and consistency across all of UK construction manufacturing. When applied in conjunction with the Product Platform Rulebook and Value Toolkit, the CPQP framework will improve the overall safety, performance, and quality of new construction products by identifying risks as early as possible in the design and development process, when the cost of change is lower.” The CPQP guidelines, Industry case studies and other supporting materials are available on the Hub’s website.

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How to Create a Supply Chain Risk Management Protocol

There’s no question that the pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live and work, and the impact it has had on different industries has been monumental. Supply chains are just one factor in this equation, however, they’re crucial to the success of many global enterprises.  As supply chains become increasingly disrupted, it’s important to have a risk management protocol in place so that your business remains functional. If you own a business that relies on international product shipments or industrial supplies, keep reading to learn how you can prepare for a potential supply chain disruption. What Disrupts a Supply Chain? Before the pandemic, supply chains still faced disruption and shortages, hindering both international and local businesses. Things such as natural weather disasters, environmental concerns, human error and labour shortages all played a factor. Financial concerns also cause supply chain issues, with suppliers experiencing unexpected changes in funding which can upset their processes. Changes in regulatory environments and sociopolitical concerns are also huge risks to supply chains—a major concern for people on a global scale. While some of these things are within our control and could be addressed fairly quickly, many of them are not within our control: for example, a global pandemic.  A global pandemic created unprecedented labour shortages as people who were required to complete manual labour tasks either became ill or were forced to stay home for their own safety. On top of labour shortages, an increase in demand sent many businesses in a tailspin trying to keep up with new consumer spending habits, as people increasingly shopped online or ordered products in bulk. Many businesses are still recovering from this upset, and it could take a while before things go back to any semblance of normalcy.  Common Strategies to Mitigate Risk  There is no way that your business will not be impacted by supply chain issues at some point or another, so you must have a risk management protocol on hand. Once you’re aware of the risks that could cause a supply chain to experience disruptions, you’re able to consider which ones are most related to you and your business.  For example, if you rely on materials from a company that you know is located in a country that experiences common environmental concerns, it would be best to focus on strategies that align with those issues. It might take some research on your part before you begin creating strategies so you’re able to make educational choices. The best way to approach supply chain risk management is by looking at prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.  Prevention In this step, you’ll want to think about all the different ways you can be proactive about supply chain risks. This includes conducting research about your industry and staying on top of the latest news—if anything seems like it could have the potential to be damaging, you’ll know to keep your eye on it. Which of your operations are the most vulnerable to a supply chain disruption? Are you dealing with rare, difficult to find products or materials? Was there a recent election in a country that you deal with on a regular basis? These are all things that you’ll want to think about so you can make adjustments or change course before you’re forced to.   Prepare  It’s always important to have a backup plan in case a Plan A doesn’t follow through. Even if you feel that your business is rock solid, something could always come up and set you into a tailspin. In this case, build relationships with local suppliers of similar products to set up alternatives in case something falls through. Also, set up tracking data if you can so that you receive alerts ahead of time that there are delays. You can even ask providers to give you insight into their risk management protocols so you can align with their ideas.  Response So you’ve gone through some preventative measures and you’ve thought about how you’ll prepare. But now it’s time to walk through how you’ll actually respond to a crisis. Counteracting risk by having a chain of command set up in times of crisis is imperative. This means practicing or running drills with a polished plan to ensure it’s air-tight. Establish a clear and easy line of communication between you, your employees, and your distributors to make sure everybody is on the same page. One of the only things that can make a crisis worse is having a confusing, unplanned response.  Recovery  After you’ve responded to a crisis, it’s important to look at what you could have done better or what you did right. Conduct an audit of your mock response tactics and see what worked and what might be a red flag. The recovery period is just as crucial to your risk management protocol because it helps maintain all the hard work you put into responding to a crisis. This can include consistent monitoring to make sure everything is in order, swapping out distributors, and asking your team what could have been done differently. Be Proactive and Catch Issues Before They Occur No matter what industry you’re in, there will also be unknown factors disrupting processes. Preparing for the unknown is practically impossible, but there are steps that you can take outside of continuously having to play defense. Risk management strategies are great, but what’s even better is performing an audit and finding ways your company can improve even before a crisis hits.  Do you solely rely on international companies to supply you with industrial equipment, and can you maybe look for industrial suppliers in Canada? Consider the way you communicate with distributors—do you have a good connection with them and are they trustworthy? The old adage that “a best defense is a good offense” rings true when it comes to managing supply chain disruptions. Sometimes, it’s not how you react, it’s how you prepare.  Protect Your Business and Mitigate Risk  Supply chains have always been complex and disruptions happen, so it’s important to keep

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Mobile Mini represents the construction industry at leading customer experience awards

Mobile Mini UK, one of the leading worldwide providers of portable accommodation and secure storage containers, has been shortlisted for three major awards alongside their partner ThinkWow, at the prestigious UK Customer Experience Awards (UK CXA®22). Widely regarded as Britain’s original and biggest CX celebration, recognition at UK CXA® is considered by many as the ultimate marque of achievement in customer experience. These awards span all industries and sectors and Mobile Mini will be representing the construction industry when they compete with the likes of Sky, BT, Octopus Energy, Virgin Media, 02, E.ON, Aviva, Yell, DHL, Thomas Cook, HSBC, Yodel, Vodafone, TalkTalk and many other iconic national brands. Mobile Mini and ThinkWow have been shortlisted for Best Employee Driven CX and Best CX for SMEs categories, with Simon Gray, Head of Region at Mobile Mini, shortlisted for CX Leader of the Year. Winners for 2022 will be announced at an awards evening held at Wembley Stadium this October. Earlier this year, Mobile Mini and ThinkWow were named the GOLD winner of the Customer Experience category at the 2022 UK Business and Innovation Awards (UK B&IA). The company has a fleet of over 40,000 portable units for a variety of storage solutions and 16 strategically placed sites throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Post-pandemic, it was clear that customer needs, expectations and behaviours had significantly changed and Mobile Mini understood maintaining standards, as well as improving approaches, had become more essential than ever. Over the past 18 months, Mobile Mini has worked in partnership with ThinkWow to enhance its customer experience strategy and training. This team of experts undertook a deep-dive review of company culture, shared objectives and customer feedback, then use detailed insights to expertly design a positive future strategy. The end goal remains to empower all staff and customers to both provide and receive the best possible experiences. Over 90% of the 380 members of staff at Mobile Mini have contributed to this project, with many customers also providing external views to help build insightful and accurate improvement objectives. These activities have resulted in an increase in average NPS scores from 71 to 80+, increased revenue (aiming for a third record-breaking year) and higher volumes of customer feedback. Increased training, the creation of a dedicated customer experience team, interactive workshops, customer journey mapping workshops with cross-functional employee groups and the implementation of a customer steering group (comprised of multiple roles and seniority levels) has all contributed to empowering employees to deliver great CX locally. Rebecca Brown, CEO of Think Wow said, “We are delighted that Mobile Mini has been recognised in this way and we are very proud to partner with them on their ongoing Customer Experience strategy. This project has been one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had at Think Wow, thanks to the genuine passion of employees at all levels within the business. This has been a collaborative process in every sense and truly employee-driven, with everyone from branch managers to HGV drivers having their say and playing their part in shaping innovative new approaches and solutions.” One of the driving forces behind this project from the Mobile Mini side was Simon Gray. On being shortlisted for the CX Leader award in recognition of his efforts, Simon said, “I am proud to have been named alongside a diverse group of impressive CX professionals, but what makes me incredibly proud is the way in which all our Mobile Mini teams have engaged with what we are trying to achieve. Our people look after our customers every day to such a high standard and yet we have all wanted to get just that little bit better. Our results speak volumes for what our people have done this year as we have achieved NPS scores in the 80’s in multiple months which is an incredible achievement. “It’s also fantastic that our CX efforts over the last 12 months have been embedded in 3 of our Golden Rules: People are our most valuable asset, The Customer is King (or Queen) and Everyone contributes. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Dan & Rebecca from ThinkWow and utilising their considerable CX knowledge and experience to help us reach even higher CX standards.”

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