PFM 21 2 Mar 2018 - Page 17



NEWS
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number of stakeholders involved better
relationships
and
increased
accountability can help to manage the
increased number of challenges. Again
to use the example of housing, residents
want to feel listened to and be able to
have their say on any plans for
improving their site. Conversely,
complaints can arise if people think work
has not been done or that the standard
of work is inadequate. In these situations
it is important that grounds maintenance
teams on site are empowered to talk to
both residents and housing managers
and proactively solve small requests
without delay.
The right balance between people
and technology
All of this may seem to be an argument
in favour of good old-fashioned hard
work and ditching the ultra-flexible, lean
working practices of modern contracting.
It may even be taken as a case against
outsourcing grounds maintenance in the
first place. However, it’s important not to
see these things as being mutually
exclusive.
While the pendulum has swung too far
in one direction, there is a middle ground
to which we can return. Grounds
maintenance companies can modernise,
stay agile and take advantage of
digitisation, while still fostering those
vital relationships and invest in people
for better service delivery.
This is the model that we have sought
to build at GRITIT Grounds Maintenance
– and it can and does work. Although we
service hundreds of sites in each region,
wherever possible we seek to ensure
that the same team members care for
each of these sites. As a grounds
maintenance company that is part of
winter gritting firm, we also have an
opportunity to retain more staff during
the quieter winter periods (GM staff can
join the gritting operation if they so
choose). However it is achieved, better
retention is key for any grounds
maintenance firm seeking to invest in
their staff, and it has given us the
security to invest more in training (many
of our staff now attained horticulture
NVQs to level 2 or level 4, including a
regular stream of apprentices). We think
that the investment pays dividends as
skilled team leaders and operators do
become more effective and serve as
better ambassadors for both our own
and our clients’ businesses.
This back-to-basics approach to people
is a somewhat different way of disrupting
an industry, but it is long overdue for
grounds maintenance. Even as GM
returns to its roots, new technology will
be vital to growing its future. From smart
devices on site, to databases at the back
end to client portals and apps – better
technology can help service providers
more efficiently plan, monitor and record
activity, while allowing busy clients to
save time and resources monitoring their
GM contracts. It’s always been about
delivering the small details that matter
most, whilst passing on the savings that
come through working better and on a
larger scale.
GRITIT provide Award Winning Winter
Gritting, Grounds Maintenance &
Landscape Management, keeping sites
operational and in pristine and safe
condition all year around. Our
investment in research, bespoke
developments and continual use of new
technology is transforming operations,
communications and service quality
within the FM landscape.
For further info:
Telephone: 0800 0432 911 or Email:
info@gritit.com or www.gritit.com
Reader Reply: 212005
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