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SWC driving charge

SWC driving charge

By Gareth Thomas, Managing Director of Specialist Window Cleaning (SWC), the window cleaning arm of Incentive FM Group

As an industry leading business, we are continually looking at ways to stay ahead of competition and keep us at the forefront of change, operating a large fleet of vehicles up and down the country we feel that it is our duty to challenge our carbon footprint in a bid to fight climate change.

With the introduction of schemes such as the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London that currently occupies the same area as the Congestion Charge Zone with the aim improve London’s air quality, we felt it was time where possible we move our fleet over to EVs.

The environmental and economic benefits of switching to EVs are even more clear and as a result, in 2020 we’ve seen a surge in the UKs demand EVs , dramatically showing how the UK is embracing electric mobility and it is no surprise with an EV vehicle producing around 60 per cent less CO2 emissions than its diesel equivalent, as a business we are targeting ourselves with reducing our carbon emissions by 35 per cent in year and a further 30 per cent in year two.   

While it may take our businesses time to transition to a fully electric fleet, we are making a start by switching out our London based vehicles for their electric counterparts.  Currently we have four electric Renault Kangoo Z.E in the fleet with a further eight set to join the fleet this year including the larger E-Dispatch once our current leases come to an end.

However, with the rapid improvements in vehicle ranges, an ever-growing charge point infrastructure that is better positioned to meet our business needs, it will not be long before rolling this out to the wider business and by the end of 2022 we aim to have at least 75 per cent of our fleet EV based.

Going green to stay ahead

In terms of the finances, EVs are highly cost-competitive for companies, they provide cost reductions over the lifetime of ownership. We have done some comparisons compared to our current running costs and we found that an EV can be driven for as little as 1p per mile, compared with 8-10p per mile for even the most fuel-efficient petrol and diesel vehicles, other benefits are

  • Reduced pollution
  • Home charging, Reducing miles to travel to petrol stations
  • Reduced noise while driving
  • No London Congestion Charge for fully electric vehicles

Making the change

Given the current times when protecting the bottom line has never been more important, moving our fleet to EVs will provide some greatly appreciated financial benefits for our employees and our business, furthermore it provides a more sustainable option at a time when we are all demanding action to be taken on protecting the environment.  We are pleased to say we have been joined in this initiative by a number of our clients who have installed EV charging points in the carparks and on their grounds, again, increasing the day to day useability of EVs across the country, it leaves us with the question that ‘If we can make a change, we should, no matter how big or small the impact’ we are all in the fight against climate change together.

 

Taken from CHTMag.

FM market ‘will pick up’ and the ‘office changed for good’

FM market ‘will pick up’ and the ‘office changed for good’

The FM market will continue to be flat in the first six months and pick up as the world returns to some sense of normality, according to the chairman of a facilities management firm. 

Jeremy Waud, chairman of Incentive FM Group, told Facilitate that “the office world has now doubtless changed for good” and that there would be “a greater split of home and office working but I don’t see a complete swing one way or another”.

Waud added: “This effect will drive the need for less office space, but probably of a higher quality, that is able to respond to the net-zero agenda together with smarter and more flexible shared work environments with first-class connectivity and technology.

Waud also said the “demand for the traditional FM services will be largely unchanged, but volumes may be slightly suppressed”.

He explained: “The inexorable change to online retail will affect tertiary retail developments and only the strongest will survive and at the very least it will need to have a compelling set of reasons to encourage its clients to visit.

“Serviced office space is currently in a state of flux, but should be an appealing office offer for companies trying to shed cost, space and lease commitments in the future as and when possible. The contract service backdrop will continue to see the current trend of consolidation and this may just lead to the big getting bigger as entrepreneurs struggle to find the opportunities or funding to get going and establish the necessary traction.

“The banks will doubtless continue to offer their umbrellas when the sun comes out and the rain stops! They will continue to strive for risk-free lending – something that will not stimulate the economy or our industry.”

Article taken from Facilitate Magazine

Image credit | Shutterstock

Intelligent Buildings

Intelligent Buildings

There has been a lot of buzz about the industry over the last few years about intelligent buildings, smart apps, and the internet of things amongst many others. It has to be said, there are some fantastic concepts out there and even as a consumer it is now possible to network and make you own home smart.

The challenge within our sector is an integrated approach, pulling together a great concept with real application to deliver value to our clients, whether that is real cost savings through energy consumption reduction or operational efficiency or enhancements to the built environment to improve building user experience. If you believe the marketing then anything is possible, the only problem, is it really?

Somebody described the IOT and smart technology sector as the modern day wild west with so many tech companies scrabbling for market share and recognition as innovators. It is possible to implement technologies which control, systems which analyse and learn as well as provide automation of various activities.

We have been treading cautiously into this sector, making sure we are not duped into technologies with limited dynamic application which could mean wasted investment and reduced long term benefit.  We have trialed various technologies to provide assistance in delivering enhanced experience and improved efficiencies and energy reduction, some of which have proved to be useful but not going all of the way to a truly leading edge technology.

It is fair to say that BMS systems provide significant opportunity for connectivity and interoperability with other cloud enabled systems, with some of the technologies available, even remote or dumb assets can also be activated through the use of smart tech. The trick for us is the platform we use to link and consolidate application across all activities and to use the data to prioritise critical intervention and downscale non value adding costly resource attendance.

That leads us to our road map. We are in the process of working with a number of trusted partners to bring together a vision which encompasses all of the aspects. Our vision is to have a developed third-party platform which links all value assets, monitors environment and attendance/ usage of space to provide an intelligence led output or activity with automated instruction and integration through our CAFM system. This is an exciting and bold step and one which we believe will place us in a unique spot with a broad range application not just focused on limited specific activities.

Our clients are at the centre of our objectives with a focus on user experience, efficiency of both labour and energy as well as lifecyle improvements. In this strange time where the use of buildings going forward will no doubt change and adapt, we need a platform which can not just assist in the efficient running of these buildings but also play a part in enabling the changing work patterns. This is not just innovation for the sake of it, it is for absolute necessity in an evolving world. We are aiming to bring this concept to life during 2021 and we will update you more as we go.

 

By Bruce McDonnell, Managing Director.

If you would like to read the latest copy of Incentive FM Upstream please click here.

To read more some of our Case studies click here

 

SWC prescribed for LloydsPharmacy contract

SWC prescribed for LloydsPharmacy contract

Specialist Window Cleaning (SWC), the window cleaning arm of Incentive FM Group, has added one of the UK’s leading pharmacists to its growing client portfolio.

LloydsPharmacy has awarded SWC a significant two-year cleaning contract, which will see the well-established window cleaning solutions business providing internal & external window cleaning, fascia and signage cleans, as well as adhoc reactive call outs to over 1,000 LloydsPharmacy sites across the UK after a delayed start during lockdown.

Commenting on the contract award, Chris Thomas, Commercial Director of SWC, said:

 “It’s been a testing year for the window cleaning sector, and we have had to provide creative and flexible solutions for our clients to adapt to the unprecedented current conditions. Winning the LloydsPharmacy contract really pays tribute to the hard work of our teams on the ground. To work with such an established household name and provide a service that aligns with their trusted customer experience, is something we take immense pride in as a business and we are proud to partner with them.”

SWC specialises in high-level, cradle and rope access window cleaning providing window cleaning solutions to many of the UK’s most recognisable retailers, including Pizza Express, and employs more than 70 cleaning staff across the country.

Incentive FM win Wembley Contract

Incentive FM win Wembley Contract

Incentive FM has been awarded a three year contract to manage the soft services across the 118,000 sq ft Wembley Central Shopping Centre. The Centre which includes 25 retail units, three residential blocks, and a car park, required an industry-leading approach to critical facilities management in order to deliver responsive and cost effective services.

Glenn Wilson, Director – Retail & Distribution, at Incentive FM, said:

“It’s fantastic news for us, and is testament to our approach to sustainable solutions in facilities management. Our specialist is now leading a team of 11 across the site, and we’re proud to call Wembley Central a partner, not just a client. After winning the contract, we mobilised the operation in just ten days, which is no easy task in the current climate. We’re looking forward to delivering industry-leading solutions for the next three years and beyond.”

One of the first tasks for Incentive FM was to upgrade security infrastructure to a digital platform and embed sustainable cleaning and security protocols across the sites. The series of upgrades were key to Incentive FM winning the contract supplied by the Centre’s property managers, Fidum Property Management.

Simon Marshall, Director at Fidum, said:

“Incentive FM have a strong reputation for innovation and sustainable solutions in facilities management. We wanted to up our game to that regard, and Incentive FM have already started to deliver. It’s fantastic to partner with such a well-respected market-leader, and it’ll no doubt enhance our customer experience, and streamline operations for those working across the site.”

Incentive FM will continue to implement the latest innovative security and cleaning systems across the 118,000 square foot site, with high spec innovative equipment provided for the various teams involved in the busy operation. Updating and bolstering the security and surveillance of the vicinity is a key priority for Incentive FM and has already begun.

Incentive FM restructures to deliver specialist support

Incentive FM restructures to deliver specialist support

Incentive FM, the leading facilities management specialist, has announced it is to introduce a sector approach within its business to ensure it is best placed to continue to support its clients whilst maximising opportunities in its key markets . It follows the company’s continuing growth which, despite COVID-19, has resulted in the mobilisation of 5 new contracts during lockdown.

The business previously delivered its services on a regional basis but the new sector approach will focus on providing specialist niche services in 3 key areas:  Retail and Distribution including shopping centres; Destination and Heritage for clients such as Covent Garden, Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Somerset House; and Workplace Solutions for client including Addleshaw Goddard, LV= and Equiniti.

Bruce McDonnell, Managing Director at Incentive FM, explains:

“These changes were planned at the start of the year but were put on hold as we focused on dealing with the immediate impact of the pandemic on our clients.  As lockdown starts to ease it has become even clearer that each of these sectors is facing very different challenges and opportunities and our new structure will enable us to provide the tailored delivery and support they need.”

Under the new structure Glenn Wilson has been promoted to the role of Director – Retail and Distribution and Claire Rumsey has been promoted to Director – Destination and Heritage. Matt Pilling joins the business as Director – Workplace Solutions.

“Our business and our client contracts has remained strong through this challenging time .We have supported our clients throughout lockdown, creating business resumption plans, employee resumption and engagement plans and focusing on delivering safe operations for our clients enabling them to return to work with confidence. Our focus is now on helping our clients to continue to adapt their businesses to meet the challenges of the new normal,”

concludes Bruce.

Cleaned Out: The pandemic’s impact on cleaning supplies

Cleaned Out: The pandemic’s impact on cleaning supplies

Below article taken from: Facilitate.

We asked readers how challenging it has been to source cleaning supplies during the pandemic, whether prices have risen, how prepared they are for future demand over the coming months and what type of impact Covid-19 has had on existing contracts?

The pandemic has rocketed cleaning practices to the top of the list of organisational priorities, with the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) warning of “extraordinary” demand for cleaning supplies “for the foreseeable future”. Tthe CHSA also warned against unscrupulous groups trying to capitalise on this with inflated costs, writing to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and asking it to investigate companies seeking to profit from the health crisis. We asked readers to explain how challenging it has been to source cleaning supplies; whether prices have risen; how prepared they are for demand over the coming months; and what impact the pandemic has had on existing contracts.

Collaboration with suppliers

At ISS UK we have a managed to fulfill most customer requirements through our existing suppliers. At the height of the pandemic, where demand spiked, we did need to qualify additional suppliers to support ISS and our clients. With increased demand, market forces resulted in some price increases and, in some cases, upfront payments before the product was shipped.

At the outset of the pandemic, [sourcing] liquid soap (particularly antibacterial soap) and hand sanitiser was a challenge. During April, disposable nitrile gloves (to EN374) and sanitising wipes suitable for Covid-19 became difficult to obtain, with prices also increasing. By collaborating with our suppliers, and utilising our global reach, we’ve sourced and approved a range of certified disinfectants (to EN14476) as viricides, enabling us to keep supplies flowing throughout the pandemic.

Since May, our view is that the market is returning to  pre-pandemic levels, even on the higher-demand items. We anticipate an increased need for consumables, materials and PPE as our customers’ return ‘back to the workplace’. For example, due to enhanced personal hygiene, some customers are requesting personal hygiene kits and self-cleaning stations for additional reassurance for employees; but given the phasing of the return, we do not envisage such a high spike in demand.

Paul Fereday, head of operations at ISS UK Cleaning Excellence


Supply chain slowdown

The most difficult time to get hold of supplies was around early April. It was nearly impossible to get large stocks of gloves, masks, wipes and especially hand gel. All of a sudden, things got very technical and we needed PP3 face masks and hand gel that had above 60 per cent alcohol concentration. This surge in demand led to long lead times and higher prices ( around 300-500 per cent). This was clearly profiteering but impossible to prove at the time. Massive amounts of goods were being stocked in warehouses and resold, which slowed the supply chain considerably.

Towards the end of April and into May things calmed down. I think the UK realised it wasn’t going to the office any time soon and demand for PPE dropped rapidly. Everything became very available and prices started to reduce. In fact, we started receiving calls and messages from suppliers that had bought hundreds of thousands of items and now couldn’t dispose of it. They were almost begging us to buy it from them.

Andrew Hulbert, managing director at Pareto FM


Use forward thinking

Demand for commercial cleaning in offices, police and fire stations has increased substantially. Incentive QAS purchased sufficient amounts of PPE and specialist cleaning equipment during the early stages. This ensured we were able to service to our customers whilst ensuring the wellbeing of our staff. This approach enabled us to provide specialist deep cleans.

Incentive QAS has established fantastic working relationships with suppliers which has benefitted us greatly. This has enabled us to purchase hand sanitiser and PPE in bulk at an affordable price, store product at our suppliers’ site and request delivery when required. The H&S of our cleaning teams and clients is obviously a key priority so ensuring provision of these was of paramount importance during the planning stages.

Not only has our service been unaffected during lockdown, but as lockdown eases, we have a steady stream of supplies.

David Brown, commercial director of Incentive QAS


Flexibility is key

Procuring cleaning supplies was immensely challenging because almost overnight the products and their distribution were placed under huge strain. The supply chain we used depended upon packaging and bottles manufactured in the Far East and China, and upon chemicals largely manufactured in the Netherlands. The impact of Covid-19 dramatically increased demand as companies and organisations started panic buying and also hampered the supply chain, both in terms of the supply of chemicals and the packaging they came in.

We took the decision early on to switch cleaning chemical after assessing the risk in the supply chain. We changed to a chemical that is manually dosed on site rather than controlled via a dispenser to reduce the risk of packaging and chemical shortages. Taking this approach has not increased our costs.

We have a robust supply chain and distribution network and do not envisage a problem. However, it is true that the pandemic throws up unexpected challenges. The key is to be flexible.

In the 11 NHS Hospitals and half-a-dozen healthcare centres that we provide facilities management services to, we have responded to the needs of our client. This has meant increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning regimes to help create the best possible environment for patients and for NHS staff to operate in as safely as possible.

In other sectors, we have fundamentally changed our cleaning regime. Previously cleaners would clean during out-of-office hours, refill toilet paper holders, clean kitchens and empty dishwashers and so on. Now we are seeing, as our customers either run drastically altered operations or re-emerge from lockdown conditions, there is less demand for kitchen, toilet and general duties as fewer people are in the workplace.

However, our cleaners are carrying out far more regular cleans of common touchpoints – handrails, doors, stairwells and so on. Our cleaners are being redeployed and concentrating on cleaning and recleaning key areas as much as possible.

Thomas Garlick, head of procurement – soft services at Interserve Support Services

Incentive QAS Pays Tribute to Frontline Staff

Incentive QAS Pays Tribute to Frontline Staff

Leading cleaning specialist Incentive QAS has distributed more than 800 wellbeing packs to their staff all over the UK. With half of the 800 strong company working throughout the pandemic, and the other half preparing to return to work after furlough, the Incentive QAS leadership team have expressed their gratitude during a testing and unprecedented time for the industry.

The packs have been welcomed by staff teams across the country and contain a variety of health and wellbeing gifts. Workers have received a branded cotton tote bag, aluminium re-useable water bottles, 125ml personalised bottle of hand sanitizer and washable face coverings. As well as sugary treats, the wellbeing pack also includes an employee information guide to help staff prepare for a ‘new normal’ post lockdown.

Incentive QAS have been closely reviewing guidance from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and other Government agencies to work in partnership with clients and stakeholders during the transition to business resumption.

Jamie Wright, Managing Director at Incentive QAS said:

“The commitment of our teams across the country during this pandemic has been incredible. With many working in frontline critical environments, our staff have had to adapt quickly in largely unprecedented circumstances. The wellbeing packs are a way for us to say thank you to our teams as we begin to welcome back 50% of our workforce who were previously furloughed. “

He added, “We’ve developed and distributed a Returning to Work Brochure to help our employees return to business functions safely, efficiently and effectively. It is critical that we support and protect employees, clients, visitors and customers, and by producing these guidance notes, we can navigate the challenges that lie ahead on our road to COVID -19 pandemic recovery.”

Incentive QAS is the contract cleaning arm of the Incentive FM Group, with annual sales in excess of £18.5 million and employing more than 800 staff around the country, delivering a wide range of cleaning and support services to both the private and public sectors.

Incentive lands five shopping centre deals

Incentive lands five shopping centre deals

British Land, one of the largest property development and investment companies in the UK, has awarded Incentive FM three new shopping centre contracts and renewed a further two more contracts at sites across the UK.

Leading facilities management specialist Incentive FM has been awarded contracts to provide a range of soft facilities services for Ealing Broadway in London, Beaumont Shopping Centre in Leicester, and Crown Wharf Retail Park in Walsall.  British Land has also renewed Incentive’s contracts to provide similar services at Whiteley Shopping Centre in Hampshire and the Old Market in Hereford.

Under the terms of the 3-year deal for each site, Incentive FM will be responsible for ensuring the centres are Secure, Safe, and Clean as well as providing world class customer services, front of house, and car park services. Over 110 staff will be mobilized across all five locations where the teams will be using the latest equipment, technology, and other systems coupled with best in class development training to develop and enhance the quality of service delivery.

Richard Nield, Head of Retail Operations at British Land, said:

“The successful relationship we have built up with Incentive at Whiteley and Old Market Shopping Centres, along with other retail locations over the last three years made them an obvious choice to award three more contracts. They were undoubtedly our preferred partners of choice for this contract.”

Glenn Wilson, Operations Director at Incentive FM, said:

“We look forward to continuing to support British Land with our added value and partnership approach. Our portfolio of shopping centres and retail parks now stretches the length and breadth of the country from Inverness Shopping Park in Scotland to Drakes Circus, Plymouth in the South, bringing us to over 40 sites in the UK.”

Some text mentioned has been taken from IFM
Getting your team back to work

Getting your team back to work

As businesses prepare for a return to the office, there will be a number of concerns and
challenges not previously encountered in the work place. Staff want to be confident of their safety and employers want to ensure that well being and safety is at the core of office working. Incentive Consultancy are providing support to new and existing clients to help bridge some of the gaps in knowledge and experience.

To find out how we can help you and your business please view our helpful guide here.

Incentive FM in Police partnership

Incentive FM in Police partnership

Incentive FM has become nationally accredited on the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).

CSAS, a voluntary scheme, sees chief constables accredit employed people already working to improve community safety with limited but targeted powers. The scheme was created to develop a framework for public and private bodies to partner with the police to provide additional uniformed presence in communities. Specific security employees of Incentive FM will now be available for CSAS appointment, capitalising on their skills and engagement within the community to assist police activity.

 Andrew Robbins, Associate Director of Security and Risk at Incentive FM, said: 

“It’s a privilege to join the CSAS initiative and work with the police to prevent and deter crime and disorder. Our security teams are invaluable ambassadors to business and the wider community. There will now be a strict selection process for security officers who will then undergo training by a CSAS accredited provider, and in some cases, the police will deliver the training directly. When our security officers are trained, they will be given authority by the relevant Chief Constable to have specific powers to help the police tackle crime and disorder.”

Since starting in 2002, CSAS has incorporated the services of neighbourhood wardens, hospital security guards, park wardens, shopping mall security officers, and train guards. CSAS accredited persons within Incentive FM will carry official identification badge endorsed by the local police force on their uniform. The scheme has benefitted local communities with an increased uniformed presence on the streets, saving valuable police time to tackle with low-level crime and disorder.

With greater business involvement with the police, the scheme allows police officers to influence the training of Incentive FM to develop a two-way exchange of information and intelligence between both agencies. When a Chief Constable accredits a person with powers under paragraph 1 of schedule 5 of the Police Reform Act 2002, he or she may also choose whether to give the accredited person the power to issue fixed penalty notices.

Robbins added: 

“As a business we will look to have an incremental roll out of the scheme across key locations to further enhance the solutions we provide to our clients. All schemes are managed, monitored and assessed at a local level by the responsible police force.”

 

Text taken from FMJ