Category Archives: Specialist Window Cleaning

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.

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.

SWC Awarded IRATA Certification

SWC Awarded IRATA Certification

SWC, part of Incentive FM Group, has been recognised for its high standard of rope access working and been awarded Corporate membership of the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA). The body aims to promote a high standard of working practices across the industry providing clients with peace of mind that they are receiving a professional service that fully complies with health and safety regulations.

In order to gain the membership, SWC had to demonstrate it was able to operate to the high standards required of IRATA, including having a fully trained technical team and safe working practices. Whilst SWC already provides rope access window cleaning services at several landmark buildings, including 110 Bishopsgate (formally Heron Tower) and Verde SW1 in London, this accreditation will enable the company to deliver its cost effective and efficient solution to a wider number of clients across the country.

Gareth Thomas, Managing Director at SWC, said:

“This membership gives our clients peace of mind that all work is completed safely and to the highest standard and that our team not only abides by, but also looks to exceed, the strict guidelines set out by IRATA. This will open many new doors for our team and enable us to give our customers an even more specialised service.”

SWC & ARL Merge Window Cleaning Operations

SWC & ARL Merge Window Cleaning Operations

Two of our Group businesses, Specialist Window Cleaning and ARL Support Services, have merged and relaunched under the SWC brand.

The move provides customers with greater access to a wide range of specialist window cleaning services and expertise under one roof and with a national reach. The combined business will be headed by Gareth Thomas as Managing Director, with Chris Thomas taking up the role of Commercial Director.

SWC specialises in high-level, cradle and rope access window cleaning. ARL provides window cleaning solutions to many of the UK’s most recognisable retailers, including Pizza Express, Matalan, Zizzi, All Bar One and Harvester. Combined, the new company has a turnover of around £4.5m and employs more than 70 cleaning staff across the country. Both businesses were acquired by Incentive in 2016.

The newly formed company will be split into two main divisions. A commercial team will focus on providing window cleaning services on high level buildings on a periodical basis. The other side is a retail team which will provide regular window cleaning to clients in the retail industry, including pubs, bars and clothing stores.

SWC MD Gareth Thomas commented:

“There is a gap in the market for a professional, national, specialist window cleaning supplier and this merger will fill that void. It is an exciting opportunity for our new business and I look forward to where this will take us in the future.”

Martin Reed, Group Managing Director at Incentive FM Group, said:

“Since the two companies joined Incentive FM they have grown considerably and established themselves as industry leaders across the country. This merger was the next natural step for the businesses as we strive to continue to deliver a quality solution for our clients.”

Incentive FM Group Strengthens Window Cleaning Portfolio with Acquisition

Incentive FM Group Strengthens Window Cleaning Portfolio with Acquisition

Leading independent facilities services organisation Incentive FM Group has acquired ARL Support Services, a specialist company providing window-cleaning services to many of the UK’s most recognisable retailers located on the high street or within retail parks. The acquisition will further strengthen the Group’s portfolio of world-class cleaning services and solutions.

The strategic acquisition will see ARL Support Services complementing and working closely with SWC, which makes up part of Incentive QAS, the Group’s specialist cleaning company. By taking on the 30-strong skilled mobile workforce, Incentive FM Group can now provide customers with a complete range of window cleaning services, from low to high level. This incorporates the use of cradles, abseiling, platforms, ladders and the reach and wash system.

ARL Support Services’ senior management team, including joint owners Adam Littlejohn and Ben Steele, will be joining Incentive FM Group, with all employees reporting to Jamie Wright, Managing Director of Incentive QAS. The business will continue to operate as ARL and will carry on providing services to existing customers, including Pizza Express, Matalan, Zizzi and Pets at Home.

Martin Reed, Managing Director at Incentive FM Group, said:

We were looking for a business that complemented our existing window cleaning services. Not only does ARL complete the skills matrix, it has the geographical spread to support our clients. Fulfilling the needs of our customers is our top priority and this move enables us to offer our customers a complete service at the best price. The experience of the ARL Support Services team will help us to expand in the retail sector and their skill base will prove invaluable moving forward.

Adam Littlejohn, ARL Support Services, said:

Incentive FM Group’s strong customer base and firmly established facilities management solutions means our existing customers can benefit from a broader range of services, whilst our staff will benefit from more opportunities for career development. Our window cleaning skillset means that we will become a valuable part of the Incentive FM Group and we are very excited to maximise the opportunities this brings.

 

The Facilities Show 2016

The Facilities Show 2016

Some great fun at our stand at The Facilities Show at Excel this week seeing plenty of clients and friends taking part in the window cleaning challenge. #beattheshiner

SWC Challenge’s Delegates To Beat ‘The Shiner’

SWC Challenge’s Delegates To Beat ‘The Shiner’

SWC, the specialist window cleaning business within Incentive FM Group is inviting delegates at the Facilities Show to show off their window cleaning skills at Stand Q1155. The ‘Incentive Beat The Shiner Competition’ is a speed challenge and Terry “Turbo” Burrows, the Guinness World Record Holder who claims to be ‘The World’s Fastest Window Cleaner’, will be on hand to give advice and set the pace for others to follow!

A number of delegates have told me that they will win easily so there is no doubt that this will be a hard fought battle to the end
Jeremy Waud, Incentive FM Group Chairman

Entries will cost just £5 with all proceeds going to the Motor Neurone Disease Association. A number of the SWC team will be competing including Gareth Thomas who set up the company in 2010 before Incentive FM Group acquired it at the start of the year. The company continues to operate under the SWC brand delivering services for both Incentive FM and Incentive QAS in addition to providing window cleaning services for its own standalone client base and other service providers. Its  range of activities includes low level, rope access, cradle and high-level window cleaning using a water-fed pole system.

Commenting on the competitions Jeremy Waud, Chairman at Incentive FM Group, said: ‘This competition is expected to be very intense and already we are hearing rumours that details of winning techniques are changing hands. A number of delegates have told me that they will win easily so there is no doubt that this will be a hard fought battle to the end.

Incentive moves on window of opportunity

Incentive moves on window of opportunity

Incentive FM Group has acquired Specialist Window Cleaning Ltd in a move designed to enable the business to self-deliver additional services to its expanding portfolio of customers.

The new services taken on-board include low level, rope access, cradle and high level window cleaning using a combination of traditional and water-fed pole methods.

This acquisition demonstrates our strategy of self-delivering a full range of services to our customers to deliver high standards and improved efficiencies.

 

Martin Reed, Managing Director of Incentive FM Group

Specialist Window Cleaning was formed in 2010 by Gareth Thomas, who will join the Incentive Group along with his operations management team and a team of both mobile and site-based window cleaners. The company, which has tripled its turnover in the past three years, will continue to operate under the SWC brand delivering services for both Incentive FM and Incentive QAS in addition to providing services for its expanding standalone client base.

specialist_window_cleaning_signing

Commenting on the acquisition, Martin Reed, Managing Director at Incentive FM Group (left with Chris Thomas, Jamie Wright, Martin Athey, Jeremy Waud and Gareth Thomas), said: “We have been working closely with SWC for the past 12 months with mutual clients and have been extremely impressed by Gareth and his team. This acquisition demonstrates our strategy of self-delivering a full range of services to our customers to deliver high standards and improved efficiencies. It will add strength and competitive edge to Incentive QAS and Incentive FM, whilst providing SWC with additional back office, sales and management support.”

Thomas added: “I set up SWC five years ago as I felt that I could offer clients something special in terms of innovation, quality and customer service. Since then I have been approached a number of times to sell the business but it wasn’t until I started working closely with Incentive FM Group that I knew I had found a business that shared both my vision and values. I am very excited about the opportunities that being part of this highly respected and successful business will bring.”