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Back to the Floor

In September 2014, members of the GSH UK board went ‘Back to the Floor’ in an activity aimed at connecting different levels of the business. Five people spent time on the road with an operative from the firm’s national resource management (NRM) team. This article describes their experiences, and the lessons they learned

GSH’s NRM is a mobile team of mobile technicians who provide a mixture of planned and reactive maintenance support for companies nationwide. Spending a great deal of time on the road, and then working manually there is clearly a world of difference between the day-to-day experiences of the mobile technicians and your average company board member.

The five people set to have their worlds turned upside down, for a little while at least, were: managing director – Clive Clarke, chief operations officer – Chris Riley, sales and marketing director – Steve Appleton, finance director – David Quinnell and human resources director – Vicky Stevens.

The directors aimed to see the NRM solution in action, to see what effect their continued investment has added to their already skilled work force. To gain first hand experience of how mobile technicians engage with clients, represent GSH, provide services and deal with challenging timescales. In addition to this they wanted to truly understand the technology that aids their mobile technicians on a day-to-day basis.

NATIONAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Before hearing from each of the five directors about their experience and what they learned, here is a brief run down of how the NRM solution operates:

  • The NRM solution offers a cost effective and flexible alternative to dedicated onsite teams.
  • In simple terms it aims to provide the right man to the right place at the right time.
  • The mobile workforce is organised into regional divisions with multi-skilled teams in each area.
  • This enables mobile technicians to be allocated with greater efficiency rather than having to cover often long distances to reach customers.
  • The team is fully supported by a 24/7 help desk and state of the art technology.

CONCLUSIONS
Steve Appleton
Being new to GSH, I thought that it was important that I gained a wider experience of our business. That’s why I suggested the ‘Back to the Floor’ campaign to my fellow board members.

GSH-6It was important that I understood the NRM process from cradle to grave. With that being said I started my ‘Back to the Floor’ experience a day earlier than the other participants.

I arrived in Stoke-on-Trent at our centrally located client support centre (CSC). I spent the afternoon with our staff, taking calls coming into the helpdesk from our existing NRM clients.

While with the helpdesk, I noted that our operators are a key component in the NRM process – they interrogate the in-coming calls to establish how best GSH can resolve any reactive issues, while being knowledgeable about each of our clients KPI parameters. The helpdesk team are the first contact a client has with GSH when they have an issue on their portfolio, and as such, they reassure any incoming caller that we are here to help in any way we possibly can.

I then spent time with the dispatch team, in this instance Louise. She was a very experienced operator within the CSC team, she worked with our automatic job scheduling software to manage our mobile engineering fleet. Using the scheduling tool, Louise could review the amount of time spent on a job and call mobile technicians to ensure that timelines were going to remain on target.

Her role and the role of the service delivery managers (SDMs) ensure that our dynamic job scheduling tools not only run effectively – but the SDMs act as a human interface to ensure the expectations of the scheduling system are met by our mobile mobile technicians.

After spending the afternoon with Louise it’s obvious that she loves her job and has the capacity to grow within the company after gaining seven years’ experience with the business.

Steve-AppletonThe next day I went out on the road with mobile engineer, Adam McBride. We travelled south to the Oxfordshire area and I tried my best to assist Adam with some of his technical duties, we performed bi- annual maintenance jobs for a retail food store.

So I’ve seen the automatic job scheduling solution working from start to finish, with jobs being issued to the mobile technicians PDA.

It’s a fascinating solution really and one that adds real value to GSH
and benefits our client base. With every contract bolted onto the NRM solution, we’re adding even more mobile engineering resource into our ever growing fleet.

From end-to-end, NRM benefits organisations looking to maintain large portfolios of property around the UK.

About Sarah OBeirne

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