Insight – Issue thirty-one

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) is well known as an expert in a wide range of specialist services. Our knowledgeable teams across the company are regularly called upon to provide training to maintenance personnel and operatives working at height, making sure they understand the best ways to deliver their work safely and effectively.

We make sure our approach to training benefits our clients and teams in the best way, ensuring it is high-quality, engaging and useful.

1. Make training hands-on

Practical training helps people to remember what they have learnt, and discussions, case studies and computer-generated animations can help to keep everyone engaged.

2. Keep training useful

Discussions about real situations and practical tasks mean people can put what they’ve learned straight to work.

3. Don’t lecture from the front

‘Classroom-style’ teaching may hinder people’s motivation to learn. Friendly and interactive learning is often much more effective.

4. Remember the pressures people face

Our training teams are experts in their industries and know exactly what trainees’ work involves. This allows them to see things from their perspective which is key to getting the message across.

Insight – Issue thirty

Mounted permanently at roof level, a BMU is the safest and most comprehensive type of suspended access system, providing full lateral, horizontal and vertical movement of the working platform. BMUs are automatic, remote controlled or mechanical devices which carry window washing operatives or mechanical robots to maintain or clean the covered surfaces. Units range from small, simple devices used by a single operative to larger outreach units used on high-rise buildings.

Integral Cradles, PTSG’s London-based cradles installation specialist, which provides permanent façade access equipment for a wide range of significant buildings, has provided bespoke access solutions for some of the capital’s most iconic – and architecturally challenging – buildings.

One such building, The Scalpel, is a 190-metre tall tower, named for its unique, angular shape. PTSG’s expert engineers were called upon to design and install two complex BMUs at the site, as well as a series of intricate moving roofs to house them, enabling the safe and easy storage of this access equipment.

The two BMUs are eight storeys tall – approximately the height of ten cars stacked one on top of the other. They are installed on either side of The Scalpel, on the east and west elevations. The larger unit on the west side has an impressive 19-metre operating radius, is 49 metres in height, weighs 41,300 kg and has a 1,000-kg glass replacement capacity.

The project’s requirement for such a unique design allowed the PTSG team to provide a BMU that worked harder for the building, serving it in more ways that just maintenance. The east BMU was designed with a roof panel comprising photovoltaic solar cells, which move and slide in tandem with the unit’s operation. The cells provide renewable energy for the building, a valuable extra benefit of the system.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) was used by PTSG designers and engineers throughout the project at The Scalpel. This enabled any problems to be detected and resolved quickly and easily with the use of 3-dimensional imagery. The digital modelling and information for the BMUs produced via BIM were used as part of the training process to show the client how to operate the units.

 

Insight – Issue twentynine

PTSG wants to set the standard for safety for the rest of the industry. We are focused on educating and engaging operatives to ensure that safe working practices and wellbeing in the workplace is the priority for all of us.

A culture of safety

Our culture and framework for continual improvement is based on the plan-do-check-act model and includes site inspection, performance measurement and the monitoring of the Group’s safe performance targets.

Now into our second decade, the strong growth we enjoyed quickly led to us adopting health and safety policies and procedures that mirrored those of a much larger company in order to make sure our increasing size never overwhelmed our health and safety efforts. We now proudly boast a more comprehensive and effective health and safety procedure than many of the UK’s Tier One contractors.

PTSG’s bespoke software system, Clarity, creates an extra safety net for engineers on site, with engineer tracking that allows in-office teams to keep an eye on lone workers and engineers travelling between sites.

We also regularly bring in outside support to further promotion of the highest health and safety standards. By organising talks with safety professionals and speakers like Jason Anker, who was seriously injured in a workplace accident, we are able to learn from others, promoting a health and safety culture where knowledge is shared and highly valued throughout the team.

Industry recognition

PTSG’s SHE team is working collectively to improve our approach to health and safety. Together, we are now reaching standards that go beyond compliance and set the pace for the rest of our industry to follow.

Our record of success in health and safety has been underlined by a multitude of awards during the last few years. More recently, our achievements have been recognised in the most prestigious global awards for commitment to good workplace health and safety management.

For the seventh year running, PTSG will receive an International Safety Award from the British Safety Council for ongoing commitment to safety in the workplace.

A total of 623 applications were received for the 2018 awards, which are independently marked by health and safety experts. The review and scoring of applications is particularly robust and PTSG scored highly to achieve the award with Merit.

Safety accreditation and training

PTSG has gained over 130 individual accreditations including approval to work on Network Rail infrastructure and accreditations from SSIP forum members. We have been successful in renewing our UKAS accredited ISO 9001:2015, ISO14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certification.

Such is PTSG’s commitment to a healthy and safe environment at work that we also provide bespoke training solutions for people and organisations who work at height. Training and development is delivered by engineering experts with vast industry experience, ensuring technical content is high quality, relevant and up to date. PTSG is confirmed as an Approved Training Organisation by CITB.

All of our work to raise the standards of safety in the workplace is underscored by the PTSG mantra: “If we can’t do it safely, we don’t do it.”

Insight – Issue twentyeight

The broad range of services that PTSG delivers across its four divisions has become its unique selling point, with its ability to offer bundled services streamlining its provision of specialist works and giving customers cost-effective solutions that maintain an outstanding level of quality by utilising one dedicated contractor.

A strong example of PTSG’s ability to offer multiple services to one client as part of an ongoing partnership is the Group’s collaboration with Marks & Spencer PLC (M&S). A partnership which began when PTSG was originally commissioned to carry out fall arrest testing at a handful of stores has since evolved to include a wide range of services, including cradle maintenance, fall arrest and lightning protection across more than 400 M&S stores nationwide. PTSG also carries out surveys at new stores not yet covered within its current contract and provides solutions for cost-savings and improvements to M&S.

For UNITE Students, PTSG has offered a vast array of specialist services to the organisation’s entire portfolio- more than 50 sites, acting not only as a supplier but also a compliance manager, delivery partner and technical and training advisor. PTSG Access and Safety has been enlisted to carry out Working at Height training across UNITE’s UK portfolio to ensure its FM team is fully trained in the safe use and operation of the fall arrest equipment as well as completing vast amounts of repairs and essential upgrades to man safe systems.

PTSG also often acts as a specialist component of a larger facilities management contract undertaken by its client. For example, in 2014 PTSG was contracted by CBRE, the Co-operative Group’s M&E services provider, to begin working with the Co-operative, performing PAT and fixed wire testing at eight distribution centres. Following a successful delivery of this contract the Group was commissioned to provide PAT and fixed wire testing to over 600 large food stores, local stores and funeral service providers across the UK.

As a result of the previous work carried out, PTSG was also awarded multiple contracts to carry out lightning protection upgrades at various sites, including the Co-operative Bank’s head offices in Manchester. The new work packages involved some of the Co-operative’s major buildings including the CIS tower and One Angel Square, both based in Manchester.

Insight – Issue twentyseven

2018 takes PTSG into our second decade of operation. We are now in a stronger position than at any other time in our brief history. This is clearly illustrated by our turnover of £60million in the last year alone, with a further 650 industry experts employed to service our rapidly growing customer base – with aspirations to achieve £100million turnover and 1,000-strong workforce by the end of 2018.

Acquisitions adding value

In September 2017, we consolidated our fully comprehensive fire services division with the acquisition of UK Sprinklers Ltd. (UKS). Based in Bury, UKS is a specialist in the installation of sprinkler systems. All of these businesses have seen tremendous growth since being integrated into PTSG, with UK Dry Risers Maintenance Ltd. growing by 37% in the six months following acquisition.

After acquiring Nottingham-based Nimbus Lightning Protection Ltd. at the start of 2017 and Brooke Edgeley (BEST), a lightning protection and steeplejack company based in Manchester, we can truly claim to be the leading provider of lightning protection of services and products, with centres of operation throughout the UK.

It is clear that carefully targeted acquisitions have proven key to our exponential growth over the past ten-plus years. Working in tandem with the strong organic growth that we continue to experience as a result of our high-value service and repeat business, we have created a robust business model and a powerful formula that pays dividends to our investors.

Reorganisation

The demands of the industry have, over the last year, helped us to shape a stronger, more sustainable business that will enable even greater growth. We now offer the following four discrete but complementary business divisions:

  • Access & Safety
  • Electrical Services
  • Building Access Specialists
  • Fire Solutions

This structure allows us to provide a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary service, driving the value we offer and giving our clients a measurable commercial advantage.

Our reorganisation is complete, and we are already building on our previous offering to the FM industry, with four new, distinct but complementary divisions. Our original principle was to be the complete provider of engineered solutions; this remains true more than ten years on, but that provision is now larger and benefits even more customers.

Looking forward to a bright and profitable future

The FM industry needs reliable service providers that can guarantee a quality end product, provide a rapid response to every call, wherever the location, and are a pleasure to work with – with strong relationships with key industry names. PTSG has proven time and time again it can do all of this for less. We are up to 40% cheaper than our competitors, while retaining a 30% margin. That’s a winning formula for our customers and shareholders alike.

We now look ahead to 2018 with great anticipation, and the opportunity to serve a greater diversity of customers.

Insight – Issue twentysix

PTSG takes great pride in its reputation as a business that develops strong and longstanding partnerships with organisations it does business with. It is this partnership working ethos that has helped the Group achieve the success it enjoys today. Here we take a look at some of the partnerships that have blossomed in the company’s time as a specialist service provider:

UNITE

A shining example of PTSG’s partnership working philosophy is its exceptional working relationship with UNITE Students. PTSG currently carries out servicing works for UNITE Students twice a year across all of its portfolio of buildings. The servicing contract includes dry riser, wet riser and sprinkler systems. The team has worked on UNITE’s sites for the last five years and has recently been awarded a new contract to continue providing these services.

PTSG enjoys a great relationship with UNITE’s planned maintenance team, which it works closely with to gain access and knowledge of the nationwide portfolio of sites the team works on. As well as dry and wet riser services, PTSG also provides a vast range of specialist services to UNITE’s entire portfolio, acting not only as supplier, but also as compliance manager, delivery partner and technical and training advisor.

M&S

PTSG was originally commissioned by Marks & Spencer PLC (M&S) to carry out fall arrest testing at a handful of the retailer’s stores. Following continued successful delivery, PTSG now delivers a wide range of services across more than 400 stores nationwide.

The trust developed between the two teams has led to PTSG now providing 24/7, 365 days a year services to M&S, a sure sign of the positive impression PTSG has made on one of the UK’s leading retailers.

As part of this contract, PTSG works on a four to 72-hour call out, providing 24/7, 365 days a year services. Its national coverage ensures it is able to achieve what is required by M&S should the need arise, subsequently providing industry leading services to ensure the on-going operation of the assets.

Both M&S and PTSG have a great tradition of team spirit with everyone working together. This is a collaboration that relies upon utmost professionalism and one which cannot fall down at any stage. It is this collaborative approach that makes this a prime example of partnership working within the retail facilities management sector.

Others

PTSG continues to work in harmony with a range of organisations across a variety of business sectors. In the healthcare sector, PTSG has partnered with FM company Mitie, initially undertake lightning protection systems surveying and testing work at 376 NHS sites across the UK on behalf of MITIE. However, having been pleased with the initial work undertaken, the portfolio of work was extended to 625 sites.

Following a successful replacement of two building maintenance units (BMUs) by PTSG’s London-based Access and Safety division, Integral Cradles Ltd, the company has been awarded a five-year ongoing maintenance contract with JLL to look after the equipment for its lifespan. The partnership the team has developed with HSBC and its building partner has led to the Access and Safety division now being responsible for the whole access portfolio at 8 Canada Square, and is a further testament to the team’s expertise.

Insight – Issue twentyfive

PTSG has an excellent track record as an employer and continues to work hard to look after its staff in many different ways. The group is proud of its self-motivated, driven and committed leadership team which works to deliver the best quality service to all of our customers.

Keeping employees happy in their work is always a priority for PTSG. A happy workforce makes a happy business, and we achieve this by investing time in our teams, developing their skills and knowledge and making sure they feel valued in their roles.

We are constantly looking for ways to thank and recognise/reward our teams all over the country for their exceptional work, whether that is through a day out for all 450 employees, or monthly prizes for those who go the extra mile to provide brilliant customer service.

We also ensure every employee has a clear understanding of the part they play in the company’s success, so that for many of our members of our team, wider business goals become personal goals as well. We recently did a feedback request to make sure all our team are happy with the business. The feedback came back as 70% of the team have been with us for more than eight years, and 97% of our team is either satisfied or very satisfied with their experience at the company.

Insight – Issue twentyfour

BIFM’s Procurement Special Interest Group (SIG) has published a new guidance note to help facilities management companies understand statutory compliance across procurement projects. Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) is actively supporting these guidelines by ensuring that the recommendations are fully integrated into the business, continuing its efforts to strive for best practice at all times.

The BIFM SIG supports the organisation’s members by producing such guidance notes and good practice guides, sharing knowledge and debating best practice in order to help drive the FM industry forward.

This compliance document highlights key information facilities managers need to understand in the procurement process, to ensure that all facilities and FM supply chain facilities remain statutorily compliant in areas such as legislation and resource management.

PTSG has always aimed to help make procurement for its FM clients simple and more reliable, and achieves this by offering a wide range of niche specialist services ‘under one roof’. This unique approach to bundling services reduces costs within the supply chain and streamlines the procurement process, enabling works to be carried out more quickly and to a higher standard – as well as saving clients the time, effort and cost of procuring each service separately.

As part of its operating model PTSG invests heavily in the training and development of its teams in all aspects of best practice, to make sure they are always inspired and equipped with the skills they need to provide the outstanding service the company name has become synonymous with.

In its short 10-year history, the Group has received more than 120 individual accreditations from a host of bodies, covering all matters of health and safety, staff engagement, employability and sustainability.

The company has also been recognised for its outstanding commitment to safety with the award of a Gold Medal at the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards 2017. The relentless pursuit of excellence in workplace health and safety has also seen it receive six consecutive International Safety Awards from the British Council.

Peter Brogan, BIFM Research and Information Manager said: “FM professionals can use this Guidance Note as a reference point for their work within procurement supply chain management and to ensure they are compliant with industry guidelines. What’s more, this publication can also help FM professionals achieve great results across their existing procurement process, by following industry advice about better investment and resource management.”

Insight – Issue twentytwo

We are pleased to announce that we have extended our service offering to encompass the installation and maintenance of sprinkler systems through the acquisition of UK Sprinklers Ltd. (UKS).

UKS, based in Bury, is a specialist in the installation of sprinkler systems. Mike Charlton and Steven Griffiths of UKS will remain with the Group and work with PTSG’s management team to grow and expand the acquired business as part of the PTSG family.

This latest acquisition follows PTSG’s acquisition of UK Dry Risers Ltd. and UK Dry Risers Maintenance Ltd. in July 2016. With this new capability added to its fire services provision, the company is now able to offer a complete fire safety solution for new and existing customers across the UK.

Paul Teasdale, CEO of PTSG, said: “We warmly welcome UKS to the PTSG group. The business is well established and respected in the UK and their addition to the Group expands our fire solutions service offering. We look forward to working with Mike and Steven and their colleagues on growing the business and expanding the Group’s activities in these key areas.”

Insight – Issue twentyone

From a standing start in 2007, PTSG has now become the UK’s leading provider of niche specialist services to the facilities management industry.

Our first acquisition was of an access and safety company, National Cradle Maintenance Limited, in 2007, which was funded by £0.9 million of equity from the founders. Since then, 21 further acquisitions have been funded through a combination of outside funding and internally generated cash flows.

One of the key generators of our growth has been the cross selling of services into our respective customer bases, and this will continue to be part of our strategy going forward.

Originally created to fill a gap in the market for demand for a specialist business offering niche services, PTSG has since become the UK’s foremost provider of specialist services.

This business continues to grow, most recently with the acquisition of BEST, a privately owned market-leading company specialising in lightning protection, specialist earthing, surge protection and steeplejack services.

As a national provider with four locations and established relationships with a range of blue-chip clients, this acquisition substantially enhances PTSG’s leading position in the lightning protection market, and follows our stated strategy to be the market leader in our chosen areas of operation.

As the company continues to grow we will continue to deliver based on our business philosophy of delivering well and delivering safely. This will be done by strengthening resources where necessary, targeting planned investment and maintaining a tight control on budgets.

Even as we enjoy rapid growth, PTSG remains at the forefront of the industry, and as facilities management continues to evolve, we evolve with it.