Day 5 (15 May 2020)

Welcome to the fifth and final report, on a topic that is related to our work, that is associated with the theme of World FM Day 2020.

Compliance = efficiency, safety and environmentally responsible

Compliance is a legal requirement in many areas of facilities management and when organisations such as PTSG deliver specialist compliance services for their customers, the benefits go far beyond simply satisfying regulatory standards.

A large proportion of PTSG’s work includes compliance in the four market sectors in which we operate: Access & Safety, Electrical Services, High-Level Cleaning and Reparations and Fire Solutions. This means we have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the many and varied issues involved with protecting people, property and places.

We ensure organisations adhere to the latest regulations so their buildings operate at optimal efficiency, from the intrinsic electrical wiring to fire suppression systems to access systems for safe and efficient building maintenance – a multitude of other systems and equipment in between. We also offer legislative and technical support in addition to specialist services and equipment, helping to ensure strict compliance in all areas.

Compliance in action: PTSG’s partnership with Engie

PTSG has a long history of partnering with other organisations, working collaboratively to supply one or more specialist service and ensure full compliance. We have created long-standing relationships with well-known high street brands including Marks & Spencer and Jaguar Land Rover as well as large first-tier providers of services to the construction and FM sectors such as Skanska, Mitie and Engie. This has resulted in a number of PFM Partnership Awards, including two wins in 2018 for Partners in Corporate (Private Sector) and Achievement in Facilities Technology (for our proprietary software system Clarity) – underlining our success in partnering.

PTSG’s partnership with Engie goes back to 2014, when we united with the global energy and services group and the operators of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to establish a unique collaborative culture for the delivery of routine fixed wire testing throughout the site.

Following a rigorous, competitive process, PTSG was awarded the entirety of the electrical works to carry out planned and reactive fixed wire testing. The project included:

  • testing in 17 individual areas from car parks through to critical care departments;
  • the comprehensive electrical testing of around 15,000 electrical circuits in compliance with BS7631; and
  • the deployment of testing teams ranging from one to nine engineers (with a minimum requirement of two in mental health facilities on the site).

Our specialists had to identify innovative ways of testing the infrastructure, which is conventionally completed using a range of live and dead load testing. In areas of the hospital administering critical care, dead load testing was not an option without substantial and unthinkable consequences and the PTSG and Engie teams worked with the stakeholder group to identify, plan and undertake compliant live load testing of infrastructure as an alternative.

At the time, Terry Venables, head of FM at Engie, summarised the partnership as: “a team which has developed a strategy in accordance with the ultimate client and its customers. The relationship is seamless in delivering the works in a difficult, controlled and busy environment. I am incredibly proud of its work and would like to thank PTSG for its meticulous planning, in-depth understanding and quality of delivery.”

Subsequent projects in which PTSG has partnered with Engie are:

  • The Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, covering St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, as well as Charing Cross Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital. PTSG provided a wide range of specialist services including fixed-wire testing, lightning protection services, portable appliance testing and fall arrest testing to ensure the safety of all site users, whether these be staff, patients or maintenance teams.
  • Liverpool Central Library, where PTSG supplied specialist access maintenance work on site in March 2018.
  • Emergency services sites in Wales, including fixed wire testing (valid for five years to comply with regulations) and emergency light testing (required every 12 months) at two hospitals and a police stations.
  • Newcastle Council – a major 40-year contract. Beginning in 2018, PTSG will continue to carry out a range of specialist services to ensure all sites comply with regulations.

Day 4 (14 May 2020)

Welcome to the fourth in a series of five reports, on a topic that is related to our work, that is associated with the theme of World FM Day 2020.

Environmentalism and FM

It is pleasing that environmentalism and sustainability are being taken so seriously by a growing number of organisations and are now accepted as part of the scope of projects in facilities management. Customers are also including sustainability within their buying criteria.

The more proactive companies are developing processes that put sustainability at the starting point of a project, rather than simply reducing waste or recycling materials during or at the end of works.

Emissions on site equate to cost. Therefore reducing emissions reduces costs and has a positive effect on the commercial and environmental bottom line. The addition of a fully accredited carbon offset programme means companies can deliver environmental and social benefits for local as well as international communities.

A robust carbon management programme is a statement of intent, with a benchmark from which to base all future emission reduction activities. It’s the point from which companies can set clear and considered targets, create a framework from which to facilitate and manage these activities and to report the ongoing results.

A cost/reward analysis of the programme can be very valuable as this ensures resources are used most effectively, and decisions are made based on data analysis and case study findings rather than generic figures which may not accurately apply to a company’s specific requirements.

So, in order to achieve real world sustainability we must consider more than just the commercials. If something is profitable but not a positive for environment or society, then it isn’t sustainable.

The term ‘the triple bottom line’ was coined by John Elkington in 1994 and takes into account the ecological and social performance achieved by an organisation in addition to financial performance. Looking at the economic reasons for the move to sustainable FM, large cost savings can be made by establishing a robust and effective energy-management policy.

Taking a comprehensive approach to facilities requires top-level leadership and an understanding that all facility aspects (from mechanical to maintenance) can be improved through a stronger environmental approach.

Sustainably operated buildings have a healthier, more productive environment, with better employee attraction/retention and less absenteeism. Ultimately the facilities industry is about people. Results, therefore, require continual investment in technical and behavioural training and improved communication.

Day 3 (13 May 2020)

Happy World FM Day 2020! Welcome to the third in a series of five reports, on a topic that is related to our work, that is associated with the theme of World FM Day 2020.

Clarity makes PTSG’s working practices more efficient and environmentally friendly

Clarity is PTSG’s proprietary software system that provides engineers with everything they need to do their job as safely and efficiently as possible, via mobile devices and cloud-based technology. It is also the office-based administrative system that provides comprehensive group-wide resource planning and customer relationship management functionality and an easily accessible platform for clients and staff to log requests and view real-time information on jobs and accounts.

Ultimately, Clarity was introduced to improve organisational performance. We invested considerable time and technology to testing and perfecting the system, built by our own in-house developers, and the fruits of that investment are now being reaped.

The Clarity system is intuitive – from the time a purchase order is generated (in just two clicks of a mouse) to when the job is completed and invoiced, all processes and ‘paperwork’ are automatic. And because all paperwork is actually electronic, the burden on the environment is virtually non-existent.

Clarity is responsive and can be accessed on any device. As a result, it uses sat-nav technology for tracking jobs and relaying information. This goes way beyond communicating the location of an engineer – it relays the current road conditions, calculating an accurate ETA for both office and client. This enables work to be scheduled more effectively and contingency arrangements to be made if any problems arise with a journey. This feature has saved PTSG’s engineers vast amounts of time on the road, reducing fuel usage and emissions as a result.

In 2014, when the development of Clarity was first considered, PTSG had just experienced its seventh year of successive growth, coupled with an increasing contract renewal rate. Clearly the company’s business model was working well, but it needed to be future-proofed.

Clarity has been built to provide clients with an outstanding level of service, speeding up the time it takes for work to be completed, allowing almost instant delivery of certificates and remedial quotations, and helping PTSG’s team to offer tailored value-added services by predicting exactly what the client needs and when. It is fully scalable so that as PTSG continues to grow, Clarity continues support it now and well into the future.

Day 2 (12 May 2020)

Welcome to the second in a series of five reports, on a topic that is related to our work, that is associated with the theme of World FM Day 2020.

Safety in the workplace

Since PTSG launched 13 years ago, the safety of our people and everyone else that comes into contact with our work has been our most important consideration. Much of our work is safety-critical, being undertaken at height, involving electrical systems or other potentially hazardous equipment. That’s why we were one of the first organisations of our kind to employ a full-time department dedicated to health, safety and the environment (HSE).

Our proactive approach was recognised by the industry at an early stage in our operation and earlier this year we received a prestigious RoSPA Gold Medal, which signifies at least five consecutive RoSPA Golds. In PTSG’s case that total is eight consecutive gold commendations.

As the name of our HSE department indicates, our experts are dedicated not just to the health and safety of our people but to the preservation of the environment in which we operate.

This goes beyond a reduction of carbon emissions (enabled by a network of local specialists, which vastly reduces travel to sites) and recycling and repurposing equipment and materials. We are also conscious of the impact our work has on other people living or working close by. We always endeavour to work at times that cause the least possible noise and disturbance. We also use sound-proof barriers on site to reduce noise.

We go to these lengths because we care about the communities in which we work and want to promote considerate working. This goes hand in hand with our forward-thinking approach to mental health, ensuring our people, our customers and everyone affected by our work are an integral part of our plans.

PTSG’s leadership team has put a greater emphasis on improving access to internal support services, tackling stigma and discrimination, as well as focusing on prevention to improve the overall mental health state of the people working for the company.

In order to create a mentally healthy workplace, we have put in place a comprehensive strategy to help our people stay well at work, to tackle the root causes of work-related mental health problems and to support people who are experiencing a mental health problem.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of how serious we need to be in our approach to health and safety, which can make the difference between life and death. It has also underlined the importance of mental wellbeing, which will continue to be our priority, alongside physical wellbeing.

Day 1 (11 May 2020)

Welcome to our special week-long blog for World FM Day 2020, which takes place on 13th May. This year’s theme is Celebrating the Environment, so we’re pleased to make our first entry on local presence – which we achieve through our 29 UK office locations.

Local presence

PTSG has a policy of spending in the area local to each of its projects in order to contribute to that region’s economy and to help local people. It is well known that money spent locally has a multiplier effect; the local companies with whom we spend put that money back into the local community, thus circulating that money and allowing the community to thrive. As a large company with a local presence in many different areas around the UK, we know we have a duty to do this – and it makes for a better environment in which to work and live.

Companies with a strong local presence, such as PTSG, have a positive effect on the environment, too. Being situated close to the project site reduces the amount of driving and the pollution created as a result.

We also strive to recycle as much of the material on site as possible. For example, if we are required to remove existing products or equipment, our first concern is whether they can be reconditioned or repurposed and used again elsewhere. Where this isn’t possible, we ensure all materials are recycled where possible.

PTSG is committed to achieving high standards of environmental performance in all aspects of its business activities, including complying with all relevant legislation and ISO standards. As part of this commitment we have focused on reducing key impacts in many significant areas such as waste management, energy reduction and carbon emissions.

We will continue to:

  • Measure and, where possible, reduce our impact on the environment.
  • Minimise the consumption of energy.
  • Measure and reduce our carbon footprint as part of the carbon reduction commitment.
  • Seek to reduce our waste and to recycle as much as possible.
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant environmental legislation and ISO certification.