The Service & Maintenance Specialist of the Year award recognises the service and maintenance providers that come to the rescue when it’s most needed.
Whether it’s efficiently carrying out PPMs or ensuring high first-time fix rates, such organisations are the unsung heroes of the kitchen industry.
We are delighted to announce that the 2019 shortlist includes the following companies:
Acme Facilities Group
With an 80-strong nationwide team of engineers to call upon, Acme Facilities Group has been able to provide critical 24-hour support to a wide range of customers, including hospitals, food outlets and manufacturers. Having transitioned to a new service management IT system, Acme has been able to improve the utilisation of its engineers and vehicles due to advanced scheduling and engineer live tracking capabilities. As a result, it has been able to complete 20% more jobs per day and achieve a 30% saving in fuel costs. The addition of an asset management offer alongside its contracts has also provided a boost for high-profile multi-site clients by enabling it to keep track of their equipment estate and support upcoming capital replacements.
Aggora, which is now a trading division of Bunzl, has grown its service arm, Aggora Technical, in the past year and it remains the company’s largest division. A focus on expanding its engineering resources has been supported by the roll-out of a new in-house training and development scheme so that it can provide the very best expertise nationally. All of Aggora Technical’s PPM programmes are now completed electronically so that clients receive instant reporting following an investment to make its service operations fully digital. It also offers a complimentary bespoke asset management tool, which has been enhanced by the development of an app designed to host its asset connectivity platform as well as an energy efficiency module.
A holistic approach to service and maintenance has helped Airedale Group secure a raft of new clients and expand its business with existing chains. The company has recruited a number of new staff into its service division in Weymouth over the past year, adding further strength to a 90-plus strong technical team that can provide round-the-clock support to multi-site clients. Awards from pub and restaurant group customers reflect its investment in in-house training and personnel, which includes bringing new apprentices into its service department. All this has been done with one eye on the environment: CO2 emissions from its 80-strong van fleet are down by 50,000kg a year thanks to the use of fuel monitoring technology.
Dual investment in equipment and personnel, coupled with an increase in new clients, has powered Crystaltech to 45% turnover growth in the past year. It now makes approximately 4,000 service visits per month with a nationwide team of just over 60 fully qualified engineers. A recent investment to add an extra £285,000 worth of van stocks for specific manufacturers has significantly increased first-time fix rates and reduced the need for second visits. Its category expertise has also seen it employed by a large retailer to develop a solution for tea and coffee tannins that traditional warewashing chemicals struggle to remove. It has subsequently created a unique process that deals with both grease and tannins in one treatment.
Kent Catering Service
Installation of a growing level of quality kitchen equipment over the past 12 months has spurred growth in the areas of service and maintenance for Kent Catering Service. Response times of just one to two hours in some cases and a relentless focus on achieving a first-time fix has endeared it to customers with operations in Kent and the surrounding counties. Clients such as the University of Kent, The King’s School Enterprises, Kent & Medway NHS sites, Shepherd Neame, Amey, Kier Group and Skanska are all businesses that regard KCS as a true one-stop-shop. It is now maintaining around 2,000 sites, with one location entrusting it to service more than 1,500 separate appliances.
A six-figure investment in a Smart Service management system has delivered huge benefits by allowing Marren to provide customers with a complete overview of their estate, general condition of equipment and service status. All 56 of its vans have been upgraded and customised over the last 12 months, while significantly combi oven giant Rational has been added to its portfolio. Engineers are now trained at its Northampton HQ by an in-house trainer who is only one of three in the UK to be approved by Rational. And in a first for the industry, Marren has invested in smart glasses for its engineers, which means managers can see exactly what an engineer is looking at in real-time and provide support.
The 2019 FEJ Awards ceremony and gala dinner takes place on Tuesday 4 June, the first evening of the Commercial Kitchen show, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.