Peace of mind for Ringley as we move into Winter 2018-2019
About The Ringley Group
Founded 21 years ago by Mary-Anne Bowring, Ringley started as a lettings office in London. It has since grown covering a national footprint, and offering an entire service of property management including conveyancing, legal services, chartered surveying and even an engineering department.
Managing just over 300 residential and commercial sites, with more than 65,000 residents means endless calls for the company. Its facilities managers deal effectively with a plethora of issues from on-site security to health and safety – sewage.
Winter gritting – working with De-Ice
In preparation for the 2018 winter season, the FM team at Ringley decided that the time had come to outsource gritting and risk management services across some of the company’s key sites – specifically those with car parks and site entrances/exits – being accessed via private roads.
Previously winter gritting was managed through individual property managers on each site, local cleaning companies or the site director – who would be responsible for shovelling salt from grit bins.
Neil Tilley, facilities manager at Ringley, said: “Relying on people who may not have the understanding of when, how and where to use salt is clearly not as effective as using an outsourced gritting provider. Given our portfolio has grown significantly in recent years, we felt the time had come to improve and invest in our winter maintenance service.”
After researching various possibilities, the team at Ringley realised that the best option was to hire a well-experienced company to take on the responsibility. This would help to ensure sites remained safe and accessible at all times.
Following a full tender process, the FM team selected De-ice, due to the difference in the quality of service, as well as the company’s comprehensive response and reporting.
Neil, added: “You just could not compare De-ice with the other providers we met with. They stood out head and shoulders when it came to the overall quality, indicating that they would be truly willing to go that extra mile when needed.
“Already we have seen some cold weather to start the winter season, and a number of sites in the Ringley portfolio have been serviced. And we have been impressed by the level of work so far.”
Drayton Garden Village site
One key site for Ringley is Drayton Garden Village in Uxbridge, covering an area of just under 98,000m2 – with more than 800 properties.
Neil Tilley: “Previously it would take one man all day to grit Drayton Park, making sure all exits, entrances and car parks remained clear. Now that De-Ice has taken this on, the site is covered quickly and seamlessly, and we feel confident that this site will receive the best possible service for the season ahead.”
Confidence in the service
Ringley recently had feedback from the AGM at Drayton Park with one residents stating that: “The new gritting service means that they now feel far safer driving on the roads into the park, especially with children in the car.”
Neil: “At the end of the day, our job is making sure that the people coming on and off our sites, whether residential or commercial feel safe and properly looked after.
“De-Ice has been consistently open and professional. Their mapping of the sites was excellent and the system is well communicated and easy to understand. And, we are provided with notifications of weather alerts. Knowing De-ice’s parameters of service also gives me peace of mind that I know when they will be out on the various sites.
“I feel confident that De-ice will deliver every time, particularly going into this winter, which could very well be another harsh one. Their customer care has been brilliant from enquiry right through to servicing. And for the quality and consistency we have experienced it is definitely the best value for money.”
Vicky Lopez, director at De-ice, added: “After the experiences of last winter, people are naturally very concerned when it comes to ensuring the safety of their sites. Ringley is an example of one company taking a proactive approach and we will do all we can to maintain the high levels of service expected of us as we move into Winter 2018-19.”
Visteon Engineering Services relies on De-Ice to provide a comprehensive winter risk management programme
Visteon Engineering Services, a subsidiary of the Visteon Corporation, develops and engineers car components. The company leads the field in areas including: electronics, software and design, and works with some of the main global car manufacturers.
With facilities in 29 countries, Visteon operates from two UK sites – in Chelmsford, Essex (the European headquarters), and Coventry. Across these two facilities, 320 people are employed.
Visteon Engineering Services and Halla Visteon UK (with climate control, heating and ventilation) operate from Chelmsford – employing around 320 people.
Winter risk management
When it comes to issues of winter risk management, Visteon has worked with De-ice, one of the UK’s longest established and leading winter gritting and snow clearance specialist service providers, for the last seven years.
De-ice grits Visteon’s car park (with 175 spaces), along with all entrances and exits and a pathway running between the two sites for Visteon Engineering Services and Halla Visteon. The aim of the service is to ensure that the site is made safe and accessible for staff, visitors and suppliers.
Prior to establishing this contract, Visteon ran its own maintenance team, which managed the winter gritting. Chris Bennett, facilities manager at Visteon, comments: “We had a small maintenance team and limited equipment, so in times of heavy snow, for example, we knew we wouldn’t be in a strong position. We did contemplate the requirement for purchasing heavier duty equipment, but realised this would constitute a heavy investment, and one that we may not recoup for a considerable amount of time. We couldn’t base the investment on the expected number of times the equipment may be used.
“We were also impressed by the accurate weather forecasting technology used by De-ice, to ensure that service only happens when the correct triggers are set off.”
Health and safety is paramount
Visteon has a rigorous health and safety policy. During periods of bad weather, the company circulates a mailer to all staff, warning them of the precautions needed to be taken.
If there is ever a question over whether service should happen – De-ice will make contact with Visteon to agree if this should or shouldn’t take place.
Chris Bennett added: “Last winter was a mild one, but – as ever – we felt reassured that De-ice would do the job needed.
“The company never fails to provide the best levels of service, and – given our stringent health and safety procedures – we continually feel reassured by how we are looked after during periods of adverse weather.”
Mark Lopez, managing director at De-ice, added: “We have worked with Visteon for some time now, and understand the importance of the service we provide. The company employs a large number of high profile technicians and project managers, which operate internationally – managing global teams. Equally large numbers of people come to work for the company from overseas – people not used to severe weather – we need to ensure the car park and entrances are as safe and accessible as possible.
“Visteon has recently appointed us to run a gritting and snow clearance service next winter – 2014-15, and we look forward to continuing our service.”
Colchester General Hospital and Essex County appoint gritting specialist, De-Ice, to ensure safety on site at all times
Thousands of people visit their local hospital every year either as patients or as visitors. The buildings are in constant use, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The task of keeping the hospital not just open, but operational and fully functioning during harsh winters is of immense importance.
When the UK experiences extreme wintry weather, it is vital that hospitals not only have contingency plans in place to deal with the issue of safety but they should also have expert advice and plans in place from a specialist gritting and snow clearing contractor.
Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital
Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital have recently appointed De-Ice, one of the UK’s longest established and leading winter gritting and snow clearance specialists.
During the 2012-13 winter, the Trust used the services of De-Ice for ad-hoc, reactive support when they wanted a more comprehensive service during severe weather.
Out of season, they contacted De-Ice to provide a quote for a fixed price contract during the winter 2013-14 period.
The contract covers all car parks, road ways and pathways – ensuring the gritting and snow clearance take place.
Prior to the contract starting, the Trust provided De-Ice with maps of the hospitals, and – working with the estates team – De-Ice created a comprehensive winter maintenance plan.
David Hansford, senior team leader in the estates team for Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, comments: “In 2012-13, we used De-Ice on an ad-hoc basis during extreme weather conditions, and they always provided an excellent service. As a result, we have taken up a proactive fixed contract in 2013-14 to ensure that our site is safe at all times throughout the year whatever the weather.
“Gritting Colchester General Hospital is no mean feat; the site covers a radius of 2.5 miles and there are many pathways, roadways and car parks in the hospital grounds. We don’t have the time or the resource to dedicate to watching the weather, or the equipment on site to deal with extreme weather conditions. It is reassuring to know that De-Ice is managing all our requirements, and keeping our staff, patients, colleagues and visitors safe from harm. We can therefore focus our efforts on other important areas of running a hospital.”
Vicky Lopez, co-founder and director at De-Ice, adds: “Cold weather, snow and ice can be the cause of slips and trips. Getting to and from a hospital in snowy conditions puts staff, patients and visitors at risk. All of these issues mean that hospitals need to ensure their health and safety practices are 100 per cent thorough and well-thought out.
“With over 15 years’ experience in providing winter maintenance solutions, De-Ice uses the latest gritting equipment, expertly trained operatives and highly accurate weather forecasting to ensure that hospitals and business are kept operational and free from snow and ice.
“Reliability is key to our success as a business and our clients can rest assured that we will always be on site when the weather dictates, and that the machinery, operatives and materials we use are always of the highest standard. We look forward to working closely with Colchester General Hospital over the next few years to keep their car parks and pathways safe for anyone coming on site.”