Improving the working environment
Derby-based Tidyco, a trusted supplier, installer and on-going maintenance provider of complete HVAC systems, here talks to Andy Leather regarding a recent project to install Space-Ray radiant heating systems within the commercial premises of Adey Steel.
Hi Andy, what first prompted you towards the necessity of undertaking a radiant heating system design and installation project throughout your commercial property?
Adey Steel had tasked me with project managing efficiency gains and working improvements throughout the organisation, forming part of a year long University internship.
Upon implementing an overall facilities management analysis, I discovered that many of the manufacturing plants heating systems had become redundant, using outdated tech. In some cases, units had completely failed.
Whilst aware of a need to update radiant heating units so as to form part of a larger environmental and efficiency saving initiative, I was also empathetic towards the needs of employees working within very cold conditions. This was having a negative impact on the morale of our staff.
I did some research and discovered Tidyco through online channels. Delving deeper into company records, I found out that Adey Steel had utilised the services of Tidyco on previous HVAC requirements.
I invited three companies to tender and Tidyco scored the highest, demonstrating exceptional project management prowess, solutions based service offerings whilst being sensitive to price. These key differentiations were further reinforced by an overall consideration for Adey Steel’s wider CSR objectives.
What approach did Tidyco Climate Control adopt to deliver an exceptional service provision?
Tidyco was thoroughly professional throughout the entire project and was sensitive to our needs. Adey Steel was provided with dedicated account management and David Hithersay was always on-hand to answer any queries or provide reports regarding working status.
The project was stringently planned but what impressed me most was Tidyco’s ability to be both flexible and re-active throughout the journey.
The initial system design was created so as to accommodate for complexities within the working space, noticeably; overhanging lifting units, ceiling girders and hanging lighting systems. Of course; through a process of adaptation and creative problem solving, the final design was very much different to the first, displaying David’s ability to react, adapt and evolve.
When on-site, Tidyco engineers were friendly and courteous at all times. Important, was the ability for the Tidyco team to work at Weekends so as to minimise working disruption for Adey Steel.
The project was a four phase process, carefully managed via sophisticated Gantt software with emergency procedures set so as to accommodate delay or unforeseen abnormalities.
What were the benefits of capitalising upon a collaborative approach between Adey Steel, Tidyco and Space-Ray?
It was a fantastic experience to approach the project in such a collaborative manner. David had great relations with Damien Oakley, managing director for Space-Ray and was able to source a product robust and reliable enough to deliver Adey Steels requirements.
We effectively became our own team and I recommend other businesses to adopt this approach when undertaking large installation work. We shared our objectives and all had a desire to ensure that the end result was a complete success.
Entwining end user, installer and supplier into one singular team really does support efficient planning, flexible working practice whilst encouraging an open channel of communication.
Were you confronted with any particular challenges throughout the project?
Certainly, such a large project is always going to present challenges. The biggest challenge to overcome was completing a highly complex installation within an extremely tight time-frame.
Height was also an issue. The radiant heating system was to be installed very high up with plenty of physical objects to overcome.
Inevitably, there was risk of possible disruption to Adey Steel workflow and productivity.
Not to be overlooked was the need to remain within budget. Facilities management needs to report all expenditure to Board level whilst justifying projects and demonstrating long term efficiencies.
How were these challenges overcome?
Again, challenges were overcome through some fantastic team collaboration. Being flexible regarding design and installation processes empowered the most appropriate solution whilst accommodating hanging space complexities.
Tidyco engineers were willing to work unsociable hours so as to minimise disruption, which proved to be highly beneficial. Working Weekends also allowed the installation work to be completed extremely quickly due to less personnel and risk within the working area. This allowed the project to be completed on time and within budget.
How beneficial is the Cyber Essentials secured Tidyco online portal?
The secure cloud based Tidyco portal is quite simply, fantastic! It really is a useful application which allows the client to manage their contract by easily requesting maintenance visits, viewing invoices, obtaining quotes, tracking asset life cycle whilst eliminating the necessity to make a phone call.
The fact that all Tidyco online platforms are cyber secured to the Government fuelled Cyber Essentials certification provides clients with added peace of mind regarding maximum protection of commercially sensitive data.
Do you envisage long term efficiency benefits from the installation?
Since project completion in March 2017, I have measured a radiant efficiency increase of 30%, long term gains look extremely encouraging.
As part of the overall project, Tidyco has implemented a three year maintenance plan to ensure that all units continue to run at optimal efficiency.
I think that the important thing to remember is the benefit the installation has provided Adey Steel employees. The manufacturing team now work within a much more comfortable environment which not only enhances morale but also tangibly increases productivity.
Has the overall design and installation contributed to your environmental credentials?
Certainly, the installation coincided with a project to upgrade all lighting to an environmentally friendlier LED solution.
Adey Steel has recently invested in a brand new, highly efficient fleet of vehicles as well as conducting extensive re-roofing works, all of which plays an important role in the groups overall environmental initiatives.
So far, has the project met with your preliminary objectives?
The installation of radiant heating solutions has been a complete success. The physical installation within a complex room space went extremely smoothly. The ability to measure significant efficiency gains in such a short space of time bodes well for longer term benefits.
Importantly, employee morale has dramatically improved. The feedback from our manufacturing team has been exceptional, all saying how much more comfortable their daily working climate is, which all supports increased productivity and output. This in itself demonstrates tangible efficiency gains.