UK-based SSS Management Services is growing its client base, backed by a reputation for flexible, scalable and service-led solutions.
The award-winning company, part of global surveillance technology expert Synectics, operates in two arenas: security and facilities management (FM), providing end-to-end management of 16,000 estates, for such recognised clients as WH Smith, Halfords and Saint Gobain.
The big-name trend has continued of late, with SSS taking on six new clients in recent months, including two FTSE100 companies.
Managing Director Iain Beadle said: “We are the interface between our customers and the supply chain, which is third party. We operate a help desk and an ARC which are conduit points that drive planned reactive maintenance, asset tracking and replacement for customers using that third party supply chain.
“We manage from first call the mobilisation and tracking of contractors, task completion, validation and audits of invoice, which is then sent through to the client. On PPMs we manage the schedules, the delivery and the compliance in that area for the customer. So effectively, we are a one-stop-shop for our customer base.”
Savings and customer relations
The company enjoys a number of long-term contracts, maintaining excellent relationships with these customers by staying attuned to the changes in the retail arena (a sector which currently accounts for the majority of its clients), and responding to their changing requirements.
SSS offers bespoke solutions tailored to the client’s specific needs, and these flexible solutions are readily adaptable to a company’s changing circumstances.
Beadle said: “If you’re a business that has an acquisition and suddenly bolts on properties, we can respond very quickly to requirements in that area. No single customer is the same. We don’t try and shoehorn customers into our processes. We take the customer requirement and look to flex in areas we can to make sure what a business wants is what we deliver.”
By cutting out the middle-men in the supply chain and offering independence from it, SSS is able to quote potential clients up to 20 percent savings.
“Because we are supplier-agnostic, we have a pool of contractors that are approved, so we have a great view in the UK of the best contractor match to good service,” said Beadle.
“The way we mobilise the contractor activity on site, then audit invoices, drives out any inefficiency, errors or mistakes. As an example, we reject 20 percent of all first-time invoices because of errors. What this means is the customer gets the job complete and realises savings that, we often find, exceed 20 percent.”
ARC and ICIS
SSS has two UK sites, including its Aylesford, Kent headquarters and a second facility in Bristol, a help desk from which it provides a dedicated resource managing 600,000 calls a year 24/7, 365 days a year. Annually, the centre deals with 150,000 incidents.
Beadle said: “If you’ve got a 1,000 site estate, if heating or ventilation goes for example, you ring this number, and effectively the rest is managed by us. It’s really a case of making the phone call and watching the reactive maintenance happen.”
The company’s Intelligent Customer Information System (ICIS) maintains an invaluable database of clients’ sites, asset registers and allocated contractors and provides the tool through which the help desk and account management teams can mobilise, track and audit site activity.
Added to this is the high-security, specialist Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), from which SSS monitors clients’ alarms. This offering includes a robust false alarm management process to prevent unnecessary callouts, protecting customer’s police response and consequently insurance premiums.
Despite its already strong offering, SSS is continuing to invest to further improve its services, firstly on the staff front. Ten new members of staff in nine months have bolstered its ranks of knowledgeable employees, and training is ever-more comprehensive, boosted by quarterly reviews and specialist computer packages.
The supply chain is another area that will receive capital. Beadle said: “There is an ongoing expansion of the supply chain to drive even better value for our customers and an expansion of services. That is a key operational objective this year.”
In the coming months and years, Beadle cited three key focus areas for SSS, each feeding a policy of “scalable growth”, namely sector-diversification, continued innovation in security technology, constant development of the ICIS tool and the maintenance of a quality client experience.
The diversification will see SSS continue to broaden its horizons away from its current retail-centricity into hospitality and logistics. Beadle also identified developing challenges for property management, including new energy legislation.
“There is a need to innovate and bring new services to the table for our customers. Energy and Building Management Systems are a good example,” he said.
Another area for innovation is technology-driven, including the rise of analytics, and security advancements like activation-driven CCTV. Through close relationships with other Synectics businesses and the group, SSS has its finger on the pulse of security R&D, enabling the business to adopt and adapt the latest technology for its customers.
But perhaps most importantly, the company will stay true to the tradition of superior customer service that has made it a force in the sector.
Beadle concluded: “We will keep focusing on customer service and engagement. FM is a huge multi-billion pound sector with a lot of very big players in it, but we don’t want to become enormous with hundreds of customers.
“We want to maintain our ability to deliver good service and not outgrow ourselves. We will aim for scalable growth that means our existing and new customers receive the service they deserve.”