Re-Pointing – Driving Performance via New Technology

Albeit re-pointing is not sexy, engaging or for that matter interesting to the majority of the UK population, there are some real enthusiasts (I’m a right laugh on a night out!).

The development of the re-pointing process and planning of our business is critical to Gun-point North East as it is for most companies, that require non-chargeable hours to operate.

So I’ll give you the pre-technology issues, which, granted are not huge in the grand scheme of day to day running but are a necessity and significant enough to warrant action. As I said before the process of re-pointing is not complicated, nor does it take a genius to figure out how it works! However, there are needs for consideration, common sense, methodology, and consciousness of the environment. Our main issue on site was staff! Not performance or capability, but more staffing for operational management, identifying liability, additional costings, development of staff, and site management efficiencies. All with the potential of costing us a small fortune if not managed right, agreed? Great!

Now the timing of the works on a housing scheme for our client didn’t provoke the thought of developing a more meanable working function tool but did emphasise the need for one. And here’s where the minefield of technology and confusing words and fear of all things new, crept in.

We needed to really make sure our potential provider, understood us and our needs. Would the possible technology work? How long would it take to train the operatives and relevant people? Having limited knowledge of providers and available technology, we set off into the abyss of  IT, weird words, and t-shirts with political opinions on them.

Inquires via Google searching provided several possible options, speaking to other businesses, colleagues, and friends opened a few more doors. After several meeting and presentations and breakdowns! We finally found our fit.

By far the best-suited company for our needs. We settled on a product called Ctrl-hub an operational management tool, currently used by the gas sector, to manage jobs, staff, assets, plant, equipment and people. Within weeks we were trained and fully operational, to be honest, a relatively seamless and secure process. The Ctrl-hub team were great, training and use of the system is very clear; even the more senior lads are happy to use the system.

We can now work with confidence and clarity. We know where all our people are, what they are qualified to carry out. If we need to update, train, or renew anything, such as a qualification, MOT or Pat Testing equipment. Site Managers to Health and Safety executives can log on and check all our staff, job status, to make sure we are up to date with programmes, H&S, etc. The most significant area of wins was the ability to reduce liability. All sites and properties had photos taken, before and after which even negated a claim against the client for damage on a site. All people were up to date and qualified, all equipment is certified, and all live sites were safe and managed.

IMO there are so many benefits to the way we work now. We can evidence, time, and production to anyone. The platform is a Google-provided interface, which means it’s simple and relatively well known to our staff and clients.

Initially, we noticed increases in our productivity through real-time prevention. We are capable of solving issues from the office, saving time and travel. We have even ticked more boxes with the paperless system means time sheets, toolbox talks, job signing offs, plans, etc. are all online via bespoke tailored forms.

My final and key benefit point is the reassurance we can provide, to the client, increasing reassurances and reducing the liability or exposure to them.  I honestly think that this type of technology is the way forward, and provides the smaller guys with a robust evidential platform to spring themselves into a stronger and more profitable future.

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