Client profile

idVerde is a pan European provider of Grounds Maintenance and Winter Services. The UK division has, through reputation and excellence, built up an impressive portfolio of clients primarily in the public sector. As part of their offering, idVerde recently purchased a large winter services provider in Scotland with the intent to grow this into the remainder of the UK.

The service runs between between 1 October each year to the 31 March with the provision to extend to the end of April if required. Whilst the actual gritting service is seasonal, the idVerde sales team operates throughout the year ensuring that clients are prepared and have their processes in place well before the winter start date.

Since the initial provision of their winter services, id Verde have subsequently commissioned Clockwork IT to provide an automated service for their grounds maintenance division commencing with Westminster Council and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s requirements.

The challenge

Winter Services

In reviewing the operational practices, it was clear that idVerde inherited a process that was reliant upon the knowledge of a few key personnel. To obviate the reliance on these ‘key men’, idVerde needed to quickly move away from their operational processes that were largely based on personal Excel spreadsheets. The management team recognised that this spreadsheet approach was no longer viable or scalable for a multi-million pound business with designs on rapid expansion.

After reviewing Clockwork IT’s gritting software, the idVerde team realised that they could offer a better service by standardising their processes and being able to report, in much more detail, how this part of their business was performing.

Grounds Maintenance

In addressing the grounds maintenance process, due entirely to their rapid expansion in the public sector, each Council contract required days and weeks of planning to ensure  that each service is set up correctly, that the teams are mobilised and, due to the emphasis on Health and Safety whilst working with heavy machinery and power tools, that these teams are compliant in everything they do.

Due to the field based applications that Clockwork have provided to other clients, idVerde commissioned a model that can automate the initial planning exercise and then provide the teams with a tool that will significantly reduce the paperwork involved thereby allowing the work to be undertaken within the timescales set.

The challenge

Winter Services

In reviewing the operational practices, it was clear that idVerde inherited a process that was reliant upon the knowledge of a few key personnel. To obviate the reliance on these ‘key men’, idVerde needed to quickly move away from their operational processes that were largely based on personal Excel spreadsheets. The management team recognised that this spreadsheet approach was no longer viable or scalable for a multi-million pound business with designs on rapid expansion.

After reviewing Clockwork IT’s gritting software, the idVerde team realised that they could offer a better service by standardising their processes and being able to report, in much more detail, how this part of their business was performing.

Grounds Maintenance

In addressing the grounds maintenance process, due entirely to their rapid expansion in the public sector, each Council contract required days and weeks of planning to ensure  that each service is set up correctly, that the teams are mobilised and, due to the emphasis on Health and Safety whilst working with heavy machinery and power tools, that these teams are compliant in everything they do.

Due to the field based applications that Clockwork have provided to other clients, idVerde commissioned a model that can automate the initial planning exercise and then provide the teams with a tool that will significantly reduce the paperwork involved thereby allowing the work to be undertaken within the timescales set.

The solution

Winter Services

Using Clockwork IT’s existing gritting software, the management team concentrated on personalising the software for their particular needs. There were several key modifications that were necessary namely; the provision of a proposal commensurate with idVerde’s corporate approach, the provision of gritting bins and their maintenance/refilling, the automated provision of customer reports and the ability for the Senior Management team to view instantly the progress of the gritting service both operationally and financially.

Clockwork gave guidance and input into the initial proposal that then linked into the provision of a formal contract agreement, something that their existing process did not provide.

By adding key fields into the gritting software, both back office and field base mobile application and using our knowledge of equipment and stock management, it was a relatively simple process to incorporate a gritting bin provision and maintenance service idVerde’s requirements.

The main focus of the development however was to provide the senior management team to access the data on a real time, up to the minute basis. With financial  information being key, we created a web based, reporting suite that was easy to access, easy to read, and gave the team the information they required to effectively manage the business first hand.

Grounds Maintenance

In looking at the grounds maintenance process, Clockwork needed to fully understand the complexity of the initial planning process. A series of process meetings resulted in a simplified input exercise that could be applied across all disciplines that would result in a concatenated plan for each council contract that could then be implemented through the system.

In addressing the field-based operatives needs, a comprehensive review of the existing paperwork together with the rigorous demands of Health and Safety procedures was essential before Clockwork could build a user friendly application. By automating much of the paperwork completion, huge time savings were achieved together with a reliable, systematic approach to Health and Safety that prevented an operative from undertaking a job without the appropriate equipment.

  • After wrestling with several other systems for many years with varying degrees of success, we were recommended to contact Clockwork IT who had a reputation for delivering flexible, end to end systems. Under their guidance we have designed built and installed a 100% winter solution for our business.
    Jayne Page, National Programme Manager
  • Due to the strong management that we witnessed with the provision of the winter solution last year, we have commissioned the team at Clockwork to ‘work their magic’ on our grounds maintenance summer season requirements and we now look forward to going live in the Spring of 2020.
    Jayne Page, National Programme Manager

Ongoing benefits

In the winter season that idVerde undertook using the system, they quickly confirmed their opinion that several of their contracts were unprofitable. This has led to either a renegotiation of terms or exiting the relationship. As a result, there has been capacity to provide services to other clients that traditionally the old business could not cope with.

A key addition to the gritting service was the provision of a consistent, corporate approach to all clients. The sales team now have a tool that can create a quote easily without the need to ‘interpret’ that various rules on a per region, per customer or per site basis.

By incorporating these ‘rules’ into the costing algorithm, the sales staff simply have to enter the site and the system will create the correct pricing thereby reducing errors and negate the ability to create an unprofitable contract.

COVID-19 update

Since the arrival of the global pandemic, Clockwork IT customers have been able to continue their field-based work, safe in the knowledge that:

Field based operatives do not have to attend the office to collect paperwork

Field based operatives can remain 2 metres apart from clients but have full knowledge of the job requirements

Field based operatives can take photos of job completion documents if clients do not want to ‘sign’ on the tablet/smartphone

Back office staff have been able to log into the system from home ensuring business continuity

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