Tristan Cooke

Managing Director

“It is a remarkable achievement to be able to mark our 30th anniversary of trading” says Tristan Cooke, Managing Director of Mila Maintenance and Installation. Against a background of multiple recessions over that period, and the numerous major challenges that the Social Housing sector particularly has faced, it is extraordinary.

The key to a successful business is to constantly review performance and find ways of improving it

“It is a remarkable achievement to be able to mark our 30 th anniversary of trading” says Tristan Cooke, Managing Director of Mila Maintenance and Installation.

Against a background of multiple recessions over that period, and the numerous major challenges that the Social Housing sector particularly has faced, it is extraordinary.

The achievement is a testimony to the people who began the business, those who have worked in it down the years, and those who work in it today, and the biggest thing for me is that we have never reached a point where we have said ‘great, we have got it exactly right’, there is always something to improve upon.

This, I believe is the essence of any good business, and the drive and desire to constantly review performance and find ways of improving it are the keys to success.

I had been aware of the business from the outset, my father Dave was instrumental in setting it up, and though it was some years later that I joined it, initially as a trainee service engineer having spent a number of years manufacturing windows and doors, I knew what the business was about and that it had a real role to play in the market.

That was the start point of real change

I really started to get involved in the late 1990’s having moved from being a service engineer to playing a part in trying to introduce the first really robust administrative processes and procedures into the office. I look back now with a wry smile when I think that it was me, self-taught, who introduced the very first PC into the business, and me who sent the very first email from the business, and that was in 1999. Fair to say that the Y2K bug was not really a threat to our business!

But that was the start point of real change, and the business today looks very different indeed. We offer a wide range of maintenance, repair and installation services to a variety of markets. We have over 20 teams of engineers on the road completing anywhere between 600 and 750 individual jobs per week, and the logistical challenges of that when you factor in access, individual resident requirements, and the range of materials required are quite significant.

The challenges associated with delivering this business model are huge, but the biggest challenge to us is to constantly review everything we do because we know there are always improvements to be had. It would be ‘easy’ to sit on our laurels and just do the same thing each day, but we know there is more we can achieve that will make us an even better business – more efficient and more capable of delivering even better solutions for our clients and their residents.

We do a lot of great things, but we know we can do more. That’s what drives me personally and drives the business.

What really excites me is our potential in the future

We have completed over 1.2 million jobs in our 30 years of trading, we have a resident satisfaction rate of over 96%, we have innovated new products and new ideas for our clients. We have completed a major acquisition of a competitor business, novated five major contracts, we have introduced completely new services such as our fully accredited fire door installation service, and we have worked tirelessly to get involved in the local communities we operate in through our genuine commitment to social value projects.

We will continue with all of the above and still be looking at what’s next – that approach is the driving force of our business and it is what will make us even better in the future. I am proud of what we have achieved, and of the team we have in the business, everyone of whom has the same mentality. But what really excites me is our potential in the future.

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