Every day something new….Part 2

For a maintenance company which has been operating for 27 years you would think there is nothing new to find…you couldn’t be more wrong.

The technical team at Mila Maintenance recently discussed the issues they regularly face when carrying out repairs and maintenance to windows and doors in the social housing sector.  This is part 2 of their discussion

The variations in product specifications run into 1,000s

The biggest challenge for Mila Maintenance of course is the variety of hardware variations in the market, estimated in their thousands. Maintenance Director Dave Cooke takes up the story “if you think about the number of window systems across all materials which have been around over the last 30 years and the number of hardware variations both in terms of manufacturer and technical specification, you can understand how every time we open up a new repairs and maintenance contract the options we face are limitless”.

“It is increasingly rare that we go to a job and find hardware which is still current.  But this is our challenge, and one we relish.  Our experience is invaluable in this regard and it is why after all these years in business we continue to flourish, and most importantly for our clients and for their residents continue to perform at such a high level”.

Strength as a team

Business Manager Tristan CookeOne of our key strengths is we work as a team; if one of our engineers comes across something in the field, the team discuss the detail together to see what options might work best as a long term solution.  If it is not a repair but a full refurbishment which is required, then we always carry out a test mount and a review process.  Only when we are happy will we agree a programme with the client”.

Contracts Manager Tony Williams continues “Obviously, hardware from the same supplier as the original is best, even if it is a different model; but if not, this is where our relationships with the supply chain and our knowledge kick in.  To date we have never been unable to find a workable and cost effective solution for any of our clients”.

Maintenance on installed products has been growing since residents became more involved in having a say in how their homes were run.  It gives Mila Maintenance a more direct understanding of the issues which concern the residents and gives them the opportunity to provide assurance that they can return their windows and doors back to their original operating integrity.

“Our work with residents is reflected in the feedback they give us and the satisfaction levels they have with the solutions we find” says Business Manager Tristan Cooke.  “We record this and publish it for everyone to see on our website; and it is one of the measures we use to ensure that we keep our performance both from a technical and service level exactly where it needs to be.”

“We also recently introduced a new measure into our business – ‘fixed first time’ – that is to say, we now measure how many of the jobs we attend each month we are able to complete on a first visit.  This is important for residents as well as the client and ourselves, and our performance level is very good.  What this measure is showing us is a performance gap, and this is where the ironmongery we are being asked to repair or replace needs further technical assessment or specialist parts to be sourced.  It will be interesting to see if this gap grows in the coming years, and it will be entirely down to the specification of the products we come across which require repairs or maintenance if it does”.

It is also clear just how much repairing and maintaining windows is becoming increasingly a specialist job.  Aside from the technical knowledge required, Mila Maintenance has an understanding of the Health and Safety implications of working the way they do, particularly in a high rise environment or in difficult locations.  They have a full CHAS and Safe Contractor accreditation portfolio along with Constructionline certification and know that the legislative requirements, along with the resident consideration they hold as a key driver in their business means that they must stay at the head of their game.

The Mila Maintenance team comprises Dave Cooke Maintenance Director, Tristan Cooke Business Manager, Chris France General Manager, Dean Bradford Senior Contracts Administrator, Richard Smith Senior Contracts Manager and Tony Williams Contracts Manager. 

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