“Innovation” – The hottest word in business

I recently visited the bi-annual trade show for those involved in the Fenestration industry – to renew contact with key members of our supply chain whose performance is so critical to us achieving the delivery results we do to all our clients.

I also wanted to see if there were any new products on the market which would enable us to provide additional services, or perhaps enhance the ones we already offer.

Safe to say, there were lots of new products and very much the theme of the exhibition was innovation.  There was a real recognition that new product development was essential to keep the industry moving forward and to give its supply chain something new to offer their customers across all sectors.

This struck a real chord with me; innovation is a subject I have spoken about previously in relation to ourselves, and how important it is that we continue to look for new and better ways to improve our services – especially with the challenges the sector faces.  At the end of the day, nothing stands still, and innovation in service is every bit as important as innovation in product development.

On the surface of it our performance levels to the residents of the many housing association clients we service is good – we operate at over 98% on time delivery, we service our priority one emergency call outs on time every time, and we provide excellent customer service. Good – but my view is ‘what can we do better’?

Late last year we introduced a new measure into our business – First Time Fix – designed to tell us how many times we were able to complete a job at the first time of asking. The driver for introducing this was to make us more resident friendly – people are always happy when a repair is completed but they want to see you once, not three and four times before the work is completed – and to make us more efficient in the way we assess the specification of the products we need to procure.

Directly out of this have been improvements – reductions – in the number of visits we make to resident’s homes.

At the outset of a contract we are working through the finest detail of specification with our clients to understand the products which they originally installed, and we are working with our suppliers to identify suitable products to replace them if, as is often the case in our field the original products are now obsolete.

This is just one aspect of the innovative culture which we have engendered at Mila Window and Door Maintenance. We are working on other initiatives too and will shortly launch a new booking system which will enable residents to register their repairs directly with ourselves.

We have worked extensively with our clients on this and developed the software and the customer support offering specifically to service their needs.

It will mean that the whole timeframe for carrying out repairs from the point at which a resident reports a fault to the time we complete the job will be reduced significantly.

It is another innovative initiative which will help our clients and their residents.  It has the potential to reduce costs while at the same time improve service.

It is my view that ‘Innovation’ is the hottest word in business, and it is certainly something we will continue to embrace as a theme across everything we do.

Tristan Cooke is Managing Director of Mila Window and Door Maintenance. See our website for full details milamaintenance.co.uk Follow us on Twitter @milamaintenance or call us on 0808 100 8881

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Written by : Tristan Cooke

About the author

Having been with the business since 1997, Tristan became Managing Director of Mila Maintenance and Installation in September 2015.

Mila Maintenance
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