Richard Smith

Contract Manager
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We have spoken a lot about the fact that we have worked on over 300 individual hardware specifications over the years, but if anything, the rate at which we are coming across new ones each week is increasing.

There are a lot of reasons for this, as apartment living became popular back in the 1980’s and 1990’s more and more windows were brought into the country from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, mostly fitted with hardware not sourced in the UK. This has added to the number of variants for which we are asked to source replacements and has brought new, and dare I say it, exciting challenges.

Richard Smith's role at Mila Maintenance

Taking on that challenge is what really makes me tick. In most instances these types of hardware become quickly obsolete as manufactures constantly update and upgrade their products.

The key for us, and for me in particular is to find hardware that we can use to make repairs which functions technically in the same way as the original so that we do not have to modify the windows in any way. It is an ongoing challenge, but one which we can meet, and which underpins our role as very much a specialist company. You cannot simply buy this sort of stuff from the local builder’s merchants or anywhere else off the shelf.

When I joined the company all those years back, I worked for the first 12 months down in Woking on a major repair contract we had there. As many of the others in the team have said, this kind of experience and way of working was hardly ideal, communication was certainly not what it is today and managing our supply chain brought its own challenges.

But this was where we set our stall out to deliver a great service level and an ability to deliver outstanding technical solutions and I am proud to have been a part of building those early foundations for our business.

I also get a great deal of satisfaction from working on the emergency response call outs. In these situations, we literally have 24 hours to make a property safe and secure and to ensure that the resident is comfortable in their home. Our service levels in this field working for major clients such as L&Q Housing in London are exceptional, and it is an area of our business where we excel in the most challenging of circumstances.

To see where the business has come to today is remarkable and I know I am a part of something special. I am delighted to have played and to continue to play my part in its success.

Richard Smith main image

“It was a fitting reward for the way the whole team thinks and works, we are always looking at ways we can do our job better, even if this means introducing completely new ideas, and at how these new ideas can help our clients and their residents”.

Tristan Cooke on Mila Maintenance winning the 2016 Housing Innovation Awards ‘Best Repairs and Maintenance Scheme’