Established facilities management company sees efficiency gains of up to 93% with cloud-based platform
AMPM is a major player in the facilities management sector. Part of the multi-national Tetra Group, the company handles the planned and reactive management for a diverse client-base. This includes major pub group Marstons, restaurant chains, care homes and commercial properties.
AMPM were using off-the-shelf facilities management software to support their helpdesk staff and manage work order requests. Despite some initial enthusiasm, operations staff were finding it increasingly difficult to get the system to do what they wanted it to do. Any request for new features joined those from hundreds of other customers. The only other alternative - custom additions - were prohibitively expensive.
The system’s sluggish speed was also a major bugbear. Helpdesk staff would be forced to sit and wait, often for minutes at a time, whilst the system processed a new job order.
Usage costs were also a pain-point. With hundreds of people using the system on a daily basis, the software’s per-user-per-month pricing model was costing the company tens of thousands of pounds a year.
These frustrations led AMPM to set up a project group to consider alternative approaches, including commissioning their own custom software. After dismissing other options, an assessment of UK custom software development companies led Managing Director Andy Oldershaw and Associate Director Loius Waldron to our door.
We’ve delivered AMPM an intuitive all-encompassing facilities management solution. Christened Sentinel, the cloud-based system supports AMPM’s helpdesk staff and provides a cost-effective platform for managing planned and reactive maintenance.
The software handles the maintenance requirements for 1,301 separate sites and the work done by 750 contractors. Through user-friendly portals, the software powers AMPM to create, complete and track maintenance requests on behalf of its clients. Since being introduced, the software has handled 52,000 work orders.
AMPM’s 750 contractors log in to their own mobile-optmised app version of the software. Using the app, they track the jobs assigned to them and log work done on behalf of AMPM’s clients. What’s more, they can log work whilst out in the field as the app is cleverly designed to carry on working even when there’s no internet or WIFI connection.
The system has provided many benefits. AMPM has seen a spectacular 95% reduction in the time it takes to complete key tasks such as adding new work order requests.
95% reduction in the time it takes to undertake key tasks such as adding new maintenance requests to the system.
Clients’ accounts departments have also seen time savings. Previously, they had to check that invoices sent in by contractors were fair and accurate. Now, with Sentinel, they know they know that every invoice is checked by a qualified person before it is approved. Only then does the system email them saying the invoice is ok to pay.
The system’s powerful analytics has enabled clients to save hundreds of thousands of pounds on their maintenance spend. For instance, one care home client was able to identify what they spent on plumbing across their 300 sites. They used this information to compile a national tender for the work – saving them £50,000 a year on plumbing alone.
The data available from Sentinel has helped AMPM boost the quality of their advisory service. For instance, AMPM was able to go to a major pub chain and say exactly how much they spend per year on purchasing and fixing kitchen equipment. Armed with that knowledge, the pub chain was able to go to major catering equipment supplier Lincat and negotiate a 50% discount on equipment costs.
Thinking outside with Louis Waldron
Associate Director, AMPM
What was fun?
It’s that camaraderie that you get when you get loads of people together working on something. We sat round a 15-seater oak table - everybody was going ‘should it do that?’, ‘can it do that?’ and having you guys there, pushing it and saying ‘it can actually do this instead’, that’s awesome – that level of innovation. That was probably the best part - I’m a great believer in that you can’t innovate over email.
What surprised you?
The cost. I had certain preconceptions coming into this about the cost of custom software but I was surprised, in a good way! When you take into account we were spending tens of thousands of pounds on user licences each year, what you built for us actually saves us money.
We’ve recently taken up a retainer with you guys. That gives us regular development hours each month. It’s great as I can line up new features for development. I’m constantly in communication with the clients asking ‘how do you want this to work?’ And with staff here, I’m asking ‘What would you make your life easier’ And we can get those changes done in a matter of weeks.
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