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Landmarc on Target

11 January 2008

British troops are trained on ranges and facilities managed under a PPP contract that has radically changed the way they are maintained and supported. Jane Fenwick looks at why this unique partnership was awarded the Overall PFM Award 2007

IN FEBRUARY 2003, LANDMARC SUPPORT SERVICES, the JV company formed by Interserve Defence Ltd and CSC Applied Technology Division, won one of the largest outsourcing contracts ever awarded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). It was also one of the largest PPP contracts to have been signed at that time. The JV was created specifically to deliver Project Vanguard, a radical new way of providing FM and support services across the MoD’s national Defence Training Estate (DTE) and it currently delivers about 7.5 million training days per year to the armed services.

In November 2007, the partnership between Landmarc Support Services and Defence Training Estate won the PFM Award in the Partners in Multi Service category and the Overall Award for the best entry of 2007. The judges said, “The size, scope and criticality of this partnership is demanding enough but what has developed is an excellent partnership that works at all levels.”

Part of the Defence Estates, DTE, facilitates training for the UK’s armed forces on a wide variety of terrains that simulate diverse operational conditions. It is not an estate of high value buildings. In fact it is largely rural but because the MoD carries out military training on it, is very sensitive.

There are over 120 sites across the country in 10 DTE regions covering 220,000 hectares – that’s about 1 per cent of the UK land mass. Landmarc, together with its supply chain partners, manages the facilities to ensure training is delivered in a safe and sustainable way. The £600m contract for 10-15 years, encompasses the management, maintenance and development of facilities for the DTE under a Strategic Partnering Project. A Partnering Charter underpins the contract with DTE and joint partnering objectives ensure that the partners meet the common aim of providing an excellent service to soldiers and other users of the estate.

Unique to this contract is the diversity of services provided. Not only does Landmarc provide a comprehensive package of traditional hard and soft FM services, it also operates and maintains the military ranges and training areas, roads, tracks and conservation areas and provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ central bookings service for all training facilities.

The judges said, “On every front the size of this contract is impressive. We were told that the SPV caters for 7 million meals and when a training exercise starts there may be up to 2,000 personnel to book in for a weekend exercise.”

Landmarc works on behalf of the DTE to develop income generating opportunities to provide additional revenue for improving the Estate. The judges found that Landmarc has generated £4m in income. They said, “As well as completing a maturity modelling programme, the partners have also developed a joint business plan. A measure of the success of the partnership is that it has been extended to cover more locations and activities and reduced staff turnover to 2-3 per cent.”

Landmarc’s fully integrated supply chain ensures a seamless delivery of service to DTE. The key partners are: ESS for catering; SGDN Limited – a JV between Smiths Gore and Dreweatt Neate both experienced practices delivering land agent services and rural property management; and Enviros – an environmental agency with a long history of advising the MoD and other Government departments of environmental issues.

Before Project Vanguard, the DTE exceeded its budget by about 8 per cent in each of the preceding four years. By capturing fixed costs within the contract price, these historic budget overruns have been contained, and Landmarc’s capped profit margin ensures that any excess profits made through further efficiencies are reinvested back into the estate. The open book accounting requirements of the Agreement allows the DTE full visibility of any excess profit.

Landmarc has been responsible for the delivery of improvement projects including capital and minor works worth over £7m across the estate. There is a single bespoke, estate-wide Management Information System providing greater visibility of estate bookings and usage of facilities. The DTE can now make informed management decisions on the strategic direction of the estate.

The new centralised one-stop-shop bookings service for ranges, training areas, accommodation and catering eliminates the burden on military units of having to make their own arrangements for short term catering support and logistical essentials for each of their training sessions. As a consequence of this and improvements to the food service from ESS, there has been a reduction in food service complaints from excessive levels before the partnership to almost zero now, and compliments on the food service have risen exponentially.

Among the key facilities managed are the DTE firing ranges including 170 small arms ranges, 124 field firing ranges for live fire and manoeuvre including armour, 44 artillery/mortar impact areas, and 16 missile/helo/fighter ground attack ranges. Landmarc’s range management expertise is harnessed in a unique Range Warden Training Programme, developed by Landmarc’s range management team and approved by Edexcell (BTEC). This is planned to be linked to a BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Range Operations, a qualification that will be exclusive to Landmarc. This qualification ensures that there is a standard level of training across all the DTE regions. The ranges are now professionally staffed and made available when needed in accordance with the needs of the military users. Previously, the opening hours of ranges were dictated by limitations of the overtime arrangements of the Range Staff.

Before Project Vanguard, the DTE has no single source of identification for range assets and there was, therefore, no way of identifying their value. Currently Landmarc supports around 12,000 individual pieces of targetry equipment worldwide ranging from small battery powered targets to large scale 3 phase electric moving artillery targets which are computer controlled. Now a clarity and consolidation of all training areas and range assets has been provided by Landmarc, who have also developed regional management data spreadsheets must be inspected, linking these to existing asset codes and grid references.

The partnership has focused on minimising waste and risk from these operations. In the first instance, waste ammunition and pyrotechnics is now part of a specific waste management system that prevents these items being included in the waste stream. Additionally, the innovative introduction of granulated rubber into bullet traps has reduced the level of hazardous waste previously encountered with the use of traditional sand traps. The energy from the fired ammunition is dissipated as the bullet decelerates through the rubber, which means that the bullet remains largely intact and easily removed for waste recycling. This method is much safer, quicker and less costly that deleading sand. To complete the environmental ‘circle’, the rubber chippings are made from recycled aircraft and fork-lift truck tyres.

The SPV also supports Defence Estates on environmental issues and leads the management of the MoD’s 1,400 tenancy agreements. An important element of the contract is the maintenance of environmentally sensitive sites that cover some 60,000 hectares of the estate. Landmarc has implemented an estate-wide environmental management system that is compliant with ISO14001. Its maintenance of the rural estate covers several thousand kilometres of tracks, a similar length of fences, walls and hedges, large areas of moorland, woodland, heath and chalk grassland. There are also over 100 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSIs), extensive archaelogical remains and a wide range of tenanted farms, buildings and other features.

The judges found that, “Landmarc has introduced technological solutions to manage situations where training operations could cause environmental damage. In addition, it worked with outside organisations such as RSPB to reintroduce endangered species such as the Corncrake to Salisbury Plain.”

Landmarc staff use PDAs to capture asset data on the built and rural estate and plot GIS coordinates. This data is then transferred to Landmarc’s Management Information System to update work orders and maintenance plans. This system not only contributes to a significant reduction in paper records, but also allows an ambitious inspection programme to be delivered in the field. The DTE can now, for the first time, access comprehensive and consistent condition, maintenance and management information for their built and rural estate and ensure funding is targeted to the areas that need it most.

Key to the success of this partnership has been the successful transfer of 1,111 former civil servants and 300 private sector support staff from 65 organisations into the new Landmarc Support Service organisation. Not only was this completed without dispute, but also the employees now have a wider range of opportunities for promotion and selfdevelopment. Landmarc has invested in over £1m in training and development and is working towards the Investors in People accreditation.

A vigorous health & safety awareness campaign and increased staff training has resulted in two RoSPA awards , one a gold Award, and a marked reduction in the accident statistics.

Landmarc has established a ‘Trainers Network’, a team of Landmarc employees trained to deliver internally developed training programmes to colleagues around the country providing a unique opportunity for employees to develop their skills and do something different. Not only is training delivered in a cost effective way, but employees are able to mix with colleagues and visit sites not normally possible under the constraints of their normal duties.

Among the delivery of £7m worth of improvement projects, was the transformation, in partnership with the Carbon Trust of four basic accommodation blocks at Brunswick Training Camp, Surrey, into energy efficient homes for new recruits. It is estimated that these units will register 50 per cent less carbon emissions.

The judges were particularly impressed that a range of services were delivered to a wide range of facilities so effectively and competently. Project Vanguard aimed to deliver change and efficiency into providing training facilities and support services to armed forces under training at a time world affairs have made this so important. The PFM Awards judges found that these support services had been transformed in delivery and efficiency, and that in the process the valuable environment contained with the DTE estate which totalled some 1 per cent of the UK land mass, was dealt with sensitively and with consumate skill.

Landmarc’s services
● Bookings, administration, IT support and information management
● Property and infrastructure maintenance
● Rural estate maintenance
● Training area and range operation and maitenance
● Environmental and conservation support
● Catering
● Accommodation services including waste management, cleaning, laundry and mess services
● Tenancy and estate management
● Worldwide targetry support

Landmarc supports 7.5 million man training days a year with:
● 1300+ employees
● 10 DTE regions
● 120+ sites
● About 22,000 hectares of built and rural estate
● 12,000+ buildings
● 1,400 tenancy agreements
● 170 small arms ranges
● 124 field firing ranges
● 44 artillery/mortar/impact areas
● 16 missile/helo/fighter ground attack ranges
● 12,000 items of targetry worldwide
● 477 dry training areas
● 19 indoor/simulator
● 111 SSIs
● 782 ancient monuments
● Over 7 million meals served per year
● A Bespoke Management Information System supporting operational erquirements and providing national visibility of army training activity.

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