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Trust in partnership working leads to increased value of service delivery

27 April 2021

Any company that places high levels of customer service at the heart of its operations will see these values result in a strong performance within the PFM Partnership Awards, as proven by the finalists of the 2020 event.

This was especially true for the entry submitted by PPSPower and its client KCOM, which have enjoyed a long and productive partnership that began in 2003 and has continued to expand in both terms of the level of services provided and depth of collaborative efforts.

KCOM is a provider of 24/7 telecommunications, broadband and interest services, demanding a failsafe power supply to maintain its high quality services.

Any downtime due to power failure could have dramatic consequences, potentially affecting millions of customers and resulting in high levels of cost to the business.

In order to nullify any risk, KCOM has established a robust FM strategy that includes the essential services provided by PPSPower. The company has established a strong reputation for providing back-up generator, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), maintenance, repair and installation solutions.

Beginning with the signing of a contract to maintain the KCOM back-up power generators in 2003, PPSPower has made considerable effort to understand its clients’ needs.

Having impressed its customer with the level of service delivered by its dedicated engineering teams, KCOM has continued to further extend its dealings with the company over the years.

This has seen the partnership between the two sides expand to include more than 40 sites located around the UK. In addition to the provision and maintenance of emergency back-up generators, the arrangement also includes the provision of emergency mobile generators in the event of any issues occurring.

With the initial contract requiring PPSPower to maintain generators, this has been considerably increased to include new unit installations, fuel system upgrades, repairs and remedial works, such as decommissioning and removals of existing units.

The high levels of trust and cooperation have continued to develop to the point where KCOM calls on its service partner to ask for advice on best practice and cost-effectiveness in its maintenance strategy.

This is further explained by PPSPower service director and main account contact Brian Cosheril: “We will work with KCOM’s operations team to understand their requirements and how their sites’ current supplies run and can be improved.

"We’ll often make recommendations for upgrades and remedial works to improve unit efficiency, reduce fuel usage and maintain longer-lifespan on units.

Brian Cosheril

“We only ever make recommendations if we feel it will benefit the customer, whether that is through cost-savings or improved output. KCOM trusts us to put their needs first and this has resulted in countless additional works provided by PPSPower, at sites from Devon up to East and West Yorkshire,” says Mr Cosheril.

These high levels of trust and cooperation resulted in KCOM engaging further with PPSPower to upgrade its generator control systems to ComAp intelligent controllers. Following the upgrade, the company has continued to see the various benefits of real-time monitoring emerge.

An example of these includes the rapid analysis of any faults occurring, allowing PPSPower to dispatch engineers to the relevant site, if required, with the necessary component to complete a first-time fix.

This prompt reaction continues to reduce both downtime and subsequent costs as one of the most beneficial outcomes from the use of intelligent controllers.

Mr Cosheril further explains: “From a small maintenance contract in our early days we have become a trusted partner to KCOM, providing turnkey services to sites across the country, including decommissioning and removal of existing equipment, associated mechanical and electrical works, installation of digital control systems and full generator commissioning and testing.

“Our teams are based in strategic locations across the UK meaning we can service different sites with rapid response times, something that is crucial for many of our customers, particularly national service providers,” he continues.

“KCOM has always praised our engineers’ outstanding customer service, which coupled with our team’s specialist knowledge and skillsets means we have consistently delivered on their back up power requirements, whatever the scenario,” says Mr Cosheril.

Another additional development resulting from the close partnership has been the provision of a 24/7 call out service option for KCOM. This guarantees that PPSPower will respond to any emergency within four hours, providing further peace of mind in the event of system failure.

Mr Cosheril has worked on the contract since its inception in 2003, initially as a service engineer and continues to be the main point of contact for the client.

“They know they can always call me and whatever the issue, I will help them find a resolution,” he says.

“‘One call to fix it all’ is our motto! The personal side of the relationship is something KCOM really values and appreciates. The team know they can rely on us to be there for them if something happens to their supply.”

Further endorsement of the partnership is provided by KCOM power operations manager Dean Walton:

“PPSPower’s outstanding customer service and ethos to deliver reliable power services are the reasons we place our trust in them and have done so for such a long period. We know we can rely on them if we ever have a supply issue or unit failure and we trust their team to make professional recommendations.

“They are more than just a provider to us, they are a true service partner,” says Mr Walton.

The judging process for the PFM Partnership Awards is highly respected for its independence and the judges for the Partners in Expert Services 2020 category were highly complimentary for the winning partnership:

“Partnership runs through the contract, even to the collaboration over innovation, by providing a joint approach to ‘doing things better’.

“Although the contract is based on a solid partnership, the added value can be seen in bundles in the innovation area. After so many years it may have been difficult to keep bringing added value, however adding value can be clearly seen.

"With the addition to the contract of onsite training to site engineering teams and a replacement/upgrade strategy, PPSPower have demonstrated that they wish to deliver a high value offering and not just complete the contractual minimum.

“What came across in the presentation was a passion for delivering a specialist engineering service to a respected client,” said the judges.

The collaborative efforts between the two sides continue to see further developments and improvements discussed and introduced where applicable.

In addition to improved levels of service, PPSPower has also been engaged to install bulk tanks on the KCOM sites to increase the fuel capacity of the generators and provide longer running times.

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