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Business booming in just four months

19 March 2009

One of the newest names in the FM sector, Freidman has countered the economic downturn by winning a collection of M&E maintenance and FM contracts in its first few months of trading. MD John Ellis speaks exclusively to FM Report.

Defying the economic downturn, a new name in the FM market, Freidman, has clocked up a number of significant wins. With a client list which includes Coca Cola, GSK, Dairy Crest and most recently GE Transportation, Freidman’s MD, John Ellis, is confident that this £3m turnover company will within five years be a £25m business.

The formula for Freidman is focusing on self delivery and high quality M&E maintenance skills, plus a personal touch that only a smaller service provider can supply.

The latest M&E maintenance contract win is supporting railway signal assembly by GE Transportation. “We support everything around the process such as HVCA, lighting refrigeration, ventilation, heating, medium voltage, ad hoc works. This has just gone live at GE Transportation’s plant in Welwyn Garden City, coincidentally where one of Freidman’s two offices is located. The other is in Rochester, Kent.

Another contract secured in the first four months of trading is at Cushman & Wakefield St John’s shopping centre and offices in Leeds. An established centre, St Johns claims a huge 12 million footfall annually to its covered shopping facilities. Freidman’s three year contract covers M&E, cleaning, security and managing subcontractors including, for example, for lifts, escalators, landscaping, building fabric maintenance, etc.

Building on its inherent strengths, Freidman is focusing on opportunities around process engineering, M&E maintenance and FM. By focusing on FM, mobile maintenance and manned sites within the M25, Ellis has found a rich vein of clients whose relatively small contracts are largely ignored by larger contractors. And working with John King, ex MacLellan and now Business Development Director for Freidman, they bring a breadth and depth of experience that confounds the company’s size.

As Ellis explained exclusively to PFM, “Because of our size we are nimble and can move fast; we are very proactive and reactive to situations. We have no bureaucracy so we can make decisions directly with the client. Self delivery is key to success but also important is recognizing that customers want to meet the decision makers. When suppliers get to a certain size the person in the organization with authority often gets too far from the customer.”

Ellis says he is enjoying starting again in an exciting venture. “This is a dynamic opportunity where we can create a model that through self performing will deliver an excellent service at the moment of truth – at the interface with the client.”

Freidman’s roots are in stainless steel fabrication and for 14 years it traded in another guise before being rebranded to Freidman. The contract with Coca Cola for example is unusual in the FM sector since it involves project work building stainless steel tanks and pipeways, and changing the process lines for the company’s drink brands to meet production demands. The skills needed for stainless steel installations also have application in food processing and pharmaceuticals where Freidman has secured contracts with Dairy Crest and GSK.

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