Communication is key
We firmly believe in building strong relationships with our clients to ensure successful delivery of our projects. It’s important to establish these good relationships from the beginning, for the benefit of everyone involved.
We find open and honest communication is essential in creating strong relationships and we implement this through regular face to face Progress Meetings. We hold these on at least a monthly basis, where all aspects of the contract are discussed; from progress, budget and defects, to resident satisfaction, KPIs, and of course, health and safety.
We approach all projects with a partnering philosophy of trust, fairness, dedication and mutual understanding. Adopting this philosophy ensures that the success of the project is secured directly by each team member through discussion and mutual participation.
As part of this philosophy we have actively become involved in project boards and clusters with other clients to give us a better understanding of their needs and objectives. This method allows us to tailor our service to meet these needs, and provide an overall better quality service.
As an example, for a number of years we’ve participated in the Dundee City Council Heating Clean Team. This initiative was created to find improvements to the heating, kitchen and bathroom contracts through this board and clusters.
The results include:
- Fewer C.O.W. inspections
- Fewer visits by housing staff to residents
- Improvement on overall quality performance of contractors
- Boiler manufacturers reduced to two premium boilers offering five year warranties
- Improved residents satisfaction results
Following any completion of an installation, our friendly team will show the occupier will how to use their new system.
- Instruction on how to use their new appliances
- Instruction on how to reset circuit breakers
- A simplified, quick guide on operation of components for the resident to read
The manufacturer’s user instructions for each component would also be left with the occupier for future reference.
Codes of conduct and working in occupied homes training
At McGill we’ve developed our code of conduct over many years’ of working with councils and housing associations across Scotland. These include Dundee City Council, Perth & Kinross Council, Fife Council, Angus Council and Aberdeen City Council, as well as Almond, Kingdom, Langstane, Castlehill, and Hillcrest housing associations.
The code covers areas such as health and safety, home visits and appointments, professional conduct during the works, etc. and all of our operatives must adhere to this code when working in residents’ homes. All members of our team are given these procedures in writing and given training to ensure it is followed. The Project Manager is responsible for ensuring the code is adhered to, and any non-compliance with these procedures may result in a disciplinary offence for our operatives.
Site induction on residential contracts focuses on the fact that a portion of residents are elderly and that we must be extra considerate of their needs, offering additional support and assistance to ensure a stress-free experience.
The process of minimising defects begins at the outset of the project with planning and ordering materials, and finishes with the handover of the property back to the resident.
At every stage we make it our priority to ensure the work carried out is of the highest standard with the aim of zero defects on completion. The ability of our employees to respond quickly to defects, with the ultimate aim of resolving issues and ensuring customer satisfaction, is of paramount importance.
We operate a zero defects policy and in support of this, we employ strict quality control procedures, so that any quality issues can be identified on a timely basis, resolved and future amendments made to working practices to ensure repeat issues do not occur.
Defects involving an unsatisfactory quality of work or equipment failure are dealt with by a visit from the Project Manager to assess the work. If it’s found that the work is sub-standard, we ensure that the problem in the resident’s home is rectified as quickly as possible.
Each instance of failure will be logged on our Defect System and with the manufacturer if necessary. Defects are communicated via a defects report which is shared at each Progress Meeting. This details any defects job-by-job and is used to ensure they are resolved quickly.
These reports are also used to identify recurring defects which can be eliminated by changing the product, to flag whether it’s a product defect or the need for training where a particular operative is involved.
Attendance to defects
Installation teams are responsible for rectifying their own defects under close supervision to ensure repeat errors are not made. Further training is given to the members of staff involved and the Project Manager returns to check the quality of work
Defects on residential contracts are rectified in line with the below timescales:
- Emergency – 3 hours
- Urgent – 24 hours
- Routine – 10 days
- Planned – 30 days
Emergency call out (office hours)
Emergencies happen when you least expect it, and you can trust McGill to act fast. If you need to talk to us, we’ll have someone available for you who’ll understand the situation and make sure the right operatives are on their way.
These operatives would be provided with transport and fully equipment, with all the necessary tools and materials to effectively deal with the majority of emergencies. In addition, our offices are ideally located to service the area within the emergency timescale, should either new materials or additional resource be required.
If we received multiple calls for emergencies then the Project Manager would deploy labour in a prioritised manner to attend to these, ensuring that the labour deployed does not compromise other planned or reactive maintenance work.
We currently operate a 24 hour, 7 day per week, 52 weeks per year emergency call out system.
Emergency call out (out of hours)
Out of hours, we use a UK-based, construction focused call centre which receives emergency calls and passing the call to the relevant engineer or trade.
After receiving the details the engineer will contact the customer to advise them of an anticipated time of arrival, attend the call, then report back to the office the next working day.
All of our emergency, out-of-hours operatives are issued with mobile phones and hands free kits fitted to their vehicles allowing immediate contact and allocation of works to meet the required response times.