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"It can be easy sometimes to concentrate so much on the inside of
your building that you don’t pay enough attention to the outside.
But it’s just as important, isn’t it?
People need to be able to move around your site easily and safely
– especially in the winter months. You have to be ready to respond
to sudden ice or snow. And if you’re like me, you want things
looking every bit as smart and tidy outside as they do inside.
First impressions count."
Other suppliers I’ve talked to tend to impose their outdoor services or grounds maintenance model and tell you what you need. With 14forty, it’s much more about adjusting resources to give priority to the areas that are most important to us.
For example, there are parts of our grounds that we want to look immaculate for visitors (and sometimes TV cameras) the whole time. Elsewhere we have some older, less visible terrain where it’s much more about drainage inspections and preventing slip and trip hazards.
Then there’s our new temporary staff car parking area. The surface is a bit rough so it needs daily attention to keep it as smooth and safe as we can. Different areas, different priorities – so 14forty listen to what we need and put their resources in the right areas. That’s saved us money over the years.
14forty deliver a wide range of high quality outdoor services to keep things smart and tidy and to ensure that people can move around easily and safely. They include:
It’s easy to spoil the great impression you make inside by something being wrong on the outside, isn’t it? Litter in particular is a constant battle. It’s blown by the wind onto our site from the main road. But 14forty keep it completely under control – giving priority to the main routes and the areas most visible to our visitors.
They keep their eyes out for more potentially serious problems too, like blocked or leaking gutters and down pipes. We used to have a major problem with water getting into one of our older buildings and causing damage. Not any more. They nip things like that in the bud.
In the summer, the 14forty outdoor services people keep the hedges and shrubs nicely pruned and the grass cut. They’re careful about the timing to avoid unnecessary noise. They watch out for any damage by pests or vermin too, and step in quickly to resolve any problem.
Having multi-skilled people means 14forty can work and react flexibly. When we had deep snow last winter they had extra teams out in the early hours, clearing the snow and gritting the roads, pathways and car parks. We didn’t even have to ask. They took responsibility and did it. Without that effort our people simply wouldn’t have been able to get into work – and certainly not safely.
That flexibility extends to the equipment they use, too. Before 14forty got involved, the tractors that were used as snow ploughs did nothing else for ten months of the year. But 14forty turned them into multi-purpose machines by fitting forks on the front.
So when we carried out a big move between campuses, the 14forty grounds maintenance and porterage teams worked together to shift furniture using machines that otherwise would have been in storage waiting for winter. Better still, we didn’t need to pay anything extra for external furniture movers.
It goes without saying that none of this is our core business – so it makes perfect sense to put it in the expert hands of people who do it for a living. And we’re safe in the knowledge that they’re fully trained and qualified in the correct use of equipment, comply with all the relevant legislation and work to the highest safety standards.
14forty take it in their stride with tailored grounds maintenance plans to suit each time of the year. Even our open air swimming pool is looked after with its own planned maintenance programme. They keep the pool clean, hygienic and appealing for the people who like to swim all year round.
What’s the end result? Everyone working on or visiting our site is as well looked after outside as they are inside. And with a lot less manual handling. Injuries and lost time have all but disappeared.
Biodiversity is part of our environmental management plan. 14forty helped there by sowing wild flower seeds and low maintenance shrubbery where we just used to have grass.
That’s helped to make our grounds more attractive and interesting – not to mention the time and cost we’re saving by not having to mow grass the whole time and deal with the cuttings.
We even have some veteran trees and bat roosts in our grounds. We’ve made these conservation areas after 14forty organised some protected species survey work. There’s no end to what they can do.
How 14forty Central helps us with outdoor services