FM excellence in a major project Social and economic impact Service provider of the year
Impact on organisation and workplace
In-house team of the year
Innovation in the use of technology and systems
Learning and career development
Sustainability and environmental impact
Highly Commended: Palmaris Services, i Data - Integrated Business Solutions
When Gritit launched in 2004, it was the UK's first nationwide gritting and snow clearance specialist. Since then, the company has created new technology with the potential to revolutionise winter risk management for FMs across the country.
Gritit's flagship development is its NIMBUS technology. By monitoring weather conditions and live tracking vehicles and teams, it ensures customer demand is met, and generates an audit trail to prove that firms have carried out the necessary steps to protect staff and businesses from the negative impacts of winter weather.
As well as allowing businesses to continue running in the winter's worst conditions, the technology means that FMs have evidence to back up claims that they have met their duty of care. This is particularly useful to FMs in terms of winter-related injuries. For example, a legal claim was made against a Gritit customer in November 2011. The proof provided by NIMBUS resulted in the claim being dismissed.
When it comes to customer service, Gritit has shown it understands the importance of nurturing relationships just as much as the need to deliver tangible business benefits. The company told FM World that, in the beginning, it recruited people from a product and technology background. But "we realised that we need people with a service background who understand about building relationships with the client at heart."
One example of this approach in practice is that each client's sites are serviced by the same Gritit teams every time. This helps clients build relationships with the "familiar faces" of the Gritit teams that work on their premises.
Gritit uses fixed-price contracts after the company conducted research that showed clients were prepared to pay upfront for certainty of service and costs. Now, 50 per cent of customers have moved from pay-as-you-go to fixed price.
And the advantages of being proactive about customer service are clear. Gritit reports a customer satisfaction rate of 99 per cent and a customer retention rate of 93 per cent.
BIFM judges said of Gritit that the company had "demonstrated a professionalisation of the winter risk management sector together with developing technology advances that can benefit the wider FM sector."
They added: "Despite the seasonal nature of their business, a nonetheless sustainable model is very much in evidence and a credible growth strategy has been thought through."