Gamekeeper turned poacher
By Karl Cunningham, Senior Account Manager
Now the winter maintenance season is under way and we have started spreading salt, it’s a time of intense focus for us on making sure we are getting it right for those customers who rely on our services. And that’s particularly important for our new clients who have entrusted us to keep their sites safe in winter for the first time.
One of these is Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), a new client for winter maintenance that mobilised earlier in the year. Already a buyer of our grounds maintenance services, JLL manages a broad range of retail parks and industrial estates across the country and has 250 sites for us to look after under the contract. As their Senior Accounts Manager, I have been entrusted with developing the relationship. Since I only joined Ground Control during the summer, this should be an interesting debut for both parties.
Fortunately, I’m no stranger to the world of winter maintenance and have first-hand experience of the service Ground Control provides, having been a Facilities Manager for Sainsbury’s in my previous role. You could say I’m a gamekeeper-turned-poacher as I used to be the irate customer on the phone complaining – often mistakenly – that one of my sites had not been gritted!
It’s that experience I believe will stand us in good stead in the coming winter season. I understand where facilities managers are coming from and the kind of pressures they are dealing with, but I also have a history of working with Ground Control, so I know how professional they are, how they deliver the service and what kind of issues they encounter with clients. Having that perspective from both sides I think will be invaluable over the coming months as we develop the relationship and get used to the way we work with each other. I know there will be teething issues, but I know we can handle them too.
One of the reasons I joined Ground Control was the confidence I have in their ability to deliver when it matters. And it’s something I’m really looking forward to demonstrating to JLL this coming season. There’s bound to be a bit of nervousness on their part because they have a new supplier and part of my role will be to allay any fears they have. There will also be a good deal of learning on both sides too as we get used to each other’s idiosyncrasies, but I think that’s one of the reasons I was hired. As a former facilities manager, I understand the kind of things that assure clients they’re receiving the service they have paid for and the concerns they will have, so I’m looking forward to making that experience count.
I’m also looking forward to showing JLL what we can do. We’ve got a huge amount of expertise and ability that’s been revealed to me over the years as a former customer and I think we’ve got a great opportunity to really wow them with the service we provide.
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