The Metro Mechanical story, from Mark White, Founder
When we started Metro, over 30 years ago, we were just like any other drainage contractor. We would price Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) work by walking around a site, counting the manhole covers and whatever else there was, and then we’d come up with a price. We relied on the site owner to tell us if there was anything we couldn’t see (like petrol interceptors), and often neither we nor the client knew what was what…until something went wrong. By today’s standards that was a pretty poor approach to PPM, but at the time that was the way it was done.
Not anymore. We decided that we needed a better way of working. We realised that we wanted to be more than mere contractors: we wanted to be working partners in our customers’ businesses. Deciding how to do this was the challenge. It wasn’t easy. It was a radical decision but our vision was clear. We needed to offer our customers a proactive, solution-focused and more efficient service.
We based our approach on three fundamentals: knowledge, performance, and people.
- Knowledge. We decided to survey our customers’ sites in detail, and to do so for free. Why? Because it was rare to find any customer who had a comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date plan of their site – and that made our job harder. So we took on the responsibility to map their drainage system. They say knowledge is power – but it’s also a great confidence booster. Our customers trust our judgement because we’ve shared with them the accurate knowledge we have of their site. Guesswork has been replaced by evidence based decisions; and this set us on a path to shared outcomes that get the job done to everyone’s satisfaction.
- Performance. We never tire of learning. If there’s a better way of doing a job, we’ll find it and perfect it. If you want to be accountable and respected, you have to plan to exceed expectations. That’s our focus. For example, we’re passionate about our preventative maintenance service. We know that it’s a sure-fire way for property managing agents and businesses to avoid unnecessary emergency callouts, shutdowns and breaches of health and safety regulations. We also provide an ‘Aspect/Impact’ system that assists customers (and their tenants) meet their responsibilities to create a cleaner environment. And we take responsibility for all the work we do: every site is inspected by one of our Technical Services Managers to ensure that all tasks have been carried out to exacting standards.
- People. You’ll never get a job at Metro Mechanical unless you’re passionate about our business. We’re in a service industry, so we expect our people to be prepared to take ownership and responsibility for our work. I don’t just mean the teams on-site; I mean everyone: office support, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, and our management team. Our team is focused on continuous training and improvement: we relish the challenges of learning new skills, techniques, and qualifications. The fantastic culture at Metro shows in the pride our whole team takes in what we do.
We’ve come along way and I’m very proud of all that we’ve achieved – but I believe the best is yet to come. It’s our people – working in partnership with our customers – that will deliver this; because together, we will continue to share the Metro vision of building our business, one where knowledge, performance and people drive long-term success for us all.