Mark White … shares his view from the top
Hello, I’m Mark White, founder and Chief Executive of Metro Mechanical Limited and this is our story …
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 taking a walk around a site, count the manhole covers, gullies, ACO … whatever else there was … and then come up with a price. We relied on the site owner to tell us if there was anything we couldn’t see such as Petrol Interceptors, for example. Quite often the client didn’t know what they had and neither did we – until something went wrong. By today’s standards that was a pretty poor approach to Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) but at the time that was the way it was done.
But not anymore. About 15 years ago 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 radical decision but our vision was clear – we needed to offer our customers a pro-active, solution focused, more efficient service.
We based our approach on three fundamentals: knowledge, performance, and people.
Knowledge. We decided to do detailed drainage surveys of our customer’s site. And we’d do them 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. Knowledge they say 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. This turns potential arguments into meaningful discussions. Guesswork has been replaced by evidence based decisions that set us on the best path to shared outcomes that get the job done to everyone’s satisfaction.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, if you want to be respected you have to plan to perform (or exceed) expectations. That’s our focus.
For example, we’re passionate about our PPM service. We know that it’s a sure fire way for our customers to stay ahead of potential problems like unnecessary emergency callouts, shutdowns and breaches of health and safety regulations. We also provide an environment ‘Aspect/Impact’ system that can assist customers (and their tenants) meet their responsibilities for creating a cleaner environment.
We take responsibility for all the work we do. Every site is inspected by one of our Technical Services Managers (TSM) to check that all tasks have been carried out to exacting standards then, and only then, will the work be signed off.
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 all they do for our customers. I don’t just mean the teams working on-site, I mean everyone – office staff, engineers, surveyors, inspectors … and the directors.
We’re pretty hot on continuous training and improvement too. We like our people to enjoy the challenge of learning new skills, techniques, and being up to date with their qualifications. It’s great for them and that confidence shows in the pride they take in their work.
Success is a great motivator. But we’re not complacent. 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 … and our customers … that will make it happen, because they’re the ones who have embraced our vision to grow a business where knowledge, performance and people shape our continuing success.