The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within the globally-successful UK. It provides local government services for the Square Mile, the financial and commercial heart of Britain, and is committed to supporting and promoting ‘The City’ as a world leader in international finance and business services through its policies and the high standard of services provided. The City Corporation’s responsibilities extend far beyond the City boundaries and provide a host of additional facilities for the benefit of the nation.
In addition to the usual services provided by a local authority the City Corporation is Police Authority to the City of London Police and runs the nation’s Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey). They maintain five London Bridges, run the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre and are the London Port Health Authority for the river Thames. Through their food markets Billingsgate, Spitalfields and Smithfield they supply London and the South East with fresh produce. They look after over 11,000 acres of green spaces across London such as Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest. They own and run flagship cultural institutions such as the world-renowned Barbican Centre. Many of these services are funded from the City Corporation’s investments at no cost to the public. They are committed to an extensive programme of activities designed to assist their neighbours to benefit from the wealth the Square Mile generates. The City Bridge Trust, the City’s charitable funder, has awarded 7,500 grants totalling £350 million to charities supporting Londoners since it began.
Looking for a single provider
In 2015, the City Corporation was looking for a single company that could deliver a cleaning service across its varied estate of over 100 sites. With a history of managing numerous contracts, the City Corporation had narrowed down its suppliers to a handful of contractors, however, it was looking to consolidate this down further to just one.
With experience in a variety of sectors and industries, Servest proposed a strong and flexible solution that was backed up by innovative IT systems. Impressed with the proposal, the City Corporation awarded Servest the four-year contract in November 2015, to provide event, office and communal cleaning at venues, managed offices and investment properties, along with specialist cell cleaning at police stations.
Working to consolidate the solution
On winning the contract, Servest’s priority was to get to grips with the large and varied estate to ensure a consistent and building appropriate service could be implemented. A dedicated account director initiated a strategic and methodical survey of the estate to find out the specific requirements of each site. The knowledge gained from the survey enabled the team to deliver a consistent service across all sites, which impressed the City Corporation and reinforced their decision to opt for a single provider.
Utilising new found knowledge
Servest was keen to implement the knowledge it had gained in the first months of the contract to make improvements. Utilising the team’s early successes and the resulting positive relationship with the City Corporation, Servest proposed a restructure that promised to make efficiencies, whilst improving on the level of service. Working with the City Corporation, the team implemented this restructure and recorded improved service delivery, consistently high KPI scores and quick resolution to any complaints. Servest’s approach to the restructure and its subsequent success set the foundations for a flourishing partnership with the Corporation.
Striving for continuous improvement
In conjunction with the team at the City Corporation, Servest restructured the contract again in early 2018 with the aim to facilitate innovative and fresh ideas. This saw the creation of new roles designed to elevate Servest colleagues, giving them the platform to hone their skills and provide them with the freedom to make decisions and implement changes. Servest’s investment in training colleagues across the contract enabled this change and has maximised the effectiveness of the team and therefore improved the service received by the City Corporation.
As part of the restructure Servest appointed a project manager to propose ideas that would provide the City Corporation with potential benefits. This has enabled the operational teams to focus on their day to day tasks, whilst ensuring any innovative ideas can be monopolised.
Plans for an innovative future
The Servest team will continue to work closely with the City Corporation to deliver a consistent service that adapts to requirements. Innovative initiatives and technology will continue to be sought out by the dedicated project manager to provide a cutting-edge service that best serves the City Corporation’s colleagues and visitors.