Global HSE Solutions: bringing efficiency to fire surveys & inspections
Global HSE Solutions are industry leaders in fire safety and passive fire protection measures. Their mission is to keep premises, staff and clients safe, so that everyone can be secure. The company’s values include innovation, integrity and commitment, all of which contributes to their excellent reputation.
Headquartered in Nottingham, the company employs 200 people across the UK, with additional contractors and associates brought into projects as required.
Global Technical Services is the technical fire services arm of Global HSE Solutions, providing fire engineering support and expertise both to Tier 1 contractors and the business’s own contracting arm. Global Technical Services includes 23 full-time employees with a wide range of expertise. They deliver scrutineering services, fire risk assessments, fire risk management and surveying. Throughout 2022, GTS has scaled quickly into a separate division with an increased headcount and have faced some of the short-term organisational challenges that come with rapid growth.
The challenge: finding the right tools for streamlined processes
Ross O’Loughlin is the Head of Global Technical Services, a role which combines business development with process development and improvement. In that capacity, he seeks to both improve the client’s experience of services while making those services more transparent, efficient and enjoyable for his team to deliver.
When O’Loughlin joined Global Technical Services, he was keen to ensure his team had the tools they needed to deliver their work successfully. He also needed to be able to predict the scope and time needed for work in order to generate accurate quotes for clients.
Another central challenge for the business is being able to recruit enough highly-trained professionals to fill the roles required. As a result, it’s important that each person at GTS is able to work efficiently to deliver the projects the division takes on without compromising their work-life balance.
O’Loughlin said “My main concern was how we could speed up our surveys without losing the value within the survey. I wanted to improve the working life of my staff. Reporting, writing, and collating information around a survey has always been a laborious task. If we can streamline that in any way, that allows us to focus our energy on delivering our expertise.”
The test: usability on a large-scale surveying project
Following a demonstration of PlanRadar at FIREX, O’Loughlin saw PlanRadar’s potential to be a one-stop shop for delivering surveys and inspection results. The ability to record video and integrate BIM were also key to GTS’s requirements around the Building Safety Act and increased expectations for data collection in line with the Golden Thread of Information.
After further conversations, the team decided to trial the software on one project from start to end.
The test project was based in a university in Northern England, where the surveying team were delivering a damper inspection survey. There were thousands of dampers to inspect, making this a task that required meticulous record-keeping.
The team’s feedback was unanimous: “The guys on the test project said that PlanRadar was fantastic. It really sped up their reporting and it was very usable.”
The outcome: less time wasted and a better work/life balance for the team
Following the successful test project, Global Technical Solutions rolled out PlanRadar to their full inspection and surveying teams. It provides the team with effortless way to record fire inspections and survey results, walking through a building and recording voice notes rather than having stop to make notes on paper or do lengthy follow-up work in the office. Today, around 20 team members work with PlanRadar every day.
While the division currently uses several pieces of technology to deliver different services, they are already exploring how PlanRadar could be used in other areas of the business. “From a business perspective, uploading as many documents, photos or jpegs at no extra cost is a massive win in comparison to competitors in this space,” said O’Loughlin.
He is confident that there is much potential still waiting to be unlocked. “PlanRadar is really useful, and the opportunities we can gain from getting to grips with and using all its functions would improve our business.”