General Survey

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by General Survey's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from General Survey is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.roofinspectionservices.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | GENERAL SURVEY
Managing Director David Andrews
Ashgrid
overcladding
General Survey Ltd is a specialist fixed-cost roofing
contractor based in Scunthorpe, providing guaranteed
standards of roofing to both corporate and public
sector clients in the industrial and commercial building sector.
The business has achieved the highest safety standards in the
industry, with a zero-accident record. In eight years, they have
never had a lost-time accident, nor have there been any broken-
bone injuries on their watch. This can be set against the fact
that every year in the UK, there are over 5,000 serious injuries
while working at height and around 85 deaths. Knowing this
is the case, General Survey have placed a keen emphasis on
safety, regarding it as vital to the work they do. Managing
Director David Andrews tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
We run short-order books and fixed-cost contracts, over 85 per cent of which are
repeat-order rates. Since 2011, over 60 per cent of staff were previously long-term
unemployed. The business has 360 corporate clients, from the large, such as FedEx,
to the local, such as Golden Wonder Crisps in Scunthorpe. We have a broad base
of clientele, including those from the UK, the US, Japan, Europe and Scandinavia.
Currently, we are spearheading the completion of roof refurbishments for the
Magnet Kitchens Group across the UK. Last year, the refurbishment of FedEx’s
Stansted facility was delivered on time and on budget. Furthermore, our seven-year
rolling programme of refurbishment for the Epta George Barker campus in Bradford,
comprising over 10,000 square metres of roof installations, is coming to a close.
FACTS ABOUT
GENERAL SURVEY
»Managing Director:
David Andrews
»Founded in 2010
»Located in Scunthorpe,
Lincolnshire
»Services: Roofing contractor
»No. of employees: 16
»Has a zero accident record
General Survey
25GENERAL SURVEY |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
A clear system to keep us on
track
If we think in terms of barriers to
business success, the basic answer is
the avoidance of irrelevant distractions
at every level. Rapid and accurate
decision-making is key to quality client
service, and early on in our business,
we introduced the concept of DRIVEN
– each letter of which denotes a critical
aspect of the company’s operations:
»Design
»Resources
»Information
»Values
»Effectiveness
»Normalisation
Our successful journey – which, it’s worth
remembering, started from nothing –
couldn’t have been achieved without our
commitment to a democratic delivery
process – that is, the process whereby
a client considers value for money and
service quality fully before deciding to
buy. The solutions are then provided
by people from a wide variety of
socioeconomic backgrounds, all of whom
have displayed a remarkable ability
to problem-solve, irrespective of their
levels of education. As employers, it is
important that we support our team and
stimulate them to deliver the business
objective of the day, week oryear.
In light of this, we have four essential
barriers to consider, namely: value
for money; getting things done on
time; supporting and stimulating staff
development; and, lastly, creating staff
involvement. However, as crucial as
these four considerations are, there
are other aspects of the business that
we also take extra care to observe –
perhaps the most important of which
is the legislation, which keeps us and
the wider industry aligned with the
safest principles of delivery.
All too often, the basic drive to deliver
value for money and on-time service is
regarded as greedy and overly self-
serving, but getting things right for our
client is of benefit to all stakeholders.
The client, after all, is intelligent. To insult
the client’s intelligence when completing
a task is to do so at your own expense.
Our concept of DRIVEN was made with
all of these issues in mind. It keeps us
on top of these issues and ensures we
address them in a structured way.
Effective and efficient solutions
Designing a solution is really important
– it’s useful to think of a product as a
strategy to deliver successful roofing
solutions, with design being a vital first
step in that strategy. We have to bring
together all the design parameters as a
fundamental task. All our teams have
to consider these at the coal face. By
making the right level of resources
available to local teams, we deliver
these options at the point of need faster
than any of our competitors. Once a
design is agreed and the resources are
made available, correct information is
indispensable to achieving effectiveness
in the repair or installation programme.
The information flow is optimised
to support design and resourcing
for the tasks ahead on a daily and
scheduled basis. We have aimed to
capture the simplest and most vital
of information in our processes to
ensure a transparent environment for
Gutter cleaning at 20
metres up
As employers,
it is important
that we
support our
team and
stimulate them
to deliver the
business
objective of the
day, week or
year
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | GENERAL SURVEY
Managing Director David Andrews
Ashgrid
overcladding
General Survey Ltd is a specialist fixed-cost roofing
contractor based in Scunthorpe, providing guaranteed
standards of roofing to both corporate and public
sector clients in the industrial and commercial building sector.
The business has achieved the highest safety standards in the
industry, with a zero-accident record. In eight years, they have
never had a lost-time accident, nor have there been any broken-
bone injuries on their watch. This can be set against the fact
that every year in the UK, there are over 5,000 serious injuries
while working at height and around 85 deaths. Knowing this
is the case, General Survey have placed a keen emphasis on
safety, regarding it as vital to the work they do. Managing
Director David Andrews tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
We run short-order books and fixed-cost contracts, over 85 per cent of which are
repeat-order rates. Since 2011, over 60 per cent of staff were previously long-term
unemployed. The business has 360 corporate clients, from the large, such as FedEx,
to the local, such as Golden Wonder Crisps in Scunthorpe. We have a broad base
of clientele, including those from the UK, the US, Japan, Europe and Scandinavia.
Currently, we are spearheading the completion of roof refurbishments for the
Magnet Kitchens Group across the UK. Last year, the refurbishment of FedEx’s
Stansted facility was delivered on time and on budget. Furthermore, our seven-year
rolling programme of refurbishment for the Epta George Barker campus in Bradford,
comprising over 10,000 square metres of roof installations, is coming to a close.
FACTS ABOUT
GENERAL SURVEY
»Managing Director:
DavidAndrews
»Founded in 2010
»Located in Scunthorpe,
Lincolnshire
»Services: Roofing contractor
»No. of employees: 16
»Has a zero accident record
General Survey
25GENERAL SURVEY |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
A clear system to keep us on
track
If we think in terms of barriers to
business success, the basic answer is
the avoidance of irrelevant distractions
at every level. Rapid and accurate
decision-making is key to quality client
service, and early on in our business,
we introduced the concept of DRIVEN
– each letter of which denotes a critical
aspect of the company’s operations:
»Design
»Resources
»Information
»Values
»Effectiveness
»Normalisation
Our successful journey – which, it’s worth
remembering, started from nothing –
couldn’t have been achieved without our
commitment to a democratic delivery
process – that is, the process whereby
a client considers value for money and
service quality fully before deciding to
buy. The solutions are then provided
by people from a wide variety of
socioeconomic backgrounds, all of whom
have displayed a remarkable ability
to problem-solve, irrespective of their
levels of education. As employers, it is
important that we support our team and
stimulate them to deliver the business
objective of the day, week oryear.
In light of this, we have four essential
barriers to consider, namely: value
for money; getting things done on
time; supporting and stimulating staff
development; and, lastly, creating staff
involvement. However, as crucial as
these four considerations are, there
are other aspects of the business that
we also take extra care to observe –
perhaps the most important of which
is the legislation, which keeps us and
the wider industry aligned with the
safest principles of delivery.
All too often, the basic drive to deliver
value for money and on-time service is
regarded as greedy and overly self-
serving, but getting things right for our
client is of benefit to all stakeholders.
The client, after all, is intelligent. To insult
the client’s intelligence when completing
a task is to do so at your own expense.
Our concept of DRIVEN was made with
all of these issues in mind. It keeps us
on top of these issues and ensures we
address them in a structured way.
Effective and efficient solutions
Designing a solution is really important
– it’s useful to think of a product as a
strategy to deliver successful roofing
solutions, with design being a vital first
step in that strategy. We have to bring
together all the design parameters as a
fundamental task. All our teams have
to consider these at the coal face. By
making the right level of resources
available to local teams, we deliver
these options at the point of need faster
than any of our competitors. Once a
design is agreed and the resources are
made available, correct information is
indispensable to achieving effectiveness
in the repair or installation programme.
The information flow is optimised
to support design and resourcing
for the tasks ahead on a daily and
scheduled basis. We have aimed to
capture the simplest and most vital
of information in our processes to
ensure a transparent environment for
Gutter cleaning at 20
metres up
As employers,
it is important
that we
support our
team and
stimulate them
to deliver the
business
objective of the
day, week or
year
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | GENERAL SURVEY
the client, as the client needs reports
and feedback. The teams need clear
objectives and to know the safety and
quality requirements, with minimalism
being a key resource parameter.
Effectiveness is simply measured: did the
client receive the service to the standard
required when they needed it? Did we
make a profit sufficient to reinvest in the
process? Did the crew work a normal
and safe shift? In terms of this last
question, our answer is clear: we have
a zero-accident record and our cost of
quality and warranties across all works,
including emergencies, is less than 1 per
cent. In the last eight years, 99.9 per
cent of all projects have been delivered
on time and on budget without extras.
All contracts, moreover, are fixed cost.
Our normalisation process is to continue
delivering these levels of safety, quality
and cost control. We have targeted
programmes for product management,
staff selection and development.
Retention of staff is a key policy objective,
and precise recruitment and development
of staff will help us in this regard.
There are clearly players out there who
don’t have a similar approach. Our aim
is to keep on standing out as different
– more specifically, to distinguish
ourselves as the best-cost solution
in the UK marketplace for industrial
roofing refurbishment and repairs. To
do that, we know we have to refine
and improve our operational efficiency
– a challenge we gladly embrace.
Confidence in the company’s
and the country’s future
Moving forward, we’re confident that
Brexit won’t affect us much. Ultimately,
if the pound stays low, none of the
European countries can compete with
the UK in terms of design, labour and
business costs, employment flexibility,
and logistics. Robots and automation
will replace low-cost labour and
improveefficiencies.
The family business has more
opportunities than ever. Our internet
logistics have developed 100 per cent
further and faster than France and
Germany, with 20 per cent penetration
levels. The pressure on the high-street
retailer was already unavoidable,
thus a concerted effort to remodel
town centres into friendlier no-
traffic zones with café terracing and
increased residency levels will make
more and more of Britain attractive
to young professionals, stay-at-home
holidaymakers and tourists alike. For
our part, we will continue to provide
our quality services.
Effectiveness
issimply
measured:
didthe client
receive the
service to the
standard
required when
they needed
it?
Ridge replacement at 24
metres
27JOHN COUZENS ROOFING |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Proprietor John Couzens
Lead-covered lovers’ bench
John Couzens Roofing is a family-run contractor, founded
by John Couzens in 1982. It offers tailored solutions to its
clients and applies traditional materials and techniques to
a range of different specifications. It received a government
Quality Mark in 2002 and remains one of the few organisations
in its sector to have received a recommendation from
Which?
Proprietor John explains that the company prides itself on being
the contractor that clients come to when they want a project
done that others have failed to complete.
I began working for a local Thanet roofing company at just 12 years old but by the
time I was 20, I had decided that I didn’t want to continue to associate myself with
such poor standards of workmanship. In response, I founded John Couzens Roofing
Contractors. My initial goal was to ensure that I would always strive to work to the
highest standard and provide my customers with value for money. In my first few
years of trading, I spent my evenings attending night school to gain lead welding
skills and honing my technique by manufacturing lead weathering slates for the
local builders’ merchants.
The first few years of trading were slow. We were a new roofing company and
had to compete with countless others, while often offering quotes to customers
that were simply looking for the cheapest quote and not the best quality. I had
confidence in my long-term plan, however, since Thanet is home to approximately
2,500 listed buildings, making it the largest concentration of listed structures in
southeast England.
FACTS ABOUT
JOHN COUZENS ROOFING
»Proprietor: JohnCouzens
»Founded in 1982
»Based in Broadstairs, Kent
»Services: Roofing and
conservation
»No. of employees: 8
»We have been featured on
ITV’s
Judge Rinder
as an
expert witness during an
investigation into malpractice
»www.leadwelding.co.uk
John Couzens
Roofing

www.roofinspectionservices.co.uk

This article was sponsored by General Survey. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster