Belfast-based H&J Martin has built a reputation as a specialist in PFI projects and was recognised as a beacon of best practice with its ground-breaking work on Northern Ireland's first M4I pathfinder PFI project at Drumglass High School. Established in 1840, the company now operates throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and has been awarded a range of prestigious contracts.
Martin FM, the facilities management arm of the company, was created 10 years ago to support its construction division, which at that time required an integrated approach to maintenance and repair regimes. Since then Martin FM has been recognised as a pioneer of PFI/PPP projects and has positioned the provision of technical competence, financial control and management systems – supported by CAFM solutions – at the heart of the FM strategies it implements for clients. Martin FM has an enviable track record of working with public sector clients including government institutions, healthcare, and education – and boasts flagship projects including Stormont, the seat of Northern Ireland's government. Radical forms of procurement, such as the PPP project at the City Hospital and the M4I Partnering arrangement at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast have also showcased innovations developed by the company.
In 2001 Martin FM won a £6million, two-year, Measured Term Contract (MTC) with the Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) of Northern Ireland's Government that required a complete maintenance programme covering 1,400 buildings including the Stormont estate and Parliament Buildings. Such a mammoth undertaking, at that time, required a CAFM solution that could not only be implemented quickly but accommodate the scope of the project. An existing awareness of FSI and Concept™, coupled with extensive market research, proved that Concept™ was the
right solution for the upgrading of their existing helpdesk.
"The government contract win was a major milestone for the Division", explains Wilton Farrelly, Divisional Managing Director. "It was therefore essential that we partnered with a company that would understand our requirements quickly and provide not only a solution that would meet our initial requirements, but had the capability to provide additional functionality as and when required. FSI's expertise of the FM industry and market knowledge, in conjunction with the capabilities of ConceptTM, provided us with the confidence to partner with the company."
In order to meet the operational challenge of the contract, Martin FM partnered with JD McGeown (electrical contractor) and CHC Group Ltd (mechanical contractor) and formed a multidisciplinary joint venture to manage the contract centrally. Concept™ was made available to the two partner companies through a VPN connection to a central server located at Martin's office.
The Concept™ system not only provided effective management of the project - enabling concise, accurate reporting and analysis - but has been developed and enhanced to become a tailored solution. With a further 15 contracts of varying sizes won, due in part, to the capabilities of Concept™; and the government contract extended to five years on a rolling basis, H&J Martin now utilises many of the system's capabilities for clients such as Cable and Wireless, Oasis, Thompson, BT and Crown Castle UK Ltd.
"From call logging and finance reporting to KPI assessment, every aspect of a contract can be monitored and streamlined where necessary," continues Farrelly. "With continued support from FSI we've developed our CAFM remit as we've grown, which has enabled us to continue meeting our client requirements. These developments include the Workflow Lite™ module, which has allowed many processes to be automated. We are now able to alert mangers to any area of a contract we see fit, from key milestones to payment processes. The control and transparency of projects ConceptTM has provided is considerably significant. Operations Managers who are based off site can now log-on to the system remotely and monitor projects on a daily basis if necessary. This flexibility has been felt across all contracts, and with over 100 direct employees and over 140 sub-contractors, it is, in some areas, crucial. With the system having been put through its paces with the government contract, Martin FM is now incorporating it into a new build development at the Belfast City Hospital, where a new cancer wing is due to be completed early in 2006.
"It is obvious that FSI considers itself much more than a supplier," concludes Farrelly. "The company has worked to build a lasting relationship with H&J Martin, getting under the skin of our company and developing with us a system that can meet every eventuality."