European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2017 winner - Derrycourt

6th of July 2018
European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2017 winner - Derrycourt

Founded in 1992 and based in Dublin, Ireland, Derrycourt Cleaning Specialists was declared the winner in the Excellence in Client/Contractor Partnerships category at the 2017 European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards. It won the award for its work with FBD insurance company.

Family-owned Derrycourt operates according to a set of core values: family ethos; exceeding expectations; sustainable performance; urgency; respect; development; and customer focus. Bid manager Susan Spillane told ECJ about the company’s ethos when it comes to client relationships. “We understand that each of our client’s sites is individual and has specific requirements that we must respect and implement as if we were implementing them in our own home.

“We find that open communication and transparent dealings works best for us as an approach for these relationships. Understanding our clients’ needs and providing them with the services they require as required is also essential.”

How does the company define the word ‘partnership’ when relating to the clients it provides services for? Spillane explained: “Partnership means working together. It’s ensuring communication flows both ways and that our clients keep us updated on any changes in their organisation or practices that may impact our services. We have noticed an increased focus on both the environment and on health and safety from our clients.”

For FBD, one of Ireland’s leading insurance companies, Derrycourt provides services at the head office in Dublin, the support centre in Mullingar and at 32 other regional offices throughout Ireland. The two companies have worked together since 2011 – at the time the contract was awarded FBD stressed that a key element for them would be the seamless transition from the previous service provider to Derrycourt and that the mobilisation of the contract would be done within a month of contract award.

With a systematic approach this objective was achieved, with a seamless provision of service and minimum disruption to FBD. After that initial period Derrycourt maintained its regular and open communication channel with FBD and took on additional tasks such as the scheduling of IT cleans, supply of consumables for all 14 branches, nationwide window cleaning service (weekly and monthly services) and the provision of a tea-towel collection service, again nationwide.

In 2015 FBD had a very challenging year as Derek Ivory, manager for facilities and procurement explained. “Because of the challenges we were facing FBD evolved a simple strategy, called ‘return to profitability’. That meant that every cost, man hour, managed service arrangement and supply had to be challenged. So we engaged with Derrycourt to look at the cleaning and related disciplines.

“Derrycourt put its customer first,” continued Ivory, “and provided FBD with an ‘a la carte’ menu of cost reduction options with the consequences spelled out. It gave FBD the opportunity to identify what was important to our internal and external customers and made the hard decisions as pain-free and straightforward as possible.”

Ivory concluded: “In the final analysis the savings that were generated helped FBD meet our cost saving targets. A key element of that was Derrycourt’s engagement with the marketplace to
find better value for FBD than we could find ourselves.”

In 2017 FBD appointed a new procurement team with two objectives in mind – to review existing services with an eye on savings, and to look at the potential for engaging with key suppliers to consolidate the large number of small contracts/small service providers it had in place. Derrycourt presented a solution for merging existing services at FBD (landscaping, waste management, water systems, washroom supplies, pest control, feminine hygiene, plan management) under its remit.

Working with the majority of the current service providers, Derrycourt was able to utilise its buying power with third party suppliers to give FBD considerable savings in their outlay. Some changes in the contracted hours were put in place but the quality of service has not been sacrificed.

“Quality partnership is based on a genuine understanding of customer needs,” Derek Ivory told ECJ. “The right service at the right price is fundamental, however exceeding the customer’s expectations brings the relationship to a new level.”

He continued: “Derrycourt has delivered a consistent, problem solving approach to the contract management and, when called, Derrycourt is always there. One of the key deliverables was the introduction of standards and the commitment to continuous improvement.”


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