AEJ have secured another contract cleaning win, this time on the south coast of England at a 165,000 square feet retail park with capacity for over 500 vehicles to park. AEJ, who specialise in soft service facilities management into the retail, shopping centre, office and business park space will provide on site cleaning to ensure the retail park is in a good, clean condition at all times for shoppers visiting the site. This is important to not only attract new customers to a site but also ensure repeat visits from those that use the retail park on a regular basis.
This contract award increases AEJ’s portfolio in the South East of England along with continuing to establish the business as once of the leading names in the contract cleaning marketplace across the UK.
Comments Off on AEJ Support AquAid and The Africa Trust
For a number of months now, AEJ Management have been using water coolers in our Chelmsford office in association with AquAid Africa. Founded by AquAid in 2010, the mission of The Africa Trust is to bring sustainable solutions to poverty in Africa. With every water cooler and bottle of water obtained from AquAid, a donation is made to The Africa Trust and these funds are used directly to build fresh drinking water wells in parts of Africa where it is needed the most, such as villages and schools. By literally using the waters coolers this has saved the lives of many children in Africa.
At AEJ Management we take Corporate Social Responsibility seriously, and we are proud of our association with AquAid and will continue to support their efforts to reduce poverty in Africa by using their water coolers across our network of UK offices.
For further information on AquAid and to obtain your own water cooler to support their efforts, visit their website at www.aquaidwatercoolers.co.uk
AEJ were asked to undertake a large scale car park transformation project at Haslemere Street Car Park in Surrey. The car park had been left unattended for a number of years and as a result had fallen into a dilapidated state of repair. Not only this but the area had become an eye sore for local residents and businesses and the noise to do something about it had become almost deafening.
AEJ’s in-house commercial maintenance team set about a car park resurfacing programme, bollard installation and line marking to turn the car park back into a usable state. Solar powered street lights along with steps and handrails were installed before a large scale landscaping project was undertaken to trim back overhanging trees and branches that hadn’t received any attention for years.
With the project complete a new, usable car park available for local businesses and shoppers was available for use. The feedback we have received from the local community that an extra car park has opened, and the fact that such space has been transformed has been fantastic to receive.
AEJ are part of a group of companies that includes Horizon Parking, one of the UKs leading car park management companies. The car park is also being fully managed by Horizon. A great example of a total transformation project turning into a full car park management requirement.
Check out the before, during and after photographs on our company Linkedin page.
Comments Off on What are the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and why is this important for people within FM?
Back in 2016, the Energy Efficiency Regulations (2015) established the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, or MEES as it is often referred to, in the residential and commercial private rental sector. This was introduced by the UK Government to improve the quality of rented buildings and reduce CO2 emissions in relation to the UKs targets for decarbonisation.
The UK Government has since pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and in the process improve the energy efficiency of the country’s historical buildings. Under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), it is not against the law to grant a new lease or the renewal of an existing lease to a landlord on a commercial property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) below an E rating. Certificates range from A, the highest to G, the lowest. The government believed that almost one in five commercial properties would be unable to achieve a rating above F.
The rules, currently in force, are about to become even more stricter, however, as by April 2023 it will become an offence to continue to let a commercial property with an EPC rating of F or G, even in the middle of a lease.
There are however, some exceptions to the rule as the regulation does not apply to commercial leases that are in operation for less than a six month term or more than 99 years. Some listed buildings are also on the exception list. Both the landlord and the tenant need to undertake their own research into whether leasing a listed building makes them liable. Currently an EPC rating is valid for 10 years and if a commercial property has a rating of F or G yet the lease was signed before 2018, then MEES will not apply to a lease that before the April 2023 deadline. There is a maximum fine of £150,000 for non-compliance, depending on the property’s rateable value so be aware of the risks.
So where does the Facility Manager figure in all this? Well, there are a variety of ways in which a commercial building can be improve its energy performance and the facility manager can have a positive influence on the implementation of this–
Insulation – Improve your insulation. Poorly insulated roofs and walls can have a massive impact on the EPC rating. Landlords should consider adding insulation to solid brick or metal-clad properties, especially where there are cavity walls.
Heating and cooling – Old HVAC plant and equipment is a significant factor in energy emissions. Install more efficient boilers, variable-speed heating and cooling pumps and high-efficiency chillers. Think about installing a heating control system that reduces the likelihood of wasting energy in different parts of the property.
Lighting –A low EPC rating in a commercial building will have inefficient lighting systems. Look to replace older fluorescent tubes and halogen bulbs with LEDs. Similarly with heating, lighting controls can also dramatically reduce energy wastage in unused areas of the property.
Predictive maintenance – Investing in predictive maintenance is crucial. After installing sensors on the assets, equipment and distribution networks in a commercial property, engineering teams can track energy efficiency and calculate when systems may begin to underperform.
Follow the above guidelines and there will be a strong chance a landlord will achieve a higher EPC rating than the current E pass mark. There is already talk of MEES looking to introduce a minimum energy efficiency target of C or B by 2030 and with the UK under pressure to meet its 2050 objectives, there has never been a better time to get your commercial building in order.
Comments Off on AEJ in New Grounds Maintenance Contract Win
AEJ Management are celebrating another new site win, this time down on the south coast of England at a 160,000 square feet retail park. Soft service facilities management retail specialist AEJ have been appointed to undertake the landscaping and general grounds maintenance on the site and are to begin work immediately.
Iain Warburton, Business Development Manager at AEJ remarked, ‘This is another really good win for the business, coming hot on the heel of winning the soft services management contract at a North London retail park only the other week. We seem to be picking up some nice new business wins at the moment and long may that continue’.
Along with a landscaping service, AEJ provide security as an SIA registered provider of guards and CCTV and also cleaning services across a range of retail, shopping and business park locations. The company, operating from their Chelmsford HQ, has an in-house property maintenance team able to service all maintenance and periodic works on client sites.
For further information on the services that AEJ offer, visit the website at http://aejmanagement.com or contact on 01245 396873.
There is much talk about the need for businesses to become more sustainable and socially responsible in their day to day activity both in the office and out on clients’ sites. The need for businesses to become ‘net zero’ and aware of their responsibilities to reduce their day to day emissions is commonplace, but what exactly is net zero?
Net zero refers to the point at which all carbon emissions are eliminated or offset, in efforts to quit contributing to the inertia of climate change. Leading scientists believe this could well affect the well-being of humanity globally. The UK Government has set a net zero carbon target for 2050 and are committed to this goal with the announcement that from 2030, new petrol and diesel cars will no longer be sold. While 45 per cent of FTSE 100 companies have committed to achieving net zero by 2050 or sooner, only 16 per cent have a plan on how they will achieve it. The other 55% of FTSE companies join the majority of businesses in requiring support to address the various knowledge gaps, to ensure that widespread net zero carbon commitments are rolled out alongside credible plans for organisations to achieve these objectives.
A main point for discussion on the journey is the difference between striving for carbon neutral goals versus net zero goals. From a public Corporate Social Responsibility perspective, carbon neutrality is often used as the main point for sustainable business. The issue, however, with this approach alone is that it relies on carbon offset rather than truly sustainable practice and development, meaning that companies can buy into programs that counteract their impact. The investment in carbon capture and renewable infrastructure elsewhere is important, but so is gradually improving the way we operate here and now. Put simple, there has to be a plan in place in order to achieve the objective.
Globally, the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions is still electricity and heat, accounting for almost a third of all emissions. There are other scopes of carbon emissions, however, with suppliers, associates, and necessary services usually the largest category and can include so much of a wider network, but is also the scope with the largest potential for positive growth by encouraging connections to make progress, and in working together in the race to carbon neutrality. Unlike other races, this is one that everyone needs to finish, and no one can afford to lose.
Comments Off on AEJ in New London Retail Park Site Win
AEJ Management, the retail and shopping centre soft services FM specialist, are celebrating after having been awarded a new contract to run a 100000 sq ft out of town retail park in North-West London. The retail park, which features some of the UKs most popular and recognised brands, was put out to tender to find a provider that could undertake a professional cleaning service at the site along with providing a visible security presence for the visiting public.
Iain Warburton, Business Development Manager at AEJ Management remarks, ‘We’re delighted to have been appointed on this site for the next 3 years. This demonstrates the trust the managing agent has in us to deliver on the service specifications that were outlined in the bid process and it also strengths our position as a leading soft service provider into the retail and shopping sector in and around the capital and south-west in general. Our head office is in Chelmsford and we are often viewed as an attractive proposition to clients given our proximity to London and our excellent track record within this sector’.
The bid process involved having to outline the company’s experience in service delivery, submission of a clear and competitive bid along with demonstrating a strategic and cultural fit for the client. Iain continues, ‘What was also apparent during the tender exercise what the need to demonstrate innovation over the duration of the contract and also how we would add value to the existing site arrangements. Being able to compile and submit detailed, yet concise reports is one aspect that differentiates us from our competitors and this is something we are proud of’.
For further information on the services that AEJ Management can offer, visit their website at http://aejmanagement.com on contact on 01245 396873
Comments Off on Has The FM Sector Now Become A ‘Race To The Bottom’?
Across UK, industry as a whole over the last 12- 18 months has seen seismic developments which did not seem possible prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. Businesses have had to adapt to the constant changing landscape they operate in with most employers taking advantage of furlough, or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in an attempt to prevent redundancies and keep staff on the payroll whilst hoping to get through the turbulence as unscathed as possible. Microsoft Teams and Zoom have become the new medium for holding both internal company and client meetings and perhaps opened executive eyes in how communications can still remain open and effective between staff and clients alike, whilst travel has been restricted. Industry however has suffered that there can be no doubt, with the hospitality sector still largely dormant and one of the last to pick up the pieces from the devastation of Lockdown.
The Facilities Management sector has also experienced changes that were not forecast with remote staff management becoming a necessity along with the challenges imposed logistically to ensure site staff are fully compliant from a PPE perspective. There have, of course, been some winners and losers in this sector yet the retail sector has perhaps been the biggest loser with numbers only recently returning to parks and shopping centres of which were experienced pre-lockdown. Managing agents have had to work tirelessly with both landlords and tenants alike in an attempt to understand both occupier requirements and occupancy costs. The role of ‘middle man’ has had to be played, at times, with diplomatic aplomb so as to extend support to occupiers in outlining the financial support available through CBILS and other government backed schemes along with lobbying Business Improvement Districts (BIDS). Rent concessions, service-charge mitigation and payment plans have had to be skilfully negotiated to satisfy the need of both landlord and occupier.
Despite all this and the heroic efforts by some managing agents to keep centres from looking like ghost towns and the fact that we now appear, at least, to be coming out of the woods with the clearing in sight, has there been a shift in procurement strategy in relation to contractor services with cost being the main driver over quality of service delivery? Cost will and has always been a significant driver in the procurement process for any organisation, but given the challenges experienced over the last 18 months, is this now the significant factor when it comes to procuring management services?
Iain Warburton, Business Development Manager at AEJ Management who have for a number of years specialised in providing soft service facilities management into the retail and shopping centre space, makes some interesting observations. ‘The last 12 months in particular have been quite fascinating for this sector. We have noticed clients putting greater emphasis on cost cutting measures whilst still expecting, to a large degree, the same level of quality of service delivery and reporting. A number of regional facilities managers that I have spoken to across the country over the last 12 months have all sited cost cutting requirements in their site procurement needs yet have remarked, also, that AEJ have consistently delivered on their service delivery and reporting promise to ensure quality of operational delivery, despite the constant challenges the sector has had to overcome’.
It does beg the question, has Covid been a ‘bad news Friday’ moment for the FM sector with procurement teams using this as a reason to look solely at the bottom line at the expense of quality, innovation and effective operational reporting? Iain continues, ‘We’ve certainly seen instances of clients suggesting an emphasis on quality, added value and innovation requirements at the bid stage, yet at the contract award stage seemingly motivated by the bottom line only, sometimes, at the expense of outstanding site service delivery’.
It’ll be interesting to note, post July 19th, whether there are to be further significant changes that impact on this sector but one thing is for sure, companies are going to have to be on the balls of their feet when making decisions in compiling their costings during the bid stage in an even more, ever changing marketplace than usual whilst perhaps having to second guess the client’s train of thought, when looking to win contracts.
Comments Off on AEJ Win New Grounds Maintenance Contract
AEJ are pleased to have been awarded a new grounds maintenance contract for a leading adult education college in the Midlands. The college, which offers over 150 short residential courses aimed at helping adults improve their skills, confidence and ability to work towards their own personal or professional goals, is set in 6 acres of grounds and woodland.
Iain Warburton, Business Development Manager at AEJ Management remarked, ‘This is a great win for AEJ as we continue to offer an industry leading horticultural service to our clients. Whilst traditionally strong within the retail and shopping centre space, this expands AEJ’s service remit into the education and charitable sectors which demonstrates the team’s ability to perform across multiple sectors. We’re looking forward to working with the client on a number of on site sustainability and biodiversity projects along with providing a service into a site with centuries of history’.
Should you have a landscaping requirement or indeed a soft services facilities management need then contact us 01245 396873 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments Off on Are You Committed to Becoming Net Zero?
By September of this year, all those who wish to bid on government contracts above £5million per annum will have to have committed to the government’s plan of net zero by 2050 and have published a carbon reduction plan. Organisations wishing to bid on such contracts that have failed to disclose their plans will be excluded from the bidding process. This comes as part of new measures being introduced by the government requiring businesses to commit to reducing their emissions by half by 2030 and to be net zero by 2050 or sooner, before being able to bid for any government contracts.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become more than a by word across industry with firms being asked to detail how they plan to reduce carbon emissions, become more sustainable and to take all matters of biodiversity seriously and incorporate into company business plans. Ethical procurement is now an essential part of the procurement strategy nationwide for more and more businesses with the UK government looking to lead the way. Currently the government spends almost £300billion each year on procurement and therefore requiring firms who wish to bid on government contracts to detail, report and commit to the reduction of carbon emissions before being able to bid for public work, is an essential component in the bid process.
More and more firms are now having to invest in environmental management systems along with having to set out what their carbon reduction plan actually looks like. For larger firms this is nothing new, having to self-report parts of their carbon emissions (known as Scope 1 – direct and Scope 2 – indirect owned emissions).
These new rules, however, aim to go much further requiring the reporting of some Scope 3 emissions to include business travel, employee commuting, transportation and waste. The message is clear – What are your carbon reduction plans and are you committed to becoming net zero?
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