Tandem and Envirotech – true partnership working

Tandem and Envirotech logos

After recently being shortlisted for the prestigious PFM Awards 2020, we take a look at what makes the partnership between Envirotech and Tandem Property Group such a success.

Tandem Property Asset Management was formed as a new JV in 2017 as a specialist property asset manager with a reputation for quality and innovation in a sector dominated by the large multi-service agencies. Senior Partners John Jones and Lisa Riva joined from GVA in 2018 and transformed Tandem to the extent that the business now has 430 properties and more than 2000 tenants under management.

Prior to the commencement of the partnership with Envirotech in October 2018, individual Tandem Property Managers were directly responsible for all elements of the day-to-day management of their respective sites. Not only did this include all compliance and statutory maintenance elements, but also negotiating directly with an extensive supply chain, including the negotiation and appropriate renewal of contracts. The result of this was an imbalanced approach that relied entirely upon the individual knowledge of the respective property managers and inconsistent levels of compliance across the entire portfolio.

John Jones, Tandem Senior Partner, explained exactly why Tandem chose to partner with Envirotech:

“What Tandem needed was a bespoke, boutique offering with flexibility from trusted partners who were willing to be part of a journey to establish and restructure, while building a platform for us to develop and progress. We didn’t just want what I call ‘a vanilla service’ where the facilities partner is fully focussed on purely managing costs and margins. What we wanted was a partner that fully understands the flexibility required and would be able to react and adapt accordingly in real-time as the partnership progressed. If we’d partnered with a larger organisation, we’d be just another client and a business of our size would be way down their list of priorities. Envirotech understood this from the start and this is ultimately why we partnered together.”

Pinder Hujan, Managing Director Envirotech FM, said:

“Our approach right from our initial discussions with Tandem was deliberately one of ‘we don’t want to be just another client’ and we have lived that approach ever since. A prime example of this can be demonstrated by our choice of subcontractor partners. We made a conscious decision to avoid working with the £50-£100milion cleaning and security companies and instead targeted lean, boutique SMEs under the £20million bracket who could offer that extra level of service for whom we wouldn’t be just another client. The partnership with Tandem is incredibly important to everyone at Envirotech and we wanted that same level of buy-in and duty of care from the cleaning and security companies working alongside us. We knew by taking this approach that we would be much more important to them as a client and we could ensure that consistency of delivery across each of the Tandem locations.

“We started the partnership with a single FM but now we have grown this relationship to nine (as of July 2020) and working together we have found what we simply couldn’t have known existed! It really has proven to be a fluid arrangement in that together we have established the issue that needed addressing before we collectively seek a solution. Surely the truest example of partnership working!”

Partnership working proves its worth

John Jones added:

“Never has this truly flexible approach been more needed than during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In early spring, nobody knew what the right way to tackle this unique situation was and it was a constant learning process for which we had advice changing daily, if not by the hour. The fact that we had always adopted a fluid service agreement meant that we had already well-established ways of working in true partnership which allowed us to react and adapt together to ongoing situations.

“As well as finding new ways of working  to follow guidance on aspects such as social distancing, we have had to respond to changing compliance requirements while also thinking outside of the box on elements we used to take for granted, such as how people move around our spaces and access facilities such as elevators. We have worked together as one throughout and it is not exaggeration to say that the working relationship that we have developed over the past 18 months has proved to be of real value to our customers and clients. If we had entered into a partnership with a rigid approach, then this would not have been achieved.”

Pinder Hujan said:

“We have always had an excellent two-way honest, frank and open approach to communication and if anything that has heightened during the situation relating to Covid-19. From early-March onwards when it became clear that this was going to impact upon everybody’s lives, the entire partnership Senior Management Team attends a twice-weekly call to fine-tune direction and to react to the latest advice, which has proved invaluable.”

Demonstrating results

  • A Service Level Agreement totalling five pages rather than a more common 500 pages
  • A preferred supplier list of in excess of 27 cleaning companies reduced to two
  • Improved efficiency in reduction of vast quantities of invoices
  • Development and the deployment out into the field of our digital inspection app Tandem Inspect which allows fast, live client premises inspections and reporting to highlight what is happening within the local vicinity of their Asset
  • Several new instructions for major clients received based upon service quality, tech-based efficiency, dedicated and committed staff, and attention to detail
  • Major new appointments represent a change to a specialist provider away from the inflexible ‘vanilla’ approach of larger firms
    Tandem has continued to grow fee income and is on target to deliver a 50% increase in turnover by the year end 2020.