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Reaching our tenth birthday, has given us a great opportunity to showcase the strength and breadth of our wider team at Cloudfm, Mindsett and our key partners: not only the remarkable achievements of the past ten years, but also how we will be powering through the next ten, bringing our unique service, supply chain and technology offer to the facilities management sector.

And beyond that, into other sectors and industries; by continuing to harness the capabilities of our people, predictive technology and data analytics.

Published 15/07/2021

 

    We are proud to celebrate our tenth anniversary at Cloudfm. It has prompted us to reflect on some personal learning and remarkable achievements on our journey. And of course, as soon as its safe, we’re going to have one massive party!

Evolving through change
We’ve grown, we’ve contracted and now we’re growing again. The shape of our business has adapted at every stage of our evolution. And with the changing face of work, travelling, net zero carbon ambitions and rediscovering the value of life balance; our team is proud of how we’ve come through strong and ready for the next ten.

We are focused on our purpose: to restore trust in our industry through delivering facilities management the smart way.

We stand by our three pillars of People, Processes and Technology.

People – our team work hard whether out in the field, in the offices in Colchester, Dublin, and Barcelona or at home from kitchens, bedrooms, studies, living rooms, the local café or gym car park.
Processes – our dedication to operational excellence means we constantly review every aspect of our service. While our proprietary software, Freedom, has been at the core of how we do business fairly. And with a first fix rate of 85%, it’s the highest in the industry.
Technology – it’s inspiring every day to work with empowering tech and we lead in our industry on developing technology that makes people’s lives easier and their behaviours more effective. The technology that underpins our business means our processes are seamless and predictive.

Freedom to think fast and act fast
At Cloudfm, we are free to act, and it’s that ability to take action that sets us apart from competitors with shareholders to please and large executive salaries to feed. That is why we’ve been able to think fast and then act fast to make a challenge and then a difference, to the facilities management industry.

How can FM create a better, cleaner, and safer planet? The biggest issue of our age – achieving Net Zero Carbon and aiming for a climate positive world. Through our asset and energy monitoring IoT technology, Mindsett, we are helping our clients to meet their NZC targets, and they continue to benefit from the reassurance of our 24/7 asset monitoring and mobile applications alerts. Our technology is enabling the employee engagement behaviour change that will lead to more and more energy savings.

Compliance – Cloudfm has changed how our clients meet their compliance obligations and this is key to a better and safer future for everyone, including our planet. Our transparent processes and specialist Certification Audit team, ensure that on average our clients experience an uplift of 300% on their compliance rates – from typically, below 30% when we start working with them, to above 90%.

Recognition – Having been identified in the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 companies to inspire Britain and Grant Thornton’s 2017 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy, in 2019 we were recognised as leaders in technology innovation when we were awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise: Innovation. It was a proud achievement and endorsement of our journey and our commitment to placing technology at the centre of the industry and not just of our own business model. This recognition continues to grow, beyond our industry peers and into the wider applications of IoT-enabled predictive maintenance, marked by our recent inclusion in the Gartner Report of recognised providers.

In the same way that we care about what happens globally to our world environment, we are committed to our Social Value ambitions, standing side by side with our local communities and supply chain. We are passionate sponsors and fans of Essex Cricket Club – 2019 champions and winners of 4 major trophies since we partnered with them in 2017. The team and club share our values of nurturing home talent and developing your team through disciplined management, rigorous training and acting with integrity, humility, and empathy.

Our ‘Culture Club’ and employee well-being programme have brought our company culture to the forefront of our success. Our teams are listened to, coached, and mentored to success, and they have a good time getting there. We encourage people who work with us, to put people first, business second – to be honest, open and share our learning to get better together. It is a model of working life that is rewarding and fun.

Training and development – social mobility is a priority for Cloudfm. We don’t care where you grew up, went to school, what your age is or who your connections are; what matters to us is your talents and your potential. We’ve seen colleagues bloom and grow into senior management positions simply by showing faith in them, listening to them, rewarding, and promoting purely on merit. If you have what it takes, work with us, we will always favour those who have earned their place in society.

The Cloudfm Academy is our state-of-the-art training facility with outstanding trainers, that allow us to share best practice and to help our engineers progress from Apprentice to Executive Board if that is where they’re destined to be. Our incubator business model has seen 70 of our engineers redeployed and set up three of our key local supply chain partners, fully supported and mentored by the Cloudfm team. These partnerships have created strong, successful, profitable, entrepreneurial businesses. If you want that for yourself, then Cloudfm is the business to grow with.

But don’t take our word for it…let our People tell you how the Cloudfm Culture has been a positive force in their lives and careers.

Chris Gallop – Non-Executive Director
“A lot of my reflections relate to the ways in which we have avoided the pitfalls that mean the majority of new businesses never get to celebrate their tenth anniversary.

That said, I’m struck by how, given that here we are still operating a multiple tens of millions of pounds annual turnover and with a strong forward prospectus, despite the pandemic and all of those challenges – it wasn’t always clear that we would get this far, or even anywhere near.

I first heard of what became Cloudfm back in 2012 – it was described to me as “a couple of guys trying to set up a new FM business”, which was a bit unfair as it was already trading.

Almost the first piece of work I was involved in, before I came on board full-time, and when I was still acting as an advisor to the business, was around what we should do about the fact that the only customer of any size, had just gone into administration owing £250K. We had literally to decide whether to shut down and try and start again, or keep going. Since we had line of sight to another big customer I’m glad we made the right choice.

We had achieved just the sort of super-rapid growth we wanted, and which we had planned and built for, but we went through a period where we had a business which had to grow in order to survive – because we had essentially no external investment, we had bootstrapped the company from our own resources alone. So getting beyond that time, where we knew we could continue to run profitably in steady-state and where growth was a choice rather than a necessity, that was a good moment. We also choose to grow, because with size comes air-time and influence and all the other things we want for the Purpose.

What that means is that deep in the DNA of Cloudfm is an ability to switch to control and close management and back again, breathing out when we can if you like. We saw that in the response to the pandemic. I am proud that we have built an organisation with the resilience to keep going through storms and challenges and also stay true to the Purpose. It’s mostly about the People of course – something I am very conscious of is that we have always tried our hardest to be clear about the Purpose, clear to people thinking of joining Cloudfm, and clear about how important it is to us all that nobody here thinks of working at Cloudfm as ‘just another job’. I have said many times that working here has been the most personally and professionally rewarding experience of my career – never more so than in 2019 when I had my back injury. I will never forget the way I was looked out for and after by everyone across the entire company, while I was off, and especially when I came back to work and since.”

David Harris – Account Manager
“Working at Cloudfm has been an experience of personal growth as well as seeing the business grow. It has been an amazing journey to watch a small business have the fight of losing a major client and nearly putting it on its knees, to fighting back to become an industry leading company. Looking for the best ways to improve its customers service but also improve the way our industry operates.

One of the best highlights has been the people (now friends) I have meet while working at Cloudfm. Some of whom are a major part of my life and it would be strange not having them there. I also have a Fiancée thanks to Cloudfm.

A very special moment for myself was winning a GEM award at the Summer conference a few years ago. It just goes to show that no matter how long you have worked in the business you are still appreciated and made to feel special, even though I think most staff feel like the contributions we make are just normal daily activities.

I really do feel Cloudfm is more like a family meeting up each day rather than going to work for the daily grind. There have been some very hard times but they all feel worth it now seeing how much the business has grown and matured and being part of that success makes me feel extremely proud.”

Gerard Huertas – Director
“I believe Cloudfm has made a great contribution to the FM industry during these 10 years. Great achievements for me, include its expansion strategy to European Markets such as Republic of Ireland and Spain”

Hayley Curtis – Mobilisation Manager
I was employee number 7 in the business, I had the fantastic opportunity of watching the business grow from my parents and sisters in the summer house, to what the business is now and being a part of every step along the way. I also had a knack for keeping up to date with all the latest updates, system features and improvements we made and became a ‘fixer’ and trainer. I trained every new employee, client, supplier and engineer including many that still work here now. One of my favourite aspects was having the opportunity to work in almost every department within the business which enabled me to understand, in detail how the entire operation works and has led me to be in the position I am now.
That knowledge is irreplaceable.

Lois Moore – Non Executive Director
“One of the most significant achievements was our change in business model from an in-house engineering service company to successfully TUPE 70 of our colleagues into incubated partner suppliers – Nserv, Opus and Sherwoods during the Covid pandemic! Continuing to remain positive as we have all managed the change over the past year of transitioning from 300 colleagues to 130. This included fantastic fun at the virtual party on Zoom in December 2020, with a magician and party cocktails plus food hampers sent to all colleagues”


Jonathan Richards – Director Opus FM Group
“Cloudfm – congratulations on reaching 10 years. A fantastic achievement. Your adaptability to change, creative new ideas, and resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been remarkable. My personal experience of working at Cloudfm are of genuine reward for hard work, I was given the freedom to make decisions and build a team by either promoting within or building relationships with external suppliers. I have made lasting friendships, and completely changed my mindset and way of thinking by exposure to new parts of a business that I wouldn’t have had in other companies. In May 2020, in the face of the global pandemic, the senior team at Cloufm supported me as an incubator business, I am now trading and continue to benefit from the advice and support of everyone at Cloudfm. And you know how to throw a party….”


Haydn Mursell – Chief Financial Officer
“We have grown into a larger company and ensured, through investment in teams and technology, that the growth has been a success and set us up well for the longer term (often this is something companies who have grown rapidly struggle with).

We have managed to retain a small (friendly) company feel and culture despite the rapid growth, something which we will strive to maintain as we grow.

We were pro-active and resilient enough to get through the COVID ‘storm’ which it is testament to our people and our relationships with customers and suppliers. I sensed that there was a real camaraderie among those who were critical to the team. We stayed true to our values and to our business model, something I know Jeff will ensure we stick to in the future.”

Jamie Bonner – Operations Director, Sherwoods
“Over the last 8 years there’s been so many highlights and experiences, however I see the migration of Shared Services (PMV) as our biggest collective success.

As part of the journey of working with Cloudfm over the last 8 years, we were given the opportunity to start delivering additional services in-house which saw the birth of our Building Fabric Division. These conversations took place early into the relationship after the initial relationship structure – supporting on M&E services working across three core brands, Pizza Express, Zizzi and ASK Italian (Gondola Group).

At the time, Jeff Dewing contacted us giving us first refusal on becoming the Tier 1 provider for fabric works across the South West and Wales region. In typical fashion and aligned completely to our business values, we reviewed and analysed the commercial opportunity and took that leap of faith. It was clear to see that not only the model but the culture Cloudfm had started to create was one of which we wanted to be part, whilst making a positive difference within the FM sector.

After working with Cloudfm’s engineer/client app it really highlighted the need for continuous development in our own systems. The ability to have 360° visibility and transparency of notes, communication, planning, ETAs, jobs costs, immediately provides a level of trust between client and service provider, we too needed something similar.

In summary and having experienced your IT solutions, we knew it was time for change. We often compared ourselves to others within our region, delivering similar services but always strived to do things differently and better. Our people are and will always remain the heartbeat of our business though having robust market leading tech enables us to remain ahead of our competitors.

COVID hit early 2020 and during the lockdown we continued to work closely with Cloudfm which took our relationship and partnership to the next level.

In July 2020 and after several conversations, almost daily meetings with key members of Cloudfm, we entered a new era and yet another new service offering, ‘Proactive Monthly Visits’

Over the last 12 months we have and continue to deliver this work on behalf of Cloudfm, which has proven to be a real success story.


Sally Harrison – Payroll Manager MAAT
“In the early days, we were a close-knit, caring, family feeling business and I’ve been glad to see us maintain that, where possible. Personally, I am proud to be recognised and rewarded as one of the founding employees. Attaining my AAT and becoming MAAT registered – Managing Payroll for over 350 employees – have all been great stages of professional growth, supported fully by the Cloudfm business. On a wider scale, when Cloudfm achieved patent on the new innovation and became one of the leading forces in FM technology, recognised by The Queens Award for Innovation, seeing Jeff and James attending Buckingham Palace to receive the award was a genuinely emotional and proud day.”


Matt Hadley – Senior Account Manager
“We have grown through new contracts with new clients but also with our people. We have developed pathways for our colleagues to progress their careers and we have a culture that allows them to move into more senior roles with the support structures around them to succeed. Individuals have been incredibly supported in their careers, when I joined Jamie was working on the Helpdesk, he actually trained me on the system on my first day. He has since progressed as an assistant key account supervisor, key account supervisor, trainee account manager, assistant account manager and in April, was promoted to account manager. Jamie worked incredibly hard to achieve that, it wasn’t easy but he pushed himself and made it happen. Another proud moment was launching the Freedom portal to our biggest client, Pizza Express, including training of all PE colleagues, receiving great feedback and being invited to demonstrate it to all delegates at their annual conference.”

How IoT-enabled predictive maintenance solutions achieve substantial improvements View article

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