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Ask Italian achieves impressive maintenance cost savings with Cloudfm


Cloudfm’s proven solution to achieving significant savings whilst simultaneously delivering better service and improved communication has enabled Ask Italian to make substantial maintenance cost savings.


Background With 119 restaurants across the UK, Ask Italian prides itself on delivering an authentic Italian experience. The brand offers a contemporary take on traditional Mediterranean design and cuisine, as the bright and airy restaurants demonstrate. Each one is colourful, welcoming and invariably immaculate, thanks to the commitment of staff and the priorities set by the FM team. Ask Italian is also a very progressive brand, interested in new ways of working and exceeding customer expectation. In 2013, then under the ownership of the Gondola Group, Ask formally tendered its hard FM services to the market. The management team is extremely hands on and the requirements were clear – to deliver greater visibility, while at the same time improving quality and controlling costs.


Ask Italian began the process by entering into consultation with operational and restaurant managers, gathering feedback and ideas for moving forward.

These insights were used to shape the tender and a comprehensive search of the market ensued.

Of all the providers invited to tender, Cloudfm were the only one able to demonstrate a solution that would deliver savings matched by a better service and communication. By taking a completely different approach to the industry, Cloudfm’s system and processes addressed all of Ask’s requirements: real-time financial and compliance data, dynamic PPM planning, end-to-end visibility of supply chain activity and flexible reporting available 24/7.

Ask were also attracted by Cloudfm’s unique approach to the supply chain. Suppliers are encouraged to work in partnership with both Cloudfm and the client, which is achieved through transparent communication and a shared understanding of each party’s objectives. This collaboration has a positive impact on service delivery, ensuring that ASK’s priorities are recognised and responded to in a timely and cost-effective manner.


  • Within 12 months of working with Cloudfm, Ask Italian saved 31% on reactive works.
  • During the same period, Cloudfm reduced Ask’s PPM spend by 23%.
  • A further 21% saving was made on quoted works as a result of Cloudfm’s ‘Maximum Price Protocol’ (or MPP). This is a unique process through which contractors are paid for the actual value of labour and materials used during a task, which may be lower than the original quoted value.
  • Operations and restaurant managers now have access to a dedicated web-based portal which gives them round the clock access to performance data, financial information and compliance documents.
  • It is now possible to benchmark suppliers and reward top performing contractors, creating a more committed and resilient supply chain.
  • Feedback from system users at all levels has been consistently positive, with the Cloudfm Helpdesk reported as being a great support to the Ask team.
31% saved on reactive works
23% reduction in PPM spend
21% of further savings made on quoted works

We started our search for a new FM provider six and a half years ago. When we originally partnered with Cloudfm, they were still in their infancy – this has led to a genuine working relationship as we have worked hard together on the journey of developing best practice and understanding what works well and what needed improvement. This partnership has left us in the strongest position our business has ever been in and created a solid platform for any clients working with Cloudfm now and in the future.

As an FM provider, Cloudfm’s approach to collecting data was the game changer. We trust the data 100% – something it has not been easy to do with the industry in the past. The real time tracking and data is key for me. When we have a restaurant not trading, I know that the minute the engineer arrives I will have a notification instantly as they scan into the building. This rules out having to place a call into the helpdesk, the helpdesk having to call the contractor, the contractor having to call the engineer and to go back through the chain to provide the update. This process amalgamates six steps of communication into one simplistic update saving time and money.

Having worked within the contractor/FM solution sector myself I was keen to get away from the traditional methods of service delivery. When I first came across Cloudfm, I attended a mobilisation meeting for the supply chain partners for a new client Cloudfm had just signed up. I was so blown away by the ideas and processes in place I feared for the business I worked in at the time, as it just seemed miles away from the innovation Cloudfm were presenting. At that point I knew the marketplace offerings had changed massively.

What really attracted us to appoint Cloudfm was their desire to always do the right thing. After six years with them we carried out a review of the market as part of our due diligence process; it soon became clear that Cloudfm were ahead of anything else on offer, they were still the outstanding player in the market for me. Because of that we’ve agreed a three year extension on our contract without going back to the market with a cost exercise.

The thing that makes us the happiest about working with Cloudfm is quite simply, the people. Whilst the processes in place are there for all to see, without the people the business wouldn’t work. From a newly appointed helpdesk operative right up to the board, you can see everyone is treated as equals in terms of respect and that creates a fantastic working environment. Whenever I travel to Colchester, I am always keen to go and spend time with the helpdesk as they are a fantastic group who are all eager to say hello.  Moreover, everyone throughout the hierarchy is always accessible, so as a business, we feel supported every day.

I was surprised by the amount of investment Cloudfm put into training and supporting their staff. Staff have on site-based courses from IOSH to BIFM and ILM to allow them to gain qualifications and be the best they can be. An old saying springs to mind where the CFO says to the CEO: “What if we train our staff and they leave?” To which the CEO replied: “What if we don’t and they stay?” Cloudfm really do stand out for me on this front.

When we started our contract with Cloudfm I don’t think we could have provided a true reflection on where we were with regards to compliance levels and budget control. With the planners in place on the system and hard work over the years I am proud to say that our compliance levels are impeccable, and our budget is managed pro-actively, rather than reactively.  We have enjoyed having full control of our budget expenditure for the last six years. Having this peace of mind allows me to concentrate on the strategic side of things.

Cloudfm have been the best ‘end to end’ solution in the market since the start of our relationship; I find it hard to see who can rival them.”

Group Facilities & Maintenance Manager
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