In order to showcase the bags of talent London Drainage Facilities (LDF) has amongst its staff, each month we are going to run a ‘staff highlight’ feature.
This month we are delighted to announce Danny Fuller, Managing Director, as our first ‘staff highlight’.
Danny set-up the company with his wife Lucie in 2006. Danny has worked in drainage since the age of 17, working for only one other national company starting off life as a Junior Assistant, moving to become Lead Engineer, Office Manager, through to Company Manager, before finally leaving to start LDF. Danny is intimately involved on a daily basis, ensuring he is reachable to all clients when the need arises. Danny takes full ownership of the business and its needs and is primarily responsible for New Contracts, H&S Issues and Quality and Employment Control.
Danny’s No.1 Love? Growing a team of people with one common goal in mind – Delivering Great Service!
Danny’s Outside Work Interests? Danny is very family orientated and likes to spend as much time as possible with them when not at work. Whether it be swimming with his two girls, fishing and boxing with his little boy or shopping with his wife Lucie, one way or another, you’ll always find him involved in a family situation at all times.
Danny’s Top Drainage Tip? For any household, Danny would recommend they have a general drain service once a year. This would include a general flush of all main drains, with the cost minimal and the outcome reduced blockages/smells. LDF never promote the use of chemicals due to the harmful effect they can have on the environment, the user and the drains they are used within.
LDF caught up with Danny to ask his thoughts about how the industry is changing, the challenges involved with managing a dispersed team, and his views about LDF progressing to become the South East’s first choice drainage contractor.
In what ways do you think the drainage industry is changing?
Unfortunately, we’re now seeing more and more ‘One Man Van’ operations setting up, and delivering the stereotypical ‘Cowboy’ service where over charging and poor service is common place. I’m a strong believer in ambitious people making a go of it, but the balance needs to be right to ensure a good service is twinned with a cost effective approach.
At LDF, we believe in relationship building and educating the customer. Once you’ve built trust with a client, you’ll have a customer for life. I would recommend a book called Action Selling by Duane Sparks. It’s a real eye opener, reminding you to build relations and to understand your customer and their needs before selling anything.
Our Technicians are taught: Happy Customers = Business Growth
What are the main challenges you face with managing a dispersed team?
Managing a team who are off site can be very challenging when it comes to ensuring standards are met, vehicles are clean and presentable, uniform is pressed and clean, and our presentation promise is adhered to. This all amounts to a fairly large task.
We have an Operations Manager who meets the Technician Teams every morning at a Central London muster point, where all vehicles and staff are checked. Once approved, they are then sent on route to their first appointment. During the day, we have our own H&S officer who travels to random sites on a daily basis to carry out side audits to ensure each team is delivering a good, safe service. This system was only introduced 18 months ago and already we have seen a significant improvement in standards and service!
What have LDF put in place and what do LDF have planned to move them towards being a more ‘complete drainage’ model?
That’s a good question, one to which could have many answers because we have put many things in place and for the future to help the business grow.
During the latter part of 2012 we invested in new software to create the most advanced Technician to Customer Communication Pack available in the drainage sector. The idea being, onsite, our drainage teams will be able to update clients directly, in real-time, 24 hours a day, upon completion of every job. Our Technician’s job closures include a statement of works, along with photos of site before, during and after the job. The system is faultless and the transfer of information incredibly smooth with NO delays.
The successful rollout of Access & Service Manager means we can now handle unlimited jobs and have complete control of updates and records with minimal admin. It’s a great system and a real USP for LDF.
Our most recent plans include the opening of our new 10,000 sq. ft. offices in Essex, just off the M25. The new offices will facilitate our new control 24Hr centre and Operations Team from where we can really start to take advantage of market opportunities and capitalise on projects that can further be grown with the right team and offices behind us.