2022 in Review and Wrapped Up for Christmas….
As temperatures notably drop, our team are occupied with keeping premises safe across the UK from wintery weather. Usually, this time of year is referred to as our ‘busy’ period, but the truth is, this is the tail-end of what has been a significantly exciting year for AccuGrit.
It’s been 12 months packed with hugely positive changes for the business and one every employee is proud to be a part of and contributed to, so we’ve taken a moment (or two) to reflect on what has been a trailblazing time for AccuGrit.
January and February of 2022 started the year with the incredible news that AccuGrit had surpassed all its records to have its best winter season since opening in 2019. Whilst this was hotly anticipated as we had an abundance of new clients joining us from all over the UK, there is nothing like seeing all plans come to fruition successfully and a record number of Grit Bin orders to confirm the achievement.
With no relief from wintery weather in March, we continued working diligently with the help of our calibrated drop spreaders, which allow for accurate grit spreading on paths and small spaces. We also added a new Loader to our fleet, purchased specifically for a large NHS contract. In addition, we received the great news that AccuGrit achieved being reaccredited as an approved SafeContractor for another year. Alcumus SafeContractor is a leading third-party accreditation scheme that recognises contractors’ rigorous health and safety management standards.
In April, we introduced Kickstarter turned full-time employee Zack Nash, our Administrator Assistant. We also announced our commercial site trial success. Over the 21/22 winter season, we were trialled on a couple of sites by a national client so that they could experience our operations and technology for themselves. The client was impressed, and it’s our first season with them this winter. Popular news on our social media channels, we also announced our new salt supplier based in Cheshire – yet another step we’ve made in becoming more environmentally friendly.
We had a wealth of news in May as we attended The Facilities Show. It was the first time AccuGrit had invested in a stand at a trade show. All our nerves about the success were quickly eased as we experienced a steady stream of visitors, and it was great to showcase our specialist services. In addition, we welcomed Richard Reed to the team as National Accounts Manager. A familiar face in the winter maintenance industry, Richard has brought his experience developing profitable national accounts and a reputation for maintaining excellent customer relationships to the business. He is proving to be a success with new and existing clients.
June didn’t disappoint as we met as a team for a business review and took away some learnings, which have been the catalyst to some positive changes in AccuGrit’s services. We also released the results of our Customer Satisfaction Survey. AccuGrit is primarily a service organisation, and how we support our customers is core to our mission of providing safe and reliable winter maintenance solutions. Getting feedback on our service delivery is essential for measuring customer satisfaction which helps us see what we’re doing well and where we can improve. We’re delighted that satisfaction levels remained above 90% for another year.
It was birthday cake and sausages in July as we celebrated our third birthday and held a BBQ to raise money for our chosen charity – Ormiston Families. We also released our popular blog explaining our Winter Maintenance Technology. As a business with innovation and customer experience at the heart of our core values, we wanted to showcase our technology and how it can help support businesses looking for efficient winter maintenance services.
Continuing with introducing our technology, in August, we also launched further information on our reliable Wintersense Temperature Sensors and how these can specifically support clients with bridges and top deck car parks. Our Wintersense solution revolves around a simple sensor attached to a roadside lighting column which reliably supplies road surface temperatures that enable faster response if gritting is required. We also took the opportunity to announce that as part of our efforts to reduce our environmental impact, we switched to 100% recycled plastic Grit Bins.
The excellent news persisted during the month as the AccuGrit team paved the way as industry leaders, with everyone passing the City & Guild Winter Service Operations, Supervision and Monitoring training course; this is a first for a winter maintenance service provider. Another milestone was achieved by investing in new dedicated gritting vehicles to add to our ever-growing fleet. From launch, our core values have always been based on investing in our resources, both people and equipment.
We launched our version of a wintery helpdesk in September as GritDesk went live! We created this service so that if anyone has a problem with a winter occurrence on a site, you contact our Gritdesk, and we will direct you to one of the team for expert advice. In addition, Christmas also came early for us as our new equipment shipment turned up from the USA. The deliveries were jam-packed with specialist winter gear, ensuring we are fully prepared to support all our clients, regardless of the weather throws at us throughout the season and more if required.
We ran into October with some big announcements! Firstly, Dean, our MD, completed the London Marathon in a very respectable 4 hours 39 minutes, continuing the fundraising for Ormiston Families. Secondly, On 24th October 2022, AccuGrit agreed to acquire Thames Valley Gritting Services, a family-run business in the heart of the Chilterns. This purchase further cemented our growth plans as the depot in the northwest of London is a crucial location to continue AccuGrit’s expansion into London and the South of UK territories.
You’d think by November, we were exhausted from all the announcements. Still, we continued reinvesting in the business to improve our technology, and a brand-new website was successfully unveiled early in the month. We also launched our overnight services, signalling the start of the winter season for us. The build-up created a busy couple of weeks with training 35 crews via teams in one session and then numerous other team training in 1-1 sessions. We also held other sessions at our Suffolk and Leicester hubs for equipment and driver training. In addition, there has also been lots of preparation and distribution of appropriate equipment for each of our clients.
This brings us to December; whilst it’s been a mild winter thus far, the temperatures have steadily been dropping, and we’ve been successfully deploying our teams across the UK to carry out our excellent gritting services for our clients.
So, whilst it’s been another year jam-packed with news, we’ve loved every minute of it and look forward to what 2023 brings us.