AccuGrit 2021 Business Highlights.
The big day is nearly upon us, and whilst the season festivities are in full swing at the AccuGrit office, we are in the middle of our busiest season. Looking at the forecast of a cold Christmas, we will undoubtedly be squeezing in our mince pies and turkey dinners around operations.
Luckily the AccuGrit team are unbelievably dedicated to their jobs and do not grumble at all. Thanks to the teams on the road and in HQ for the last six months of getting ready for the season, as their preparation has ensured the smooth running of our services, continuing to keep all our key sites safe and operational.
With this in mind, we have had a monumental year, and it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on 2021, so below are just a few highlights as reminders.
In March, we announced that we’ve been developing a snow monitoring system to react in real-time and send the teams to a site and clear snow when the first few flakes of snow fall. AccuCam’s are now positioned on sites across the UK and stream live images back to our control room where we monitor our operations, and they also stream temperatures from the site.
Do you remember we had snow in April this year? It was a cold month, and we had teams gritting on every day somewhere in the UK. There was also snow in many areas of the UK, but snow clearing wasn’t required as the gritting that had taken place was sufficient in keeping the sites Ice and Snow free. Snow in April isn’t unusual, and on average, there are 2.3 days of snow compared to November, which has 1.7 days.
We released our UK 2021 Summer Weather Prediction in May, and we got it spot on! We predicted in line with the MET Office that the summer would be a little cooler worldwide, meaning that a bumper summer would be unlikely. This cooler weather is because of a La Niña that has influenced the world’s climate since 2020. A La Niña develops when strong winds blow the warm surface waters of the Pacific away from South America and instead towards the Philippines.
In June, we introduced our Office & Systems Manager Leonie, who was diligently working on projects such as the ISO certifications and the schedules for the new Kickstarters joining the business in the summer. We also told the story of how we had managed to send Dean, MD at AccuGrit to the verge, as he volunteered with Road Nature Reserves Suffolk (RNRS) to support populations of rare and unusual plants and fungi found at many of the UK roadsides verges.
In July, we announced that we had been accepted as a Technical and Advisory Group (TAG) member of the National Winter Service Research Group (NWSRG). The NWSRG is a members group dedicated to advancing understanding of best practices for winter service delivery, taking the best from currently available knowledge, and supplementing gaps with new knowledge and research.
Moving into August, we released some startling facts on the actual costs of slips and trips by not planning your winter maintenance. With numbers such as 300,000 people go to A&E each year due to slipping over, and there are approx. £1bn + in claims per year due to these slips. Scarily for businesses, we found some case studies where for example a man slipped at a Tesco store, breaking his hip in 2015 and successfully claimed £733K.
September was a real highlight for the team at AccuGrit, as we announced Alcumus ISOQAR, one of the most recognised and respected UKAS accredited certification bodies, had awarded us three different ISO certifications. The certifications awarded are ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems), and ISO 45001 (Health & Safety Management). We also welcomed Ryan Osman, Operations Coordinator, to the team at HQ!
During October, we reflected on AccuGrit, the business with a bit of background as to why we set up to provide specialist business support and focus solely on winter maintenance services rather than multiple areas of ground maintenance. Notably, we discussed how this business strategy allows us to focus on innovations and developments in the industry to deliver a higher quality service that is more effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly.
With the above in mind, we announced in November that AccuGrit had introduced and successfully implemented industry-leading winter maintenance technology Wintersense. As part of a complex winter maintenance contract, the team at AccuGrit were given the challenge to supply cost-effective, trustworthy road temperatures where a traditional road weather outstation at every location of interest wasn’t practical. As a result, the team discovered the Wintersense solution, which revolves around a simple sensor attached to a roadside lighting column for several years’ worth of road surface temperature measurements.
This brings us to December, which has been a record-breaking month for AccuGrit as we support more sites than ever, successfully deploying our teams across the UK, to carry out exceptional services for our clients for both gritting and snow clearance.
So, whilst it’s busy, we are undoubtedly enjoying the success and looking forward to 2022.