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Carrier Transicold Northern Ireland, part of the Technical Support Services (TSS) group, has been awarded ‘Service Partner of the Year’ at the 2017 Performance Assessment and Competitive Excellence (PACE) awards. This annual ceremony recognises teams throughout Carrier Transicold UK’s network, but it is the first time that Carrier NI has ever secured the top spot in the programme’s nine-year history. This award goes a long way in demonstrating the commitment that Carrier NI has made to improving its infrastructure, team and, above all else, its service level.
TSS started business in 1992 in Dublin, with service depots in Lisburn and Limerick following to provide all-Ireland service and breakdown cover 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Northern Irish depot was initially established at Lissue Industrial Estate in Lisburn in 1996, but moved to the current premises in Hillsborough in August 2008 after outgrowing the original facilities. Along with pressures on operational capacity, the Lisburn site struggled to represent the Carrier brand to the level that was required because certain customer facilities were missing due to the lack of space available. Partly for this reason, Carrier NI ranked one from the bottom when the first PACE event took place, but over recent years has climbed the ranks to compete for a place at the top.
In 2014, Carrier NI was awarded “most improved dealer” and, spurred on by this, rose to the top position this year, jumping four places since 2016 and scoring 615 out of a possible 645 points in the programme’s rigorous judging criteria. This total topped last year’s winning score by a remarkable 15 points.
Looking at 29 key performance indicators (KPIs) across 39 service standards, the PACE judges assess multiple areas of each network service partners’ operations, from breakdown response times and spare parts availability to ‘first-time fix’ rates and planned maintenance completion figures. As well as service level KPIs, the award criteria take infrastructure, such as workshop equipment, office and customer facilities, service vans and adherence to brand standards into account, as well as commitment to health and safety and paperwork quality.
“The way Carrier Transicold Northern Ireland has steadily worked its way up the ranks is proof of the team’s commitment to its customers to provide consistently high levels of service support at all times,” said Scott Dargan, Managing Director, Carrier Transicold, Northern Europe and Service EMEAR. “In the last year alone, its score has increased by 13 per cent, which is an outstanding achievement given KPIs are monitored in real-time.”
Carrier Transicold’s network service partners, based in 22 key locations across the UK, are independent companies that provide support to customers operating Carrier Transicold equipment. They collectively employ more than 160 mobile service engineers, who all work as part of the Carrier Transicold ‘One Call’ European breakdown network.
Noel Lacey, Managing Director of TSS Ltd added his congratulations to Carrier NI: “The Carrier Transicold corporate slogan focuses on being a ‘key link in the chain of life’. At TSS we are completely bought-in to this ethos and so are very proud of Vincent and the team in Hillsborough, not only for achieving the service partner award, but for their everyday commitment to customers in Northern Ireland. They work hard to represent the Carrier brand and always strive to meet and exceed customer expectations and demands”.
The investment in the Carrier NI premises at Hillsborough, has not only met the business’s growing capacity needs, but has contributed to the Company’s continued success in other areas. The Hillsborough site has enhanced working conditions for staff and offers a welcoming customer interface with modern reception area, canteen and waiting room facilities. Indeed, these new premises have been rewarding for Carrier NI’s enthusiastic team, whose customer commitment is evidenced by a first-time fix rate exceeding 96% and a breakdown response time of less than 90 minutes anywhere in Northern Ireland.
Over the years the Carrier NI franchise has grown in resource, now boasting six service vans and a total staff of 14, including 10 refrigeration engineers and a team of administrative staff. Vincent Marmion, Manager of Carrier NI, has long been an asset to the Northern Irish arm of the TSS business, with over 15 years of dedication to the Company.
Carrier NI is committed to the existing and future talent of the business, using a combination of traditional Apprenticeships working with the local Further Education Colleges, and training that is available via a dedicated Carrier Transicold UK training school in Liverpool, which all Carrier NI Engineers attend regularly for product and service training.
Because of his long service, Vincent is a constant in the business, providing customers and staff alike with an approachable and consistent point of contact. His years of dedication to continual improvement have resulted in the recent dealer award, but are also evident in his everyday relationships with customers. With a maintenance contract portfolio that has grown by 75% in the last two years, it is obvious that customers are feeling the benefits of the improvements made.
Indeed, one customer, Brian Beattie of temperature-controlled logistics provider, McCulla (Ireland) Ltd, had this to say:
“We are very happy with the service we receive from Carrier NI. Vincent and his team give an excellent level of service and are always willing to go the extra mile for the customer. An illustration of this is when we have an issue with a trailer out of hours and need urgent assistance, I can call Vincent on the mobile and an engineer is with us within the hour. In addition, I find both Carrier NI’s product knowledge and fault diagnostics to be top class”.
TSS Ltd, including the Northern Irish franchise, service a range of large and small operators across the Province, but major customers include Tesco, Sainsburys, Agro Merchants Group, DFDS, McBurney Transport, Brakes Foodservice and Lynas Foodservice, as well as most of the major hauliers in Ireland.
Vincent Marmion, Manager of Carrier NI, said: “I am over the moon that the hard work of myself and the team has paid off in the form of the Service Partner of the Year award. To be able to show that we can hold our own against 21 other dealers is a great achievement and it is testament to all of the team here in Hillsborough. I’d like to thank all of our customers for their continued and loyal support, and we look forward to serving their needs long into the future”.