CMS was founded in 2000 by brothers and experienced engineers Neil and Nic Smith. The Gateshead-based firm provides nationwide business critical mechanical and electrical engineering services, from design through to installation, maintenance and repair. It employs over 125 people, including 100 in-house trained engineers operating from 20 UK hubs.

Nic Smith, co-founder and managing director of Commercial Maintenance Services UK Ltd, speaks to Warehouse & Logistics News.

What are your best-known products/solutions/services?

CMS is one of the UK’s leading providers of mechanical and electrical engineering services to business – designing, installing, maintaining and repairing heating, electrical, air conditioning, catering and refrigeration systems. The family-run firm offers emergency repairs 24/7, planned and preventative maintenance and specialist projects nationwide. CMS has a fully equipped and qualified team of engineers capable of handling any task.

Which industry sectors are your customers in and which ones are growing fastest?

Our customer base is diverse and includes logistics providers, manufacturing, education and healthcare, ranging from single site operators to nationwide chains. Our fastest growing customers are in the retail, hospitality and healthcare industries – which reflects our growing reputation within these sectors.

What are your most recent product innovations?

We are promoting the ‘internet of things’ to our clients. Connecting several ‘smart boilers’ to the internet allows remote monitoring and control, ensuring they can be easily adjusted to run at optimum efficiency. This feature also reduces the need for engineer callouts as issues can often be triaged remotely.

What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?

The major trend is centred on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CMS is focused on improving the performance of current systems and introducing more efficient technology, such as ’smart boilers’ and a fully integrated approach to building management services.

Can you tell us about any recent customer contracts and how you helped the customer meet their challenges?

CMS was contracted by nationwide logistics company Clipper to update the air rotation units within its warehouse facility in Northamptonshire, to improve the 200,000m3 building’s rates of heat loss and energy usage. As a NICEIC approved electrical contractor, GAS SAFE registered gas installer and an HCVA approved heating and ventilation contractor, all work was carried out by qualified CMS engineers. This involved isolating the gas supply, decommissioning and dismantling the existing 300kW air rotation fan and running a new high level gas supply, installing fixings along the length of the roof, installing heaters on the side of the building with the rollover shutter doors and supplying and commissioning a more efficient 250kW air rotation unit.

How does business in 2019 compared to previous years? What’s your strategy for succeeding in the current climate?

The business has grown by more than 20% in the past year. This is largely due to CMS being able to offer a truly nationwide and complete service – which is invaluable to large enterprises who wish to deal with one company from start to finish. CMS has the in-house expertise to complete the project without the complication of having to outsource work. Our service is built upon responsiveness, integrity and expertise and if we stick by these core values, the business looks after itself.

What’s the latest news from your company?

We continue to grow and have just appointed four new engineers to the team in the past three weeks. CMS is determined to recruit the very best, which can be quite a challenge given the current skills gap, but we are able to do so by offering a very competitive package and challenging and interesting work.

Can you tell us about any areas where you’re currently making technical advances?

We have gained our certification necessary to install EV charging points and are currently working hard to drive efficiencies across our range of services and adopt the latest eco-friendly technologies.

Are you investing in staff training and skills development?

Our people are our business and we are committed to helping them succeed through training and upskilling. We are currently supporting colleagues through a range of courses from a degree apprenticeship MBA, numerous technical qualifications and apprenticeships, to finance and admin apprenticeships. This helps us retain the most talented engineers within the industry, which in turn allows us to build up long-term relationships with our clients. Health and safety is also fundamental to what we do, and it is important our employees are kept updated on the latest regulations and best practice.

Are you taking part in any major trade shows? Can you tell us what you’ll be exhibiting there?

We have no plans to take part in any trade shows at the moment but we’d welcome any customers or potential customers to get in touch to see just how CMS can benefit their business.

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