GJK. Giving contractor management a fresh start for a facility services company
Developing from a family commercial cleaning business in 1985, GJK Facility Services has grown to be a market leader operating across Australia and New Zealand.
With a workforce of over 2,500 serving more than 250 customers, GJK offers tailored cleaning solutions, grounds maintenance, restoration, projects and maintenance and support services.
GJK has a long history in community involvement and environmental issues, having been recognised internationally with the H Bruce Russell International Global Innovators Award for the Public Tenant Employment Program and as a winner of the 2014 Australian Business Awards 100 for Sustainability.
As GJK expanded its operations into other Australian states and continued to grow its workforce, the process of contractor management was becoming more complex and time consuming. According to Florence Beaudoin, GJK's commercial analyst, the company considers its people to be its greatest asset, so it was vital to make certain that any contractors they partnered with were skilled and fully compliant.
"It can be challenging," Florence explains, "to ensure that every contractor has provided us with the relevant documentation. There are significant risks for us, of course, if we don't have things like public liability confirmed for every person we work with."
GJK undertook an investigation of the contractor management solutions available in the market. After a discussion with iPRO representatives, it was engaged to create a contractor management platform based on iPRO's market reputation for ease of use and subsequent benefits to its contractors.
iPRO designed a bespoke contractor management solution for GJK which automates many of the compliance processes. Credentials were uploaded and independently verified to provide GJK with reliable, real-time transparency on individual worker compliance on site. Automated email reminders and calling campaigns ensured contractors were aware of the information that was required. And all data was securely stored by iPRO, available for auditing at any time.
Using iPRO has had a significant impact on GJK's contractor compliance processes. As well as greatly reducing the hours spent chasing documentation from contractors, it's had a positive effect on the quality of the people GJK employs. As Florence points out, "It certainly tidied up our contractor worker pool. In some circumstances of course it meant those who did not submit the necessary credentials were excluded from getting work from us. But, more valuably, we were pleased to see how it encouraged some contractors to upgrade their qualifications and skills by obtaining safety certificates and so on."
iPRO's ability to automatically verify certain credentials without requiring documentation to be uploaded also improved the number of contractors who completed the compliance procedure. "We were getting about 80 or 85% of potential contractors completing the necessary requirements, but since using iPRO that has risen to 95–97% finishing the process."
Florence was quick to praise iPRO's customer support. "I had one contractor who didn't own a computer, so I passed on his details to iPRO, who contacted him and helped him complete what was needed. And they're also great at keeping us informed of what hasn't been completed, so we have the details we need to explain to a contractor why they're not yet compliant."
As well as being more efficient and reducing risk for GJK, Florence discovered another advantage of having a third party helping them be responsible for the compliance process—a changed nature of the contractor relationship. Her job is now to help prospective contractors achieve the compliance they need, rather than being seen as someone who's stopping them from working.
With greater compliance and efficiency occurring across their direct contractors, GJK are now starting to think about how they can partner with iPRO on a broader context. "We're now extending our involvement with iPRO," Florence added, "by using their Modern Slavery Assessment. We want to make sure that everyone we deal with is behaving responsibly and if there are any issues, that we know about them and can act accordingly."