Last Updated on 31 October 2022.
WFP are winners of the Prestige Awards’ ‘Fire Protection Service of the Year’ accolade 2022!
This time two years ago we were all experiencing our first national lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Now, we’re winning an award for our dedication and expertise in fire protection services! What a journey and a story do we have to tell…
We Didn’t See it Coming!
The Prestige Awards‘ criteria was based on looking at small, local businesses that had demonstrated excellence in their field within the last 12 months, from their products and service offerings, to their marketing and branding, and not forgetting employee satisfaction.
They looked at examples we’d submitted demonstrating going above and beyond our customers’ expectations, and how we’d adapted our practices during one of the most stressful ordeals businesses (and people, generally) have had to cope with in generations.
And the truth is so much has shifted and evolved since the start of the pandemic.
There was the start of our Electrical Division in 2020, which felt like a real risk at the time, but has so far demonstrated to be one of the best decisions for us to expand our offerings to our customers, including EV charging point installations to help everyone adapt to the Electrical Revolution.
We’ve had the growth of our Compliance and Customer Relations Team, honing advisors with a real zest for the message we’ve been trying to send every day for the past 18 years – it’s piecing together beautifully and we are so grateful for the recognition during one of the hardest – yet most rewarding – periods for us as a company and a nation of people.
What Makes WFP ‘Prestigious’?
We’re the modest type – just a group of really down-to-earth individuals who really care about what they do.
As part of our application for this award win, we had to put together some points we felt made us outstanding. Really, we believe these should be standards within the industry, but it turns out unfortunately to not entirely be the case. Here are a few of the points which got the judges’ attention:
Outstanding Point 1: Reliable Experience Through to Innovative Times
Kitting out commercial premises with safety and security products is our bread and butter, and while EV chargers might be relatively new in a lot of people’s minds, there’s a sense of confidence that comes with knowing you’re trusting a company that’s installed life safety and security systems every day since 2003, with knowledge and experience of electrical installation standards.
Whether it’s helping people during the pandemic to install intruder alarms they can monitor and control from their phone, protecting their investment whilst they’re at home, or designing fire alarms for cladding-deficient tower blocks to mitigate fire safety risks, we are a solution-focused team.
What’s more, our innovative adaptability couples nicely with our old school approach to customer service, which is all about people. It’s what makes a small, local company like ourselves able to sit within the same arena as big giants in the industry.
Outstanding Point 2: A One-Stop Shop, Which is Also Kinder to the Environment
One of our customers’ biggest pain points is juggling multiple contractors: one for their fire alarm, another for extinguishers, yet another for emergency lighting, and God knows how many more across their security systems and electrical maintenance needs.
For every one of those, there’s a contract, a separate visit and additional costs; all of which are neither time nor cost nor energy effective.
We have a dedicated in-house training centre with panels set up for our engineers so that our Technical Director can teach one engineer how to install, maintain and fault find across a range of fire and security systems.
That means a single engineer can turn up to service multiple systems, so you’re saving on having multiple attendances, which also means it’s just one engineer in a single van – inadvertently doing a favour to the environment by minimising your carbon footprint.
Outstanding Point 3: In One Word – Integrity
Our pledge is to always be honest, reliable, and professional, and that’s the focus of everything we do.
Now that’s something every company is likely to say, but how many actually fulfil it. Here are a couple of demonstrations of how we do:
Unfortunately, this industry is tarnished by those who prioritise money-making rather than safety. As this is a vocation for us before it’s a business, none of our engineers are on commission. They simply shouldn’t be.
We’ve managed to take clients off some of our larger competitors because it was revealed they were making recommendations on life safety systems (e.g. replacing detectors on a fire alarm system that were actually in warranty and weren’t even deficient!) that were unnecessary.
Another example is of poor engineering whereby a system upgrade was recommended when simple fault finding was all that was needed, whereby we saved that client in excess of £35k avoiding that unnecessary upgrade.
By nourishing our engineers with constant knowledge and problem-solving abilities, and not succumbing to the industry’s go-to of cash incentives which motivate in an ethically questionable way for the client, we have managed to sustain a strong customer base and a truly dedicated team.
In our industry, we hear a lot of stories from customers who are brought on at cheap contract prices only to experience extortionate call-out rates.
Our ethos is to try to minimise call-outs by conducting proper diagnostics on the phone. Of course, if it’s something that you can’t or shouldn’t do yourself, we would sent someone out straight away, but a lot of system issues are down to user error, which can be guided to a resolution without an engineer’s attendance.
By taking the moment to truly understand the problem, we save our customer base on average £8k per month by helping them over the phone. This means the customer saves on call-outs (again, another win for minimising the carbon footprint); they actually learn how to solve an issue, which builds their confidence and future-proofs them for training other staff or knowing what to do should the same issue happen again; plus, for us it means we can save the engineer attendances for the genuine emergencies and visits needed.
You might’ve heard me say ‘in our industry’ a lot in these examples; we’re exceptionally proud to be in the sector we are, but there are a lot of second-rate practices we feel we add a level of prestige and prowess to in our approach.
What does the future hold?
Part of our application was also to talk about our future objectives and goals.
To which we told them about our aim to encourage more women into the fire, security and electrical industry.
We also want to become the most environmentally aware fire, security and electrical company, which will in turn help solidify us as a top choice for helping businesses adapt to the Electrical Revolution with EV charging points to future-proof their premises.
Whatever the future holds, we know that the last couple of years have seen us really be tested to the limit; with every change, we’ve adapted, and with every hurdle we’re jumped over it, and said “what else you got?!”
This is largely thanks to a super strong team ethos and the fact that everyone here sees their career as a vocation, not just a job.
Thank you, Prestige Awards, for recognising us 2022’s ‘Fire Protection Service of the Year’! We look forward to making our team and customers’ proud as we go on to innovate, educate and protect!
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