A Days Training

A days training is worth four in the field

AM Fire & Security Systems believe that training is the key to delivering first class services, time after time. Every member of staff has to be up to speed on what we do and how we do it, and since the how part is under constant change -either from our regulatory bodies or from the manufacturers of the equipment we work with- training is core to our success.

In years gone by, training was very much seen as something the young apprentice did, and although we still put apprentices through these valuable programmes, it is only one of many types of training we provide.

Quality Management
In order to consistently operate at the highest levels required in our industry, we maintain a quality management system that is audited to the renowned ISO 9001 standard. Every month we audit key areas of our business, such as record keeping or calibration of test equipment or the achievement of targets in responding to emergency call outs. Our engineering supervisors audit the work of installation and maintenance engineers twice yearly. In this way, we are always focused on our training needs, whether technical or administrative.

Health and Safety
Preparing method statements, risk assessments in the workplace, working with dangerous chemicals, disposing of waste and electrical products, and much more. The required H&S knowledge is immense, and growing. Our approach is to employ the services of an H&S consultant to provide training and keep us updated on new developments.

Technical Standards
The mainstay of our technical knowledge comes from the National Security Inspectorate schemes FIRE Gold and NACOSS Gold. These schemes bring together the current British and International Standards and Codes of Practice for designing, installing and maintaining fire and security systems. For example, within the NACOSS Gold scheme, we are examined on our knowledge of Code of Practice 104 for the Design, Installation & Maintenance of CCTV Systems.

We attend training courses for Intruder, CCTV and Access Control at NSI in Maidenhead or in satellite groups around the country.

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) provides us with extensive training on fire detection and alarm installation and maintenance. There are some eleven units, each one carrying an assessment and pass certificate. Our fire engineers travel to FIA training centre in London to undertake these modules.

Manufacturer Product Training
Training provided by fire and security equipment manufacturers has come a long way from the quick demonstrations of old, blink and it’s over! Detailed explanations and on-going support are essential as products become more technical. In the first six months of 2009 we received product training from Paxton, Pac, Pelco, Sterling, Honeywell Galaxy and Notifier. These workshop style sessions range from one to two days, sometimes at our premises but often around the UK. Usually we send three or four people to get the most out of the learning opportunity.
We are confident that our engineers are
the best trained in Scotland.

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A little Help from TomTom

At AM Fire & Security Systems we are always looking for ways to work smarter.

A key area of my daily work is job scheduling. This is a mix of regular service visits, repair maintenance, installation work, surveys on new jobs, and emergency calls across all of our system types (fire, intruder, access control, CCTV, electrical and gates & barriers). With so many engineers and jobs distributed across Scotland, communicating with everyone can take up a big part of my day. It’s so important that the customer is available to give access to the building and we try to avoid making anybody have to wait for us.

But the reality is that a job might involve extra time to complete, or, as is very often the case, there are road works, traffic jams or accidents. Customers get anxious about when the engineer is going to arrive and the engineers can’t say how long they will be because they simply don’t know what is ahead of them.

When Paul suggested we take a look at TomTom, I was a bit unsure that a new layer of technology would really deliver an actual improvement to my daily scheduling marathon. Looking back, I have to laugh, because TomTom has delivered so much more.

As all our vehicles have a TomTom device, and I have a fabulous 30″ monitor, I can see at a glance what jobs are in progress. When I schedule the next job for a particular engineer, I know when he has completed the previous job and commenced the next one. This sounds a bit simple, but TomTom is collecting the engineer’s timesheet electronically as the day progresses. Not only that, but we know very accurately each of the travelling times between jobs because it is based on real time traffic information and fastest most direct routes. So, my contact with the engineers has become outgoing text messaging and incoming data I can view on my easy view monitor. Just a glance now and then, a text message and a phone call to the customer. It is much less engaging but much more effective.

Of course, there are other benefits besides improving customer service. Yes, money savings. We buy our fuel at the best price within our geography, and we travel between jobs on the most direct routes -cheaper fuel and less miles!

I can definitely say that TomTom helps to keep our customers informed, our engineers on schedule and my stress levels down!

Mandy Jensen

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