We asked DPP people to share their stories of how of just how far we go to solve our customers’ mechanical and electrical problems and to keep their bars, restaurants and hotels trading.
A client of ours took on an unusually shaped building in central London. The plan was for it to become a huge bar. We were asked to do the gas heating installation over a ten week period.
Two weeks into the project, the client’s consultant structural engineer realised the installation couldn’t happen as planned because the building sat on top of a Tube lift shaft. We had six weeks left to redesign and deliver a complete new system.
The one we devised needed technology that hadn’t been used before. We flew it over from Belgium, installed it successfully and met the project deadline.
One of our customers was opening a new outlet in a retail unit in a managed shopping centre. The kitchen required a full ventilation system designed and installed with completely bespoke ductwork, which had to be fire rated throughout the building.
Normally a new unit would be given 10 weeks for completion but in this case it was just 6. But we delivered in time, even though the installation required a crane lift. This involved closing a local road with permission from the Local Authority.
The local airport also had to be informed as the positioning of the lifting equipment was close to the flight path.
Late one Saturday evening a serious gas leak was discovered from the kitchen gas supply at a client’s site, forcing the site to close.
That same night, DPP’s office arranged for two engineers to attend the issue and they worked through the night to replace the gas supply, bring together materials from various sites to make it happen without delay.
One winter there was a really horrendous snow blizzard and 15 of our vehicles were completely stuck. But because of the bad weather we were obviously getting customer calls. One of our engineers dug out his own car at home, to get to a client in an emergency situation 40 minutes away.
A very busy site in London had a large pre-booked family birthday party and we were contacted about a problem with the system controls. We discovered the main controls panel had failed but were unable to get hold of the contracted controls company to fix it. Our engineers found a way to bypass the controls and stayed on site all night on fire watch, letting the site trade until the controls panel issue was fixed.
We got a call from a customer saying there was smoke coming from a light fixing in the cellar. We guided them through switching off all of the electrics and isolating the gas supply, and told them to ring the fire brigade as a precaution whilst we also attended the site.
Not only did we prevent a major fire, we protected employees who lived in accommodation on site and did all of the necessary checks and remedial work to get the site fully operational again over the course of a weekend.
During a routine CP12 service for one of our clients on a new site, our engineer discovered the boiler was ‘immediately dangerous’ and had be isolated straightaway. It was winter time and there would have been an immediate impact on the site’s heating and hot water.
Our engineer contacted the office and quick decision-making meant the immersion heater was repaired and temporary heaters were arranged, enabling careful consideration about the new boiler.
An estimator visited the site the same day and provided three options for the new boiler. Within 48 hours a new boiler was installed and the site was compliant and trading correctly.
There were severe floods a few years ago in Cheltenham and Gloucester and a client of ours had over 70 outlets in the region. They asked us to get them clean water so they could keep trading.
The situation was incredibly challenging as obviously the Local Authorities were trying to secure clean water for the residents. But we wanted to source a local supply of natural spring water further north and arranged for it to be drawn, delivered and stored in tankers for around 8 weeks.
There was a technical challenge too. The pumps in the pubs were used to working off mains pressure so we had to deliver this alternative source in at the same pressure and estimate the volumes of water that would be needed.
We won an award for this disaster recovery work.
We were working with a customer on their air ventilation and they had an unusual kitchen extractor fan which failed. It was a Sunday and our supplier base was unable to provide the replacement motor needed that day.
So the engineer working on the project took the existing fan to a local motor rewinding company and asked if they could fix the motor. As we didn’t have an account with the company he went to his own bank and withdrew £700.00 to pay for the works. The site was up and running again within four hours.
A new site for an existing client had a big issue with its kitchen extractor system. The ultraviolet (UV) protection system had failed and the centre management had issued a notice of closure for the site.
Another contractor responsible for servicing the extractor had failed to keep the unit correctly maintained and excessive odour and grease was being extracted into the environment.
The threat of site closure came at one of the busiest times of year for the site. A major event was taking place which would generate significant turnover for the client. We were contacted to provide an immediate service and repair to the UV system so the site could be open for trading.
We received the call on a Tuesday night and had to get the site ready for the event starting on Friday morning. Within 24 hours a new UV system and all ancillary parts were installed.
The centre management gave permission for the site to trade and the event went ahead successfully.
During the hot summer of 2013, one of our clients had an important function in their bar. They had a large number of people attending and wanted temporary air conditioning systems installed.
We received the request at 3pm, four hours before the party was due to start but we got all of the air conditioning systems installed and running before the guests arrived.