In order to improve the way we operate, we need to fully understand how our clients feel about the service we provide.
Recently, we decided to obtain feedback from a range of our clients through a third party agency. We wanted the chance to hear unvarnished opinion about the things that really matter to our clients.
The entirely honest feedback obtained has been invaluable, and it's now helping us improve how we work at GEA in a number of key areas.
We were pleased to hear that the quality of the content of our reports is considered high. Our team has "great technical capabilities" and "reports are typically very good from GEA", said one client.
Another commented: "We put GEA forward as we know they've got the correct technical capabilities to deliver what we need."
Some felt that the way we presented our reports could do with a bit of an update.. With this in mind, we've given our reports a more modern look, improving accessibility of the information.
It also came to our attention that there were sometimes delays in the delivery of our reports. Whilst not a challenge exclusive to GEA, this was naturally a matter we heard about with concern.
"Delivery of reports can sometimes be delayed which causes client frustrations and impacts the programme. Not only applicable to GEA. The content of GEA's reports is of a really high quality."
We know that our clients appreciate schedules that are met. So, we have now put metrics in place to set clearer timescales from the outset, and also improved the production and delivery times of our reports. By implementing a new cloud-based project management system this has allowed us to more closely monitor the progression of jobs and allocate suitable resource.
Although this wasn't flagged as a concern, we recognise there's always room for improvement. As well as our new project management system speeding up reporting at the back end of a project, we've also welcomed a new team member to help with getting work underway more quickly in the first place. Responsible for setting up jobs on the system and finding drilling crews, among other things, this role was created to alleviate some of the pressure on our engineers, helping them to get to site more rapidly and freeing up their time to do what they do best – being in the lab logging the soil from boreholes, writing up reports and providing interpretation / analysis of findings.
We were pleased to hear that our team's availability on site and at the end of the phone is appreciated almost entirely across the board. Our engineers are always happy to discuss a project and share their knowledge, often drawing on our database of some 10,000 previous ground investigations, at any stage of the project.
"I find them really helpful to speak to upfront, often before we've issued tenders. They offer advice on how to structure investigations…and are very helpful in designing the specifications."
Commenting on the research, Steve Branch – Managing Director at GEA – said: "We build strong relationships and are trusted by our clients because we have sound technical knowledge.,
"We carried out the research to understand our clients' beliefs about GEA and the sector in general, to reinforce our knowledge about what clients need from us, and value in the way we do it. We also wanted first hand insight into what clients don't want from a geotechnical partner, so we can avoid pitfalls.
"A big thank you to everyone who agreed to participate in our research project. Your feedback really enables us to continuously improve our service so that we can best meet the needs of your business."
GEA is a company with an innovative culture and we know there's always room for improvement. If you have feedback you'd like to share, please get in touch, and we'll address it.