The HSS Hire Group is a leading provider of tools, equipment and related services in the UK and Ireland. Its nationwide network ensures easy access to an extensive range that has grown to include specialist capabilities including power solutions business, ABird; powered access provider, UK Platforms; heating and cooling specialists, All Seasons Hire; and cleaning equipment services, Reintec. Operating under the banner of HSS Hire, the group has 280 locations including a number of supercentres with extended opening hours. The company also runs a dedicated training division, HSS Training, while HSS Onecall offers customers a one-stop shop for all of their hire needs.
Multiple versions of the truth
Before implementing our solution in 2012, HSS Hire did not have an existing property management system in place. Instead, estate information had been kept in different spreadsheets and files, leading to multiple versions of the truth. Kurt Mather, Property Director at HSS Hire, said: “With the information for over 200 properties held on spreadsheets, there was potential for problems. It also meant that it was difficult to quickly relay information to senior management. Additionally, we had no trigger notice in place for lease end dates, which meant we might miss out on negotiation opportunities.” With multiple new branches opening every year, HSS Hire needed to implement a property management system to accommodate company growth.
A smooth implementation
HSS Hire wanted a central database where they could record multiple use of properties, for example sub-let floor space. They also needed a clear numbering system to highlight property structure and content, and any changes to the database had to be trackable. Perhaps most importantly, the system needed to be easy to use and easy to report from. Kurt said: “We narrowed our search to three different options. Qube (now part of MRI) had been recommended to me by an acquaintance who uses the solution. After I sat down and watched him use the software, I knew that it would work well for us. While all the systems we looked at had similar functionality, ultimately we needed a system that was easy to install and simple to use. This one stood out as the most user friendly.” The software implementation went smoothly and was delivered on time and to budget. HSS Hire found the training particularly helpful. Kurt commented: “We were up and running with the system very quickly. Since implementation we have had additional training sessions which have been equally as informative.”
“While all the systems we looked at had similar functionality, ultimately we needed a system that was easy to install and simple to use. This one stood out as the most user friendly.”
Since installing the solution, HSS has continued to grow as a business. Kurt said: “In 2015 we opened 50 new branches, which has been greatly supported by the functionality within the software. The system gives us the ability to provide good quality, up-to-date management information to senior stakeholders.” One of the key benefits of the software has been reporting, particularly the month-end property summary report. Kurt said: “Every month we produce a report for senior management that lists all the estates, training branches, and the number of branches we have closed, opened, sub let, assigned or left vacant. Before implementing the software, our reports took over a day. Now, it takes less than half an hour.” Another key benefit of the software is the opportunity for HSS Hire to actively manage its estate. Kurt said: “The system automatically alerts us of upcoming lease end dates, which means we never miss the opportunity to negotiate better lease terms with the landlord. Using the software, we can actively manage the estate as well as reactively reporting.”
“Before implementing the software, our month-end reports took over a day. Now, it takes less than half an hour.”
A final word
As well as reaping significant benefits from the software, HSS has also praised the service they’ve received from our team. Kurt said: “Everyone at the company that we’ve spoken to have been nice people, and both the software and the service has been very reliable.”