Knight Build Ltd is a construction company based in Brentwood, Essex and primarily carries out works in London and surrounding areas. The current management team joined forces in 1994 and since then Knight Build has become renowned for complete shell & core projects, complex basement construction, structural alterations, demolition, underpinning, piling, concrete frames, groundwork, brickwork, roofing work and drainage solutions.
Edward Daize, Financial Director & Transport Manager explains how Knight Build has benefited as a company since achieving FORS Gold in 2016.
Since achieving FORS Gold, we have seen substantial reductions in CO2 emissions and MPG across our fleet by introducing simple and cost-effective techniques such as one day independent driver assessments, anti-idling policies and continuous driver training.
As a construction company, the importance of transportation for us to deliver to our sites in London became more of a priority as more and more clients had made this a mandatory requirement. As such it was the requirements driven by clients and the London Borough Councils that highlighted our need to become FORS accredited. I realised that FORS would benefit us, as contractually without FORS we may possibly not be considered on upcoming projects. In addition to the above we are a partner member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) and we also noticed that CCS monitors were always commenting on the fact that we were not FORS accredited and if we were it would increase our scores on our CCS reports.
The initial FORS bronze assessment was an eye opener; it highlighted shortfalls and areas that needed improvements. Although Knight Build Limited passed our initial assessment first time round, we were complacent and did not realise the full benefit of progression and on our second assessment, it was highlighted that we needed to demonstrate how we were above and beyond compliance in order to make further progress. This indicated to me that we needed to improve and hence I personally took up the role of transport manager within the organisation.
Firstly in order to get a better understanding of FORS and to ensure that I was adequately aware of the responsibilities, I undertook the CPC Transport Manager responsibility by gaining the necessary qualification. I then became a FORS Practitioner. By doing so I had a comprehensive understanding of the elements I learned, and putting them into day to day practice was essentially much easier. Obviously it was a gradual and painstaking job (most people do not like change and avoid this at all costs) but eventually the benefits of working in compliance with the standards and in an efficient manner could be seen. This resulted in less missed deliveries, work being completed well within the normal working hours with better working conditions and practices being adopted. I now see the transport team from a different perspective-as an important side of our business and the people in this team are all professionals and therefore further developing their skills with added training is not the hindrance they possibly initially thought, but just a second look at what you do and how it can be improved.
“The increased safety and awareness of our drivers through FORS training combined with another annual reduction in fuel usage speaks volumes of our FORS membership.” (Edward Daize, Financial Director)
Cost efficiency to an accountant like me is a huge incentive driver, and we are seeing savings being made by efficient transportation, the avoidance of wasted journeys and missed deliveries/collections which all previously caused added stress to a driver’s day. Implementing efficient planning in our transport processes has helped reduce driver stress and create a safer environment of working attitudes. FORS workshops obviously helped underline important practices and the need for the same to ensure that from a management perspective it is driven in the right direction. Although not s requirement, we sent our Managing Director, company directors and senior managers on the one day Safe Urban Driving Course so that they too could get a better understanding of what our fleet operators endures. The changes required to improve the working conditions and practices which would benefit not just the company but the whole team involved. It certainly makes implementing change easier if more than one can understand the requirements and benefits as a whole.
“The CITB should have a look at FORS approach and requirements to training which is exemplary and streets ahead of other industries requirements, where the risks are actually higher.” (Dominick Gallagher, HSEQ Manager)
Progressing from Bronze to Silver to Gold for us was a no-brainer. We strive to be the best in the specialist construction field in which we work and our fleet operations are no different. We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction and in the boroughs in London where we work, FORS Gold is seen as a market leader in the eyes of our clients, the local councils, local residents and also by the CCS. FORS Gold provides the reassurance that works and fleet operations are being carried out to the highest standard, something that is extremely important to our continued success and growth.
The benefits of the FORS scheme has been clearly evident and introducing measures such as the Anti-Idling Policy, independent driver assessments combined with on-going driver awareness training through e-learning courses and FORS Toolbox Talks which has resulted in a reduction in Fleet related incidents, MPG and Co2 emissions.
MPG (HGV only)
|Kg CO2 Equivalent||
Incidents per 100,000 Kms
*Annual improvement in MPG and Incidents per 100,000 Kms
- All our drivers complete an annual company driver’s medical questionnaire. Drivers receive free annual eye tests and an online number plate eye test is carried out every 6 months. Drug and alcohol testing is carried out randomly.
- KBL as an equal opportunities employer and in partnership with local boroughs display employment opportunity signs together with QR codes on our site projects. As part of our training policy we offer suitable training to encourage new recruits to join and offer employees continuous professional development.
- In addition to Noise monitoring equipment, KBL operate under an anti-idling policy which is displayed at the front of all our projects on our Logistics Information and CLOCS board. All loading bays are lined with KBL branded Echo barriers to reduce noise during loading and unloading operations.
- Modal shift is not currently feasible due to geographical restrictions and alternative hybrid/electric vehicles are being reviewed in line with availability, purchase and lease prices as we are currently 5 years into our 7 year contract with current HGV’s. In order to make continual fleet improvements we will ensure that our drivers and staff continue to receive necessary training through online courses and independent driver assessments.
In order to make improvements we will continue to liaise with our fleet operatives and staff as it has been their suggestions that have been paramount to our continued success. We have recently just ordered a new vehicle which will join our fleet in 2019 and the Fassi660 Hiab complies with our continual fleet improvement procedures and is a Euro VI vehicle.
At Knight Build Limited we have always aimed to be the best in our field in what we do. Achieving and maintaining our Gold membership means we are doing exactly “what it says on the tin” and showing the minimum standard that we work to. Also, the merits of this hard work will filter back in cost savings as working efficiently does not need to be at the detriment of safety. It can be very rewarding to see how the transport in our organisation has become both cost effective and efficient in such a short journey and the benefits have more than outweighed the costs.