When Aptus Utilities celebrates its tenth birthday in March it will mark a major milestone for the company and the culmination of a successful decade in business. During the last ten years Aptus has helped to transform the multi utility sector by expediting housing and construction projects with its streamlined model and attention to customer service.
At Safety Stand Down at the beginning of January the management team addressed all employees, briefing them on the company’s health, safety, and commercial performance in 2018/2019 and outlining key objectives for another ambitious year in the company’s evolution. The Aptus workforce has grown significantly since 2010 and now holds Stand Downs in the North West, North East and Midlands to ensure a consistent message is communicated across all personnel.
2018/2019 marked another year of successful geographical expansion and an increase in turnover and profit. In the North East and Midlands, Aptus continues to garner a wider share of the multi utility marketplace, with staff numbers rising accordingly to meet service demand.
Management highlighted the new job opportunities that will result from continued growth, and underlined their commitment to identifying and supporting individuals wanting to advance their career with Aptus Utilities. This approach also facilitates the controlled growth of the business and helps to maintain a consistently high level of customer service.
Employee welfare remains a priority and the company has continued to invest in this area by upgrading healthcare to include cover for one-to-one counselling sessions. In addition, new Mental Health First Aiders have been trained, bringing the total to eight, with further training planned to ensure support is available across all depots, sites and offices.
Teambuilding days were introduced to increase employee engagement across our regions and foster a sense of team spirit. As well as having a fun element, these events help to improve communication and increase knowledge and understanding of the different roles and responsibilities within the business.
Employees had another chance to get together at the Aptus Family Fun Day in June. Now a firm favourite in the company calendar, the day was well-attended by team members and their families, who enjoyed a barbecue, refreshments and entertainment in the picturesque canalside setting of Guy’s Thatched Hamlet near Garstang.
The Aptus Christmas Party at Bolton Whites Hotel was another successful celebration, bringing together North West, Cumbria and Midlands staff for a Christmas meal and an evening of dancing and festivities.
Our apprentices and trainees continue to be a huge source of pride as they grow with the company, helping to shape it and safeguarding its future. In the summer, five of our Multi Utility apprentices were the first in the country to complete the new Trailblazer Gas Standards Level 2 for gas network team leaders, with two achieving distinction.
In the autumn, Aptus affirmed its commitment to apprenticeships by launching the third phase of a Multi Utility programme introduced in 2015. This commitment doesn’t just assist the company’s own growth needs, but also helps to address vital skills shortages across the industry, supporting the creation of a new generation of specialist operatives for the utilities sector.
As well as working alongside developers to deliver new homes, it’s important for Aptus to contribute in other ways to enhance local communities. One of the ways we do this is through our annual winter Road Safety Campaign, when we visit schools to donate reflective jackets and spread the ‘be safe, be seen’ message to schoolchildren.
We also supported STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at Lever Park School in Horwich by sponsoring Year 7 pupils in the Race For The Line competition. The students had to design and build a rocket car to race at high speeds and did brilliantly, reaching the national finals at Duxford Imperial War Museum. We look forward to working with them again in 2020 and building on this relationship.
In 2019 Aptus once again ranked among the fastest-growing privately-owned, profitable companies in the North West and is focused on retaining its leading position in the region in 2020. The company is driven to emulate this level of success in the North East, Midlands and in Yorkshire, where we have recently opened a depot near Wakefield. We aim to achieve this by continuing to focus on delivering first-class service to our clients, being communicative and responsive to their requirements, and ensuring we live up to our Core Values in all aspects of our business.
Strategic support from experienced private equity firm WestBridge – who joined the company as a shareholder in 2019 – will be instrumental to our successful progress. Martin Donnachie, who has been appointed as Executive Chairman, will lend valuable expertise to the company’s development, assisting the management team in scaling up its operations and realising future growth ambitions.
Managing Director Lisa Kerford said: “After nearly ten years of consistent growth at Aptus Utilities we are proud of what we have achieved and the positive impact we continue to have in supporting the construction industry during a fragile economic period for the UK.
“We believe our achievements, investment in technology and expertise, and our plans for sustainable growth will assure existing clients and partners of our capability. We also hope this will make us an attractive option to new customers and look forward to forming new partnerships in 2020 and beyond.”