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Thought outsourcing your water and wastewater operations and maintenance wasn’t for you? Think again!

Marcus Green

03 Jun 20

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​​​​Whatever your industry, effective water and wastewater management and environmental protection are business-critical. Failure to comply with associated legislation may incur high costs, negatively impact the environment, and significantly damage a business’ reputation.

While some companies manage their water and wastewater operations in-house due to perceived cost-savings, others understand the many benefits that outsourcing to the right partner can bring. With the right partner, you’ll benefit from their wide-ranging industry experience, gain access to specialist support and expertise, and enjoy operational cost savings. You’ll have the assurance that your plant is operating efficiently, in full compliance with environmental regulations - leaving you free to focus on your core business.

Here’s our seven reasons why you should consider outsourcing operations and maintenance (O&M) of your water and wastewater.

 

  1. Reassurance: Freedom to focus on your core business

 A trusted, accredited water and wastewater management partner with specialist expertise and experience should remove all risk and worry and allow you to focus on what you do best — your core business.

By outsourcing to the right partner, you’ll feel reassured that you have a trusted operator with the appropriate expertise and experience maintaining and managing your assets. They will be able to effectively maintain and manage your assets whilst ensuring all appropriate regulations are being adhered to and running all of your technology and processes so that your assets are delivering optimum performance. You will have a dependable partner offering an expert view, and resource whenever you need it.   

By outsourcing to a specialist partner you will also benefit from a much wider network of people and their knowledge and experience. For example, this may be someone off-site helping to answer any technical questions; provision of 24/7 monitoring capabilities; support and call-out services; and even access to out-of-the-box thinking when dealing with unforeseen challenges — such as how to hibernate an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant during a prolonged business shutdown.

 

  1. Full compliance (protecting the environment)

 Legal compliance is more than just a risk management exercise — it's the basis of good business practice. Protection of the environment in accordance with the law is not just the right thing to do, it protects your business' reputation too.

Compliance monitoring comes as second nature to specialist companies such as Alpheus. Protecting the environment is what we do every day and is critical to our success. Although compliance monitoring with regulations such as those set by the EA (in England) and SEPA (in Scotland) can be understood and carried out in-house, specialist companies will have expert knowledge - and often analytical scientists - on board to monitor data daily. This expertise will enable them to identify and act on unusual trends prior to compliance being compromised.

 With the right partner – one who is accredited, trusted and specialised, such as Alpheus - you can rest safe in the knowledge that a dedicated team is keeping on top of compliance and has the interests and reputation of your business at the forefront of their mind.

 

  1. Increased efficiency, optimisation and continuous improvement

 Being highly specialised, a water and wastewater management partner can be best placed to identify areas for operational improvement, optimisation and efficiency. Choosing the right partner will bring great benefits to your business through the knowledge and learnings they can transfer to you from other clients and industries. They will be able to quickly identify important and immediate opportunities to improve O&M efficiencies, such as process changes, that can make particular jobs easier, quicker, safer or less expensive.

The right partner, with the right expertise, will be able to ensure that all of your assets are delivering optimum performance, to give you the best returns. In our experience, an expert view and fresh pair of eyes is needed to bring out the best in a plant. From the outset, we start looking for ways to optimise plant performance, and as a specialist water and wastewater management company we have highly skilled people with significant expertise to undertake a process of monitoring, sampling and analysis. This gives us trend data and other results which help us to identify changes we can make to improve performance and realise benefits for our clients.

A good outsourcing partner will also want to deliver continuous improvements for your business, to help you realise benefits and optimise performance in the medium to longer term. And don’t forget! Any improvement deliverables promised at tender stage can be built into your Service Level Agreement prior to the contract and partnership commencing.

 

  1. Operational cost savings

 As experts in their field, a specialist water and wastewater management partner is usually able to deliver significant savings on operational costs too – and this doesn’t mean by reducing overheads! The right outsourcing partner will be able to use their expertise to identify ways to make your waste and water processing more efficient from start to finish – at the same time ensuring your operations are fully compliant, and that your staff and visitors are in the safest environment possible.

 For example, Alpheus provides O&M services to the Glenmorangie distillery in Tain, which produces the world-renowned single malt whisky. Due to a prolonged business shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic, we identified the most cost-effective approach for maintaining and hibernating the distillery's AD plant. We provided trusted advice on different existing options and outcomes – and then devised and executed a new plan that has resulted in significant cost and environmental savings.

 

  1. A fresh approach to health and safety

 It's business-critical to ensure the health and safety (H&S) of your workers and the public, but having a multi-faceted, comprehensive plan can be tricky to get right. Companies may find themselves focusing all their efforts on mitigating one area of risk while at the same time overlooking other potentially dangerous issues.

The right outsourcing partner will be experienced and knowledgeable in managing all aspects of H&S across multiple business, industries and operations. They can bring this expertise to your site, helping to identify and eliminate potential H&S weaknesses quickly and effectively.

 Another important area is process safety. While functional safety is more widely known about, process safety is highly complex and requires extensive training and experience to understand – often only found through a specialist external partner. They will ensure that both functional and process safety are complied with and will have the capability to progress your H&S strategy to the next level. This can deliver longer-term, added value and additional benefits, such as greater protection and reduced risk, allowing you – once again - to focus on your core business.

 

  1. Prioritising people engagement and management

 It's important to select a trusted, experienced outsourcing partner who understands TUPE regulations and can provide dedicated HR support to ensure a smooth transition for staff. We believe in putting people first and focus on retaining, engaging, developing and training existing staff, so that their local knowledge and experience is utilised effectively.

 We believe a critical part of our success is making people feel part of the Alpheus family. We have welcomed TUPE staff to our own business so that we are not just a remote contractor: we are all working together as one tight-knit unit. We know that we can add value here.

 

  1. Managing critical assets effectively

 Finally, with the right outsourcing partner, you can feel reassured that your assets are being maintained and managed properly, by experts. Their expertise will ensure an optimised asset maintenance plan is in place to minimise downtime, ensure equipment is performing efficiently and delivering optimum performance.

In addition, a well-operated plant should have an optimised asset management system in place. At Alpheus, we prioritise developing and implementing an asset management system based on asset 'criticality', which goes beyond simply an asset register. It’s another area where the skill, knowledge and expertise of a specialised outsourcing partner can really deliver benefits and value, particularly when it comes to assessing individual assets for safety.

Working in partnership

 It’s not simply about outsourcing though - you will only derive the benefits we’ve described by choosing the right company to outsource to! Selecting a partner with the right expertise and approach is critical to success – you need one you can trust, in order to bring value and realise further benefits.

And don't underestimate the benefit of the relationship that can be developed with your outsourcing partner. An experienced outsourcing partner will want to work with you, build trust and work hard to get to know you and support your needs.

As an experienced, expert outsourcing partner, Alpheus is well-equipped to deliver all the benefits we’ve outlined. We can take the stress of water and wastewater management off your hands. We care about the service we provide, delivering what we promise, and going the extra mile where we can.

 The success of our partnership approach can be evidenced by our 100% retention and renewals record over the past three years, across all of our sites. We work with some of the world's leading brands, and we employ some brilliant minds to ensure we're on top of every perceivable business challenge.

 

Visit our O&M page to see how we can help your business manage your wastewater operations.

 Don't just take our word for it...

Case study: Cranfield University

Case study: Princes

 

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