“Clan Engineering is beyond your average company and certainly the first of its kind in Scotland,” boldly claims founder and director, Kevin Ryan. “We’ll often be found stating that, to us, customer service is not just a department it’s our whole business.”
Ryan’s confidence is based on his extensive experience at all levels in the Scottish commercial catering industry, from apprentice through to catering engineering manager. He took the step to establish the catering equipment servicing firm as: “It became more and more apparent to me that there was a gap in the market for a company offering true customer service and not just treating customers as disposable and essentially just another number.”
Having worked his way up the ladder from apprentice to catering engineer manager over the past 10 years in various companies including React Catering, Hobart UK, Serviceline and Sparks, he revealed: “I have used my experience and relationships with sites to generate some relationships that have followed me from company to company due to the service I provided on site for the clients.
“This has helped me forge personal and business relationships with clients over the years and finally it became apparent that for me that to honour the promises I gave to the clients then I would need to create something new in the industry in Scotland.”
Therefore he incorporated Clan Engineering (Scotland) Ltd in early 2018 and, having been only trading for less than a year, its staffing levels have already surpassed the company’s initial business plan projections, which forecasted its first additional engineer to be taken on in year two.
“Already ahead of schedule, we are in the market once again to take on an additional two engineers in the coming months, taking us to four fully trained, experienced engineers to continue to break new ground in this industry,” detailed Ryan.
Clan’s range of services includes full maintenance, fault finding, installation, service and repair of all brands of gas and electric commercial catering equipment, such as combi ovens, dishwashers, range cookers, microwaves and refrigeration, across the whole of Scotland.
According to Ryan: “With years of industry experience we understand that for our customers, running a successful foodservice business fundamentally hinges on the efficiency and functionality of their catering equipment and that is why we respond to call outs fast and efficiently.”
The company’s vehicles are tracked, allowing it to utilise the engineer closest to site to ensure the quickest response. Ryan reports that its van stocks are extensive and help to facilitate the firm’s aim to repair equipment on the first visit.
In the event a Clan engineer needs to order parts, the company has partnered with First Choice Group and can utilise the drop box delivery feature the spares specialist offers to enable engineers to have parts available for 8am the next morning, aimed at reducing downtime and extra costs to the end user.
Ryan commented: “We work with our customers to establish routine maintenance visits which prolong the life of their valuable equipment and reduce breakdowns. It’s our mission to make servicing and maintenance truly work for our customers.”
Clan also has access to reconditioned catering appliances which it can hire to its customers in the event of appliances being out of service for any length of time, if, for example, parts are on back order and will take some time to arrive.
The servicing firm is constantly reviewing all the latest technology to investigate ways this can be utilised to exceed its customers’ expectations. It has invested in what it describes as a ‘state of the art’ job management system which has an online customer portal available to its customers free of charge.
As Ryan remarked: “Long gone are the days where a customer is unclear of a job status or chasing for job sheets or invoices etc. With our portal the customer receives live updates on the name of the particular engineer assigned to their job so that they know who to expect on site; it alerts them to the engineer’s location, the job status, quotes and invoices.”
The system will send notifications of when the engineer is on route to the job and on completion of the job it will send job sheets via email to appropriate personnel instantly on completion of site visit. “Drastically reducing administrative time for our customers and providing a more environmentally friendly service as we have more or less got rid of all the paper involved in our day to day activities,” commented Ryan.
Clan’s clients can also access a full equipment log with their repair history highlighted for each asset, allowing them to take informed business decisions based on the repair history of equipment and the costs that each piece of kit has cost the client. Ryan believes: “This investment in the latest technology is just one other way that we are striving to set ourselves apart from our competitors.”
Health and safety is also a fundamental cornerstone of Clan Engineering. “I believe this is evident in the industry accreditations that we already hold, namely Constructionline, Safe Contractor and CHAS,” said Ryan. “We are continually vigilant in the role we play to ensuring not only our customers’ safety, but that of our staff whether it be on our site or the sites of our clients. This is an expensive exercise for Clan but we think it’s more than worth it to give our clients that peace of mind that the health and safety of our company and our staff is of a high standard.”
On the firm’s customer outreach, he revealed: “Despite being a very new company on the Scottish commercial catering scene we have quickly established an extensive client base as a result of long term relationships I have developed within the industry. We continue to add more prestigious clients as our brand is beginning to make an impact in Scotland and has become known for being a cut above the rest.”
Clan works with clients from all sectors and organisations of all sizes including household names in the industry such as Skanska, with the servicing firm looking after numerous large council areas covering school properties, NHS Scotland and various large catering equipment repair businesses from south of the border which entrust the company to service to their clients in Scotland.
Derby-based manufacturer Parry has also signed an agreement with Clan to carry out its warranty work in Scotland. Another major customer for the servicing company is Tesco, as Clan is also the dedicated sub-contractor for the main contractor looking after all of the supermarket’s stores in the UK.
Ryan explained: “As such, we are trusted to look after all the Tesco sites in Scotland for them and due to the great service we are providing them and our free customer portal we have forged a fantastic relationship with them and will continue to do so.”
He also emphasised the firm’s target of having a strong moral conscience. It has already made substantial contributions to Renfrewshire Foodbank and the Back to School Bank Paisley charity supporting school uniforms for children in need locally. “Charity work is immensely important to Clan, as we believe that we should be sharing our success with those in need and be a responsible local business in our area,” said Ryan.
“We are currently starting preparation work to take this to a new level by organising an annual charity event on 5 October 2019 in support of The Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now charities (which are merging in April this year). This is a charity extremely close to the hearts of the Clan directors due to both of our mothers being diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and since then going through various treatments and getting the all clear earlier this year.”
He concluded: “We like to think we are a new breed of company, not just with a sole focus on profits, but a focus on our customers and giving back to our local community.”
Attention to detail is a key focus at Clan Engineering, and this is carried through to name and branding itself.
Founder and director Kevin Ryan revealed: “We picked the business name to reflect the partnership with our customers with our tag line ‘Be part of the Clan’ reflecting our team spirit in relation to staff and our customer base.”
The stag head is the firm’s logo as it is historically symbolic of:
Dominance – The company is endeavouring to become the dominating force in the Scottish commercial catering servicing market.
Confidence – Clan reports it has a vigorous selection process to ensure its staff are the best in the industry to give its customers the confidence to rely on us.
Pride – The firm strives to ensure that every point of contact is executed with professionalism, insight and integrity. Its staff takes pride in delivering the best service possible.
Nobility and trust – Ryan believes that the company’s customers know that, whilst not necessarily the cheapest on the market, Clan is delivering an honourable service. The business aims to deliver open transparency in all pricing and an individual relationship with each customer to ensure they have the peace of mind that they are safe in its hands.
Scotland – With the stag’s head being associated with Scotland, Clan is a proud Scottish business and thought this would be a perfect reflection of the firm.
Ryan summed up: “Therefore we believed the stag head is the perfect representation of the values we nurture in our business.”