New UMS Advantage Website

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We are delighted to reveal our newly designed website for UMS Advantage! We encourage you to visit and explore the site so we can introduce you to our commercial property maintenance solutions.

UMS Advantage has doubled in size since its inception and has achieved a portfolio of local and national customers across the Retail, Aged Care and Child Care sectors. Currently operating under the company are 300 employees and over 900 prequalified, certified subcontractors that meet the highest of SEQ standards, including individual police checks.

For the first time we have a single website that reflects UMS Advantage as a whole and every service line represented in an aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly navigational website.

We hope you will visit our new website umsadvantage.com.au, designed especially for you to get to know us better and get a feel for who we are as a company.

In the coming months, we hope to continue improving the site so that it best serves how we communicate with you.

Water Savings on Yarra City Council Sports Ground

Capture.JPG-300x300Yarra City Council has commenced an upgrade of all sports ground irrigation systems as part of an overall strategy to more efficiently utilise its annual irrigation water allocation with the city’s open space areas.

The expected outcome of this strategy is to ensure all open spaces in Yarra receive the right amount of water, in the right areas, at the right time of day, leading to an improvement in the amenity and usability of Yarra’s well used and admired parks and sportsgrounds.

In recent months UMS has worked with Council to audit the effectiveness and efficiency of all Council sportsground irrigation systems.  The audit included GPS location of all sprinkler heads and catch-can testing to assess watering efficiency.

From this audit a range recommendations were made on irrigation system improvements including sprinkler head changes, sprinkler locations and control system upgrades. Once the works have been completed Yarra City Council irrigation systems will be able to evenly and effective distribute water across the city’s sportsground surfaces.

Another key element of this strategy has recently been implemented when Council made a decision on the installation of a web-based central irrigation control system.  UMS has been closely involved in the evaluation and testing of various irrigation control systems for Council, and has subsequently been awarded the contract to install and operate the new system.

Stage 1 of the central control system will facilitate total control the watering of each ground via a web portal to the cloud-based “Smartlink Weathermatic” system.  Having this level of control from any PC, phone or tablet will result in customer benefits, by allowing Council officers and UMS staff to check the status of all sportsground controllers from their desk, and make program changes if required.  System faults are detected by the Smartlink System and sent to Council officers and UMS staff real-time allowing rapid fault location and repair.  This gives Council reassurance that faults which cause water wastage, or negatively impact on playing surface condition or result in negative public perception, will be minimised.

Stage 2 of this roll-out will involve the installation and linking of flow meters to the central control system which will detect broken sprinkler heads, leaks and burst pipes in the systems and on detection, will automatically shut down individual lines. Flow meters will also give Council the ability to check quantities of water used per ground against their annual irrigation water allocation rather than having to wait for water bills to arrive.

While stage one has seen some great benefits to Yarra Council, stage two is where real data can be captured, analysed and interpreted to single out sportsgrounds where water savings can be achieved.

This is a great outcome for Yarra City Council in their initiative to save water and for UMS to be their Safe, Trusted, Expert.

4th Local Government and Public Sector Building Maintenance and Management Conference

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Urban Maintenance Systems (UMS) was pleased to be a silver sponsor exhibitor and presenter at the 4th Local Government & Public Sector, Building Maintenance and Management Conference, staged in Sydney on 11-12 November 2014.  UMS assisted in the establishment of this annual conference in 2011 and has been an active supporter since.

This practical conference covered a range of key issues relating to the maintenance and management of local government and public sector buildings with speakers across a broad spectrum of experienced practitioners from both the public, and private sectors. At the UMS stand in the Conference exhibit area, a team including our Chairman, Executive and Regional Account Managers were on-hand to discuss our ability to deliver facility management strategies for managing aging and diverse Local Government property portfolios.

At the conference, our Executive Manager of Building Services, Bret Butler, presented a paper that provided an overview of the success factors and the impact of relationships in outsourcing buildings facilities management contracts titled, “Never Mind the Contract, It’s All About the People”. This presentation is made available on request.

Following from this presentation, Bret has been invited to publish a related article”5 Other Questions for More Successful Outsourced Buildings Facilities Management Contract”, which will appear in a forthcoming edition of FM Magazine.

 Once again, UMS is proud to support the Local Government & Public Sector, Building Maintenance and Management Conference series and will continue with our philosophy to support the industries in which we operate.

Mental Health over the Holiday Season

Capture5The holiday season is a time of festivity and merriment, rediscovering the joys of family bonds and spending time with your loved ones. However unmet expectations, financial strains and conflicted relationships may bring a lot of stress during this period of time. These pressures may cause detriment to personal mental health and it is important especially during the holiday period to be able to identify triggers of stress and manage them.

The following are suggestions to help you enjoy a less stressful holiday season:

Take care of yourself.

Whilst the holiday season is about spending time with loved ones and rekindling bonds, it is also a period to relax and attend to your own personal needs and feelings.

Make connections.

The holiday season may bring challenges to relationships due to factors involving expectations and financial strains. Positive relationships with family and friends are important. When relationships are strained, defuse arguments, adjust your expectations and don’t get caught up in others’ disagreements.

Stay within your budget.

Plan your holiday spending, and stick to it! Financial strain has been reported as one of the most significant components of holiday stress, and the fall out of overspending can continue well into the New Year.

Ask for help.

Whether it’s financial difficulties, conflicted relationships or any other factors causing detriment to mental health, it is important to learn to reach out and ask for help. Family members, co-workers, supervisors, family doctors, employee assistant programs, are all possible sources of assistance.

City of Sydney Recycles Bill Posters

Capture-300x226Local Governments face a unique challenge – to ensure environmental and sustainable practices through the performance of street cleansing, roads maintenance, waste and recycling collections.

Limited resources can present challenges for local governments in the maintenance of their municipalities. The partnership between UMS and the City of Sydney is a great example of how our graffiti management knowledge is being utilised to assist in the cleansing and maintenance of the City.

Responsible for the city centre and over 30 suburbs, the City is home to a diverse and vibrant community of over 183,000 residents.

Our contract with the City commenced in September 2014 and includes graffiti management and bill poster removal. Through the engagement of a paper recycling company, UMS has developed an innovative and greener solution in the removal process of illegal bill posters and recycling of the waste paper. These illegal posters are being taped to poles and building surfaces in the Sydney LGA and have become a growing source of visual pollution and paper wastage.

As a result, our UMS graffiti management team maintains a program where by all illegal bill posters are collected from building surfaces and poles, returned to the depot and baled into blocks and collected by the recycler.

The collection of bill posters are compacted into large bales with each bale weighing approximately 150 kg. On average, up to 6 bales of compacted bill posters are collected on a weekly basis with over 900kg of poster adhesive residue being effectively recycled.

This is a wonderful outcome for the City of Sydney in its quest to meet its own recycling targets each year. Prior to this initiative, it was not possible to separate the glue residue from the bill posters, resulting in tonnes of bill posters and adhesive discarded as landfill waste. UMS is proud to be working with the Council of City of Sydney as Safe, Trusted, Experts.

UMS Advantage and a Working Bee day at Bupa Aged Care Facility

Working-Bee-Bupa--287x300On behalf of UMS Advantage, Grant Heath donated labour and tools at a Working Bee day held on Tuesday 16th September at Bupa Aged Care Facility at Aranda in Canberra. Aranda Property Services was extremely grateful for not only the hard work and time put in to change the lives of the residents at Bupa Aranda but to also better the environment at the Home. We have a strong relationship with our customer and we know that the personal and professional approach builds successful and lasting partnerships. ”

Grounds and Open Spaces team helps Council with tacks at Edinburgh gardens

grn-300x209Just a day after the welcoming of 2015, a local resident stumbled across barbed wire tacks in Edinburgh Gardens, a busy inner city Melbourne park.  The UMS Grounds and Open Space team assisted Yarra City Council by removing in excess of 600 tacks from the park.

The tacks were the size of a 10 cent piece and appeared to be hand-cut from barbed wire.  They had multiple spikes that could easily penetrate and injure park users.

Given the high park user rates during the summer school holiday period, Council and UMS responded with great urgency to manage this public risk. Council alerted the public and advised people who were cycling, exercising pets and enjoying the playground with their children, to be extra cautious.

A large proportion of the tacks were retrieved from the 24 hectare park by the UMS team’s effort in both manually searching and also using innovative high powered magnet sweepers to pick up the tacks that were embedded in mulch and grassy areas. The majority of the tacks were found along walking and cycling paths, near children’s play equipment and around trees.

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The joint, partnered response to this crisis reinforced Council’s commitment to providing a safe place for the local Yarra community, with the UMS Grounds and Open Spaces Team as their “Safe, Trusted, Expert”.

Acting CEO of Yarra City Council, Ivan Gilbert, expresses his appreciation:

“I [would like to] express the sincere gratitude of the [Yarra City Council] Executive team on [UMS’] work efforts and commitment to the incident recovery phase regarding the removal of tacks found in Edinburgh Gardens… I have been advised that [UMS] has been very proactive and dedicated to this important recovery task on behalf of the Council and the community. Clearly, this has been a major task for the organisation and one that has required a great deal of individual and team effort to work towards clearing the park of these items…It is greatly appreciated.”

Ivan Gilbert Acting CEO of Yarra City Council

Tommy Hafey

TH1-300x180Bayside Contract Manager Bernie Rochford, a diehard Richmond supporter, felt honoured when Urban Maintenance Systems was requested by Council to install a memorial seat for the recently deceased AFL legend, Tommy Hafey.

The seat will be installed along the Brighton Esplanade near the Middle Brighton Baths. You can be sure this seat (manufactured by Furphys Foundry) will be well utilised by Bayside residents, particularly Richmond fans.

Thomas Stanley Raymond Hafey (5 August 1931 – 12 May 2014) was an Australian Rules Victorian Football League player and coach. Tommy played 67 games for Richmond. He also coached 521 games at Richmond, Collingwood, Geelong and Sydney over a period spanning three decades. In 1999, Tommy was named coach of Richmond’s Team of the Century.

Have you joined the Great Energy Rush?

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Effective from 1 July 2014, there are changes to the way electricity is charged in NSW and Queensland, and how it affects you will all depend on where you are located and what sort of customer you are.

The NSW Government made the decision to remove retailer price regulation in the NSW electricity market. As a result, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) will no longer make electricity price determinations for the regulation of small site tariffs and under a deregulated market there will be no default price.

However, IPART is responsible for monitoring and reporting on competition in the retail electricity market in NSW and undertaking reviews of solar feed-in tariffs.

Energy retailers will not be able to offer a simple percentage discount, they will have to outline all their costs and charges. As you can appreciate electricity charges can be complex and consist of several different elements such as: retail usage; network usage; network demand; metering charges; retail service fees, etc.

With grant money for energy saving programs established under Labor now drying up, the rush by facility managers to take advantage of the programs and subsidised audits before they end is well and truly on.

For more information or assistance to ensure you do not miss out, contact Urban Maintenance Systems or NuGreen Solutions, UMS’s Energy Partner for guidance: 1300 300 025

Business Clean Up Australia Day

ZERO HARM to the Environment

At UMS, we believe every company has a responsibility to positively contribute to the community and to cause ZERO HARM to the environment.

As part of this initiative, the UMS Notting Hill team registered to Business Clean Up Australia Day, on 24 February 2015, as part of promoting a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

The team dedicated their morning by picking up litter from nature strips and footpaths and collected 7 garbage bags full of litter!

Many of our contracts involve cleaning municipalities on a regular basis, however, at UMS we believe in supporting communities in which we operate in and have dedicated Business Clean Up Australia Day to voluntarily clean up our local community for everyone to enjoy.

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UMS Notting Hill team collects 7 garbage bags full of litter