Line Management Services

Origins

One of the partners, Arthur Kyle, was seconded from British Rail to oversee all train movements in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. At the time he saw how much of the work was done by outside contractors, some of whom were poorly trained and knew little about railways. Arthur discussed the potential with Brian O Grady, and both saw the opportunity for a new business. At the same time, British Rail was about to be privatised and there would be a need for a reliable well trained work force that could react at short notice to fill the gaps left by the large redundancies that British Rail were making. Therefore, Arthur and Brian set up LMS and started a database of ex BR staff that had years of experience and no jobs. The major challenge was for a new company with little cash, no assists and no track record to be taken seriously by anyone let alone a major industry. To overcome this, the founders designed the firm’s letter head and business cards in a old fashion way that gave the impression of an old established business, and then phoned and wrote to every one they could find doing railway work asking for an appointment. The first question asked was regarding their problem areas, to which the response was positive and the founders then went back and found the men who could do the job and put in a tender for the work. As Brian suggested, the other big issue at start-up was finance. "The other major problem was that the banks were as much use as a chocolate fireguard and were only interested in how much our houses were worth. The first jobs were all small ones as the clients tried out so we funded them ourselves, I managed to negotiate very good payment terms with our first clients and this slowly built up our reserves".

Success Factor

LMS’s success is down to supplying the right (fully qualified) personnel on time and in the right place. It also believes strongly in client relationships and constantly follows up any job with phonecalls and visits to ensure that the client is happy and to solve any other problems. If the clients are ‘friends’ with LMS, then the company is the first one they think of when they have more work. Continual appraisal of every contract and regular site visits ensures that LMS continues to improve its service

The Future

LMS aims to build on its reputation for quality and professionalism, making it the first choice supplier of safety critical protection staff for its major clients