National Laboratory Service sponsors edie award

We are proud to announce that the National Laboratory Service (NLS) will be a major sponsor of edie's Environmental Excellence Awards this year.

The NLS will sponsor the award for Best Consultancy in Contaminated Land in a move described by the organisation as underlying its ambition to capture more of the laboratory testing & analytical market in the soils and contaminated land sector.
The Awards for Environmental Excellence seek to recognise the important work being done by environmental consultancies in the UK and further afield.

The awards are split into two distinct sections, those for work on environmental projects judged by an expert panel and those where the winners are chosen by those who know the consultancies the best - their clients.

Winning one of these awards gives a company or project a touch of kudos which sets it apart from its peers, making it stand out from the crowd and even acting as a unique selling point.

It also gives staff a justifiable feeling of pride if the quality of their work is recognised by those outside the company.

Last year's winner in the contaminated Land sector was Atkins, a company with a long and distinguished record of working in this field which has built up an unrivalled level of trust amongst existing and potential clients.

NLS assembled a new management team 12-18 months ago with the objective of delivering a greater commercial focus for the service, as it works towards becoming a stand-alone business unit of the Environment Agency.

Ian Rippin, NLS commercial director said: "this announcement today signals that the NLS is now truly open for business in terms of the analysis of soils and contaminated land.

"We are proud of our credentials as one of the leading laboratory services in the UK. However, we do recognise that many of our potential customers don't automatically think NLS when choosing their supplier.

"Initiatives like this help get the NLS out there in the market-place as a credible alternative.

"It is our job to prove what we can do and why we believe we are different to the rest in terms of customer focus. I am therefore inviting environmental consultants, contractors, site investigation companies, land remediators and land owners to simply give us a try!"

The NLS has a dedicated Centre for Soils & Contaminated Land Analysis that is based in Leeds (Tel. 0113 231 2177, Email. and with over 20 years of experience in soils analysis in one form or another, they certainly have the track record.

"In April of this year we put in place a formal process to gather further information about our customers, their requirements and how well we serve them. Number one on their list, not surprisingly, was consistent sample turnaround delivery," said Mr Rippin.

"Our breadth of analytical capability and a comprehensive schedule of accreditation, means that we have the product. However, it is through the delivery of this product, at service levels that our customers demand, that is starting to set us apart."

Peter Morley, NLS operations director supports this view: "Against our most important measure of performance in front of the customer, the delivery of their requested analysis on time and in full, we are currently meeting our promises in over 85% of cases. From working in this industry for 30 years, customers of the NLS will now very often experience delivery that exceeds anything they can get elsewhere."

Despite this performance the NLS cannot be accused of being complacent. It has recently embarked upon a programme of capital investment that will further improve the resilience of what they deliver to their customers.

These investments are linked to a rolling programme of process re-engineering, that looks to place the customer at the heart of everything the NLS does. In time this is seen as the recipe that will close the gap between NLS performance today and their aspirations to meet and exceed customer delivery promises 98% of the time.

Mr Morley added: "Our larger customers enjoy a relationship with a named key account manager, who becomes their single point of contact for their analytical requirements. These individuals have direct access to the laboratory teams who perform the analysis, enabling a flow of two-way communication that allows us to best serve the end customer."

As part of a vision for the NLS, to provide market leadership through customer service, they are also planning the launch of a new website, which will over time incorporate online tools for customers to use.

Developments are also taking place to re-position the Research & Development capability that the NLS has, to better serve commercial clients with bespoke analytical solutions and provide for more 'commercial R&D partnerships'.

You heard it here first.

Mr Morley concluded that: "our sponsorship of this award demonstrates to the contaminated land market how serious we are about serving their needs. We are looking forward to November's event and feel certain it will be a great success for all involved."



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