Neil and Reg Illingworth, Directors of Machmade in Merseyside, specialists in the plumbing, heating and drainage markets, have won the Customer Focus Franchisee Award at the British Franchise Association's HSBC Franchise Awards 2018.

Machmade is a Dyno franchise business operating in the Greater Merseyside area, offering a 24 hour/365 day emergency service to both contract and on-demand customers. It is a family-run business employing 56 staff.

The company started trading in 1987 with two drainage vehicles, and today it is a successful plumbing, drainage and heating business serving the Greater Merseyside area and visits over 20,000 emergency and 13,000 on-demand jobs annually. It maintains customer service levels through the use of a highly developed set of service metrics, designed to improve performance across all core functions.

Another important element in the business’s success is the retention of highly trained and motivated plumbers. To address this issue, the business made a conscious decision to grow its capability through an apprenticeship programme. This resulted in staff retention rates improving by 70% due to the “feel good” factor and energy resulting from the investment in apprentices – this energy was picked up by customers and staff alike. 15% of the workforce are now apprentices.

Phil Allan, General Manager at Machmade, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win this prestigious award. At Dyno, valuing our customers is a number one priority and it is great to be recognised for our efforts. The recognition validates the hard work we have put into positioning the customer at the centre of everything we do at Machmade and has motivated us to continue to improve our focus on the customer.”