The Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which suggested a devastating fire in early January, has been recognised for the professional, efficient and calm way it recovered from the catastrophe.
It has now won the Most Effective Recovery accolade at the CIR Business Continuity Awards in London - and event which celebrate achievements in business continuity, security and resilience.
Despite its entire headquarters in Hemel Hempstead being destroyed by fire on the afternoon and evening of January 9, the continuity plan meant that for millions of tenants and thousands of letting agents and landlords, the service from the company was business as usual.
By midday after the fire, TDS’s own call answering time target had been met and bettered, at just 27 seconds - quicker than its own target of 30 seconds and a government KPI of 60 seconds.
And TDS says that within 24 hours of the fire it “had returned to a higher level of customer service delivery than its competitors.”
All deposits remained protected, data was safe, and the TDS websites remained fully functional throughout.
TDS picked up the prize against stiff competition from across a number of industries beating Allianz Insurance, CMAC Group and First Central Insurance & Technology Group.
“It’s a source of great pride that we have been recognised at awards that are not just limited to those working in the private rented sector, but across multiple areas of business. You go to great efforts to ensure that, should the worst happen, you’re prepared, but you don’t imagine that you’ll ever have to put these measures in to practice” explains TDS chief executive Steve Harriott.
The TDS headquarters in Hemel Hempstead housed 89 members of staff including management, finance, technology and customer operations teams.
All employees within the office were evacuated safely, but the fire quickly consumed the building.
Staff continue to work in Hemel Hempstead at interim accommodation and a new permanent site is planned in the area for later this summer.