By offering excellence in the traditional core FM areas Shop Direct Group has been able to gain support to roll out innovative services to its Client colleagues.
By Kevin Stanley
29 October 2009
By offering excellence in the traditional core FM areas Shop Direct Group has been able to gain support to roll out innovative services to its Client colleagues
Shop Direct Group is one of the UK's largest home shopping and online retailers and was created following the merger of Littlewoods plc and GUS Home Shopping to form a market leading business. In recent times the organisation has seen many changes, with the merger, leading to relocation for both companies to a new central head quarters.
The dynamic nature of corporate occupiers places continual demands on facilities management teams while cost-driven, innovative solutions are often required in response to dramatic market changes in other businesses. Challenges such as these inspired exceptional responses from Shop Direct Group.
By offering excellence in the traditional core FM areas the company has been able to gain support to roll out additional innovative services to its Client colleagues. By providing these services it is also able to support the local community and local businesses.
As a result of the services Shop Direct Group has introduced the organisation has been able to attract the best talent and retain existing colleagues, with staff turnover reduced by 17 per cent in the past 3 years.
After many years of stagnation, the business experienced a period of significant growth Ð despite the current economic climate. Reflecting its customer shopping preferences, with the business increasingly moving towards the online Ð growing from 35 per cent to 60 per cent within the last two years, this channel continues to grow as the company makes investments in its e-commerce platforms.
The move from previous headquarters of originating companies GUS Home Shopping in Manchester and Littlewoods plc in Liverpool to form a new Group at the Skyways Campus in Speke gave the company an opportunity to re-engineer its facilities and related working practices. This range of new approaches was termed Skyways of Working.
Since the launch of Skyways Campus the Facilities team have continued to provide a wide range of services to the business and have been innovative in bringing practical solutions to practical problems. Success has led to the expansion of the role of the Facilities and Property function, that now provides leadership for other functions of the business
A particular challenge that the group initially found difficult to overcome was the length of the queue at its popular Deli Sandwich bar where each sandwich is handmade, to order with customers choosing the fillings and toppings. Large queues, due to the popularity of this service, became a problem. Availability hours and staffing were both increased and the production process was examined but customers were still frequently disappointed due to the waiting time. The solution took some time but the answer came in the form of an online pre-ordering facility. A webpage allows our users to order from the Deli says Daniel Rogers, head of group property and facilities management, Shop Direct Group, We now receive on average 50% of our Deli orders through this web page, as you can imagine, this has reduced queuing time significantly says Rogers.
Rogers facilities management team has enjoyed great success and have led from the front in terms of making new services available, innovating and spreading best practices into new areas of responsibility not usually managed by FM. The FM team has enabled low staff turnover and has helped encourage the best people to join the growing company by making its offices, call centres and warehouses a great place to work.
Oliver Jones, chief judge in this category and chief executive of The Asset Factor said: The FM team at Shop Direct represent a team which has undergone significant transformation and has influenced the employing organisation significantly over the past two years. The Shop Direct FM team demonstrated very clear objectives linked to those set by the organisation to be the number one online retailer.
The FM team is very aligned and aware of the corporate goals at all levels and fully understands how they impact and support the business.