A look back at 2022
As we start 2023, it is good to take a moment to reflect, and to celebrate the growth and achievements from the year before. At Sigma, we worked hard during 2022 to deliver top quality services and exceed client expectations. Please allow me to look back and share some of the year’s highlights.
Partnering with Gondola Pro
In November, we announced the acquisition of Gondola Pro, an independent consultant firm specialising in energy, engineering, and project management.
Gondola Pro provides a complete service offering to retailers, from energy and sustainability strategy development, through to the complete design and delivery of projects and, specialising in engineering and energy infrastructure, it helps clients bring new technology and energy innovation into physical stores.
Our partnership with Gondola Pro enables us to further support our clients’ sustainability objectives by offering a complete proposition combining strategy development with on the ground implementation.
Supporting Sainsbury’s with HFSS legislation
To reduce obesity and its risks to public health, new legislation that limits the promotion of products high in fats, sugar and salt (HFSS) came into force in England and Wales in October.
The new legislation has impacted an estimated 10,000 stores across England and Wales as they are no longer allowed to promote HFSS products. For supermarkets, that equates to around 25% of volume sales and over 50% of impulse category volume. As a result, there have been major changes in where products are placed and how stores are configured.
Wholly embracing the spirit of the legislation, Sainsbury’s commissioned Sigma well in advance of the October deadline to work on implementing the in-store alterations required.
Working closely with the team at Sainsbury’s, 30 Sigma teams made changes in 200 supermarkets and 300 convenience stores across England over a period of 11 weeks, all working out of hours to ensure deadlines were met without inconveniencing shoppers.
With extensive experience in redeveloping retail and commercial spaces at scale, we helped Sainsbury’s not only comply with the new legislation, but also adapt retail spaces in a way that ensures continued growth and success.
Delivering an equipment consolidation centre for M&S
A highlight for the Sigma team this year was securing a major multi-year contract to deliver a new 52,000 sq. ft, best-in-class equipment consolidation centre (ECC), along with a 24/7 Transport Solution for Marks & Spencer (M&S).
Under the contract, Sigma will manage all GNFR (Goods not for resale) requirements, including New Store Openings, Renewals, Small Works and Rollout activity for M&S. The new facility, which operates 7 days per week, is bespoke to the retailer and is run with a keen focus on carbon neutrality. The site also operates as a recycling and refurbishment hub for the entire M&S UK store network.
Ideally located in Bradford, Yorkshire, next to the motorway network, the ECC also maximises transport efficiencies and reduces annual delivery mileage for M&S, lowering overall transport costs and further decreasing the retailer’s environmental impact.
The ECC is an exciting new addition to the suite of services we already provide for M&S, and further builds on our partnership with the brand.
Introducing the Sigma Project Management tool
To ensure that its safety systems are fully operational and fit for purpose, M&S tasked Sigma with conducting inspection, testing and remedial works on more than 10,000 fire dampers across 621 stores across the UK. This involved locating, checking, and testing the pre-existing dampers and replacing those that were not preforming optimally.
The Sigma Project Management tool (STIG) was developed with a construction fire stopping organisation who understands the intricacies of working within the retail sector. The tool, which is part of a wider requirement to upgrade digitisation of our on-site operations, was trialled as part of the M&S fire damper project.
STIG ensures we can continue to deliver a high-quality finished project via streamlined job planning, workforce management and increased productivity on site while also providing client and senior level management with real-time project insight. The tool had a huge impact on the success of the fire damper project.
Using STIG, we were able to individually identify and geo-map the location of each of the 10,000+ dampers across the M&S estate, creating a log of maintenance and remedial works to be carried out.
As a result, the project was able to be rolled out quicker, with reduced costs and less in-store disruption for M&S. Most importantly, it has ensured that M&S comply with fire safety regulations, making stores safer for customers and employees.
After successfully completing the fire damper project, M&S commissioned the Sigma team to replace end-of-life air handling units across a range of stores to help improve efficiency. This involved removing the obsolete belt-driven fans and motor assemblies, delivering new energy-efficient, direct-drive EC plug fans to the various stores, and installing the new equipment.
M&S now has more than 200 new fans operating across its stores, which provide the retailer with several benefits: increased energy efficiency has delivered cost savings; the fans can run at variable speeds and provide better control across the whole system, ensuring desired temperatures can be maintained; and they always run at 100% efficiency with no effect on performance, regardless of external temperature or how busy the store is.
Enabling colleagues to upskill with CIOB
At Sigma we recognise that there are many ways to achieve professional aspirations. With this in mind, we signed a Training Partnership Agreement with the Chartered Institute of Builders (CIOB) to provide interested colleagues with a route to membership.
CIOB offers tailored pathways to support people in the construction industry without a degree level qualification to achieve Chartership, meaning that those who successfully complete the training will become either Chartered Construction Managers or Chartered Builders and ensuring that their skills meet the highest standards. Of course, CIOB membership also offers access to a range of additional services and benefits.
These are just a few of the projects that made 2022 a memorable and successful year. As we head into 2023, we can’t wait to see what the new year has in store.
The Supply Chain Experts
With a large network of warehouse facilities and a fully-fledged logistics arm to our business, we are always looking at how ways and means of improving our offering to our clients
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