Back-of-house asset management - the silent essential
Paul Ramsdale, Account Manager at Sigma, explains how ‘back-of-house’ planned asset management plays an essential, but often forgotten about role in ensuring the operational efficiency of retail stores, minimising disruption and underpinning a store’s ability to keep things running effortlessly.
The number of moving parts in an average retail outlet makes keeping operations running smoothly a significant undertaking. From lighting, heating and structural elements that remain at the foundation of any store design, to more complex assets such as the growing array of electrical equipment, not to mention specialist requirements for areas like delicatessens, bakeries, cafes and much more.
A failure in any of these areas has the potential to create a domino effect that could be harmful to the customer experience and ultimately, the bottom line. So how can brands protect key assets and ensure everything runs seamlessly?
The ‘emergency’ service
Sigma’s asset team plays an essential role in keeping brands such as Asda operational day to day.
Managing and understanding the condition of assets in store portfolios and our longstanding, all-encompassing experience in the retail industry ensures we can deal with issues promptly and efficiently. This reduces costs for clients. As a result, brands are able to minimise disruption, a significant advantage in today’s hyper-competitive market.
In fact, when asked to name a “tie-breaking” loyalty factor when price, product and access were identical between retailers, a positive shopping experience ranked amongst the most important for today’s shopper.
Acting as the first responder for unforeseen critical issues that may have an impact on the operational efficiency of the leading British supermarket’s stores across the UK, our team is on call 24/7.
As an accomplished asset management provider, with specialist expertise in retail, we understand the complexities of delivering works in a ‘live’ environment while minimising the impact on customer experience.
With more than 20 years’ experience in transforming commercial spaces, we have built a reputation as a considerate contractor. Through early engagement and consultation with the General Managers (GM) of stores, we are able to factor in any specific store considerations and day-to-day upkeeping during projects.
It is this approach – alongside daily communication with staff, GMs and customers – that limits any disruption to store operations, particularly during busy periods.
One example of such consideration can be seen when we utilise compound and skips on site. With the potential to take up 5 to 6 parking bays, making parking less accessible for staff and customers, we ensure their use is signposted in advance and correct procedures are established and followed.
How we support Asda
- Bakery refreshes – We work on may wide ranging projects, completing the full scope of works with our clients and suggesting changes to improve operational efficiency and ensuring asset projects are delivered with minimal disruption.
- Roofing schemes – With extensive expertise in construction, our asset team specialises in repairs or structural work to damaged roofs.
- Home shopping – We help increase efficiencies for home shopping deliveries. Whether this involves installing dock leveller lifters for new fleets of delivery vehicles, installing canopies to protect the integrity of products, collection facilities for third party delivery providers or much more, we have the capability to bring positive change.
- Head office – With a proven track record in delivering major interior fit-out and construction schemes, we can manage all aspects of re-fit and repair works to assets in retail head offices, and commercial centres, including works to make facilities Covid compliant.
- Landscaping – Our expert team ensure perimeter works are kept well-maintained, tidy and aligned with the Asda brand aesthetic. As the saying goes ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’, and this is an attitude we take into our landscaping works.
- ALS (Asda Distribution Network) – Sigma’s asset team has completed various works on Asda’s distribution centres. Our background in logistics and warehousing, ensures we can manage critical areas such as driveways, warehouse yards and flooring, as well as running repairs on critical machinery and repairing structural damage.
- Back of House – Ensuring back of house areas continue to operate efficiently we undertake a wide range of works from flooring repairs, automatic door repairs, racking / secure cage moves and installation, wall protection, etc
Entering a new era
Today’s retail landscape is changing at an ever increasing, bringing with it a new array of operational models driven by innovative technologies and new ways to connect with consumers. Brick and-mortar assets can serve as the stage for driving positive consumer experiences that go far beyond operational efficiency to surprise and delight the customer.