Vodafone wanted to relocate its Didsbury call centre operations to an existing centre, Atlas House. Although large and spacious, Atlas House was a rather dark converted warehouse which had remained unrenovated since its original conversion some 15 years previously. In order to integrate the Didsbury staff into the existing team, a full refurbishment of Atlas House was essential. The project was planned in 14 phases to be completed in less than one year. In addition, the expanded teams needed to be able to adapt and operate normally while the £5million refurbishment was in progress.
Ray was brought in as a trusted, independent and impartial professional to manage this diverse project.
Ray organised and oversaw the removal, storage and relocation of effects from the Didsbury premises and arranged for any necessary repairs so that he could hand back the facilities in good order to the landlord and leasing agent.
The next stage of the relocation presented particularly complex challenges, most notably the fears and concerns of employees facing significant changes in their working practices and environments. Enabling employees to work effectively despite the noise and disruption of ongoing refurbishment was another major hurdle.
Vodafone wanted Ray to create more flexible working environments that would accommodate the incoming staff as well as remote workers working with the existing team. Fitting numerous extra people into limited space meant that people would have to let go of their perceived need for their ‘own’ desks, and accept that new approaches could work effectively for all. Ray negotiated with regional and local managers to manage this significant change. Discovering that many team members frequently worked at client sites, he encouraged staff to manage and coordinate their diaries in order to allocate desk space far more flexibly. In practice, employees soon appreciated that ‘one person, one desk’ was no longer a necessity!
By managing and liaising with the contractor, Ray also recommissioned each refurbished area as it was released with IT and communications networks, new furniture, fittings and equipment.
This exacting and multi-layered project was a great success. Once the client had given a clear brief and specified their goals, the management of the entire relocation and staff adaptation project to Ray, which saved the client a great deal of time, costs and resources. From previous experience, they knew that Ray would deliver everything as required with regular consultations, reports and team location layouts as required along the way. Vodafone’s Atlas House is now a smartly refurbished building and the larger, restructured teams it accommodates are embracing their new, more flexible and efficient working practices.
Following the sale of part of its insurance business to Royal London, the Co-operative Bank needed to identify all the relevant ‘sold’ files, index them for future storage and prepare them for collection by their new owner. The client also wanted its retained files to be sorted into a clear, sequential order, then catalogued and mapped for easy location.
After many years in use, the existing filing system was neither sequential nor coherent. Files had been stored over the three floors wherever a space became available. This meant that a full audit of all [900,000 or 5.6km of) files was essential in order to identify each one. Ray had just one week in which to locate and catalogue all the files before the crews arrived to pack them into crates and move them. He was also keen to ease the packing crews’ job by drawing up clear task plans for them and preparing packing labels which clearly detailed the final bay locations for each sorted crate.
Additional challenges included the tight timescale, and the inaccessibility of the storage site. While the client had nominated a mezzanine floor as the ideal space for temporarily housing the sold files, moving the many heavy files across and between floors involved long walks and very limited lift space (the crews needed to pack and unpack around 300 crates each day, but the lift to the mezzanine floor would hold only two crates at a time)!
By the time Royal London staff arrived to collect their files from site, Ray had also created spreadsheets showing file product type, file numbers and runs per racking system, as well as a CAD drawing of the file runs. This was an enormous time-saver for the Royal London team who used the CAD plan to find their way around the site and file runs quickly and easily. The Co-operative Bank too appreciated a host of benefits. Their file storage was now fully compliant with FCA regulations, and their new filing system was simple, clear and much easier to manage. In addition, Ray’s audit had revealed a number of obsolete files whose disposal released valuable storage space.
This complex and demanding task was delivered on budget and, even with the extra tasks which added value for the client, everything was completed within deadline. The client was very happy and this successful project was celebrated with a coffee, a handshake and plenty of compliments!