Vital Statistics
John Menzies Wholesale
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Facilities Facts:
Headquarters: 4,776 square metres. Total: 1.1 million square metres.
ARCHIBUS Applications:
Space Management
Reasons for Implementing:
Management directive in conjunction with construction of new headquarters building.
Benefits Gained:
Flexibility to record and organize furnishings; able to identify over- and under-utilised space; able to identify levels of expenditure for all aspects of maintenance; able to control contractor costs; generation of corporate furniture standards.
Business Partner:
MASS Systems
Web Site:
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CIFM Makes the News in Scotland

When John Tucker was appointed Facilities Manager for John Menzies Wholesale, the company's new headquarters building was nearing completion as part of a business plan to gear up for a technology-driven, competitive future. Delivery of FM services was given a helping hand by a Computer Integrated Facilities Management system from MASS Information Systems.

The crisp, open style of the new headquarters of John Menzies Wholesale on the Edinburgh Park speaks volumes about the company's determination to be at the leading edge of the fast moving world of magazine and newspaper distribution. Part of the John Menzies Group, the Wholesale division distributes to 24,000 retail customers every morning, a staggering 50 million copies of publications per week. Unprecedented changes within the UK news market during the past 18 months have called for new and improved techniques to maintain this quality service for the most perishable products in the marketplace. Formerly based in a 1930's building in central Edinburgh, the company opted to invest in a new building where its business, technology, and marketing teams could work effectively together.

John Tucker took up the FM post for John Menzies Wholesale just ten weeks before completion of the company's new building. The character and design of the 4,776 square metres was critical to the company's mission to gear up for a marketing-led business. A team from the company worked alongside architects Bennetts Associates and the key members of the Design Team on every aspect-open plan work areas, atrium, meeting and hospitality areas, energy-efficient heating and ventilating, a lighting control system, and IT infrasturcture and communications. It was essential to build in flexibility to the office layout and furniture.

As the headquarters building for John Menzies Wholesale was completed, work also continued to reorganise the 46 branches towards the same business objectives. In this environment, John Tucker reviewed how to deliver FM services for the headquarters and branches to the same standard. His department is responsible for building maintenance, office cleaning, catering, security, health and safety, fire procedures, mail room, switchboard, reception, space planning and procurement of supplies, equipment, and furniture.

Aligning the FM function with the central business mission, he decided to put a computerised system at the heart of his daily operations to provide greater control, flexibility, and development potential. After reviewing specialist FM software available, he acquired ARCHIBUS from MASS Systems.

The option to purchase modules of the software for specific initial requirements rather than a complete system was very important. For example, the flexibility to record and organise furnishings in the HQ and branch offices was a key requirement at the outset and the company acquired the ARCHIBUS Furniture & Equipment Management module as part of the initial system.

"The primary reason for implementing CIFM was that we were keen to have a system that could track where items of equipment and furniture were located at any given time," explains John Tucker.

"We need to be confident in controlling the location of our assets and the use of technology is an important element in achieving this aim."

Another key module was Space Management. "We wanted to make sure we could get furniture and equipment positioned effectively within this building. ARCHIBUS holds details of all the furniture plus drawing layouts of the buildings. We wanted to relate the items in the building to the drawing. It is also useful in enabling us to identify under- and over-utilised space."

When John Tucker got involved in fitting out the John Menzies Wholesale branches, the system really came into its own. "We identified a corporate standard for our furniture and this is now being used for all new branches, making management of assets easier and more cost-effective. We have input graphical and text-based information about the most recent branches and, from now on, details of all new branches will be held on the system."

A Building Operations Management module was also acquired to address the key requirement for managing the maintenance of the new headquarters building and branch offices.

"We are regularly using technology to help us rather than increasing the headcount," says Tucker. "We are taking on more responsibility within the team and our facilities staff need to be multi-disciplinary and cross-functional."

"We knew we would have to customise the system, especially the work orders. It was important that work orders were generated in a particular format and that they featured our company logo. When we receive a call from a branch requesting assistance, we input details through a series of prompts and the system will 'pop up' a list of authorised contractors for that branch. Through our central help desk function we process around 40 work orders per day for our branch network which stretches from Aberdeen to southern England."

"The system enables me to determine levels of expenditure for all aspects of maintenance and I also know what each department or branch costs in relation to another. It has given me the confidence to know exactly what the situation is at all times and it has also allowed the team to adopt a more pro-active approach in controlling contractor costs and ensuring the continued improvement of our service. In addition, it has cut down the paper chase as we now have all our building and asset information readily to hand."