Driving Quality and Efficiency with Flexible Working
Smart technology, a games area and bench desking are supporting flexible working practices and creating an ‘experiential’ journey for guests and visitors at the UK subsidiary of global parcel delivery service, Hermes Europe GmbH.
Hermes Europe GmbH is a German parcel delivery company headquartered in Hamburg with an established presence in the United Kingdom, where it handles more than 335 million parcels a year on behalf of 80 per cent of the country’s top 100 retailers, including Next, ASOS and John Lewis. The company operates ‘Hermes Send’, an industry-leading portfolio of convenient delivery solutions, as well as a growing national network of more than 5,000 ParcelShops.
The company has a large and varied property estate of 105 properties, spread throughout the UK, totalling over 2 million square feet. These include: two super hubs at Warrington and Rugby; a complex head office estate split across four buildings across Leeds which caters for a traditional head office and two call centres; and the company’s nationwide depot and sub depot network.
The FM Team
Wayne Young is Facilities Manager at Hermes UK. “I came to FM like most in that I fell into a role as a caretaker in Bradford. My current role is amazing as the pace is fast, no day is the same, and I have the opportunity to have a real positive impact at the heart of a business”, he says.
Wayne manages a team of five people – a facilities service manager, three co-ordinators and a general assistant. The plan is to grow the team by another service manager this year to allow the business to locally manage FM better. Hermes currently outsources all of its FM services to a Total Facilities Management (TFM) supplier.
The main challenge is the requirement for continuous operation as our estate rarely shuts down, with much of our hub and depot network running 24 hours a day. This means we have to plan our works for a live environment and deliver as little disruption as possible. We deliver more than 1 million parcels each day, so any problems with the buildings and equipment can result in real issues for the business and its customers.
Hermes Tech Hub
Earlier this year Wayne was tasked with helping to find and develop a new Tech Hub in Leeds, to house the growing number of IT staff that were joining the business. Attracting and retaining the right calibre of IT staff in a highly competitive market was deemed highly important and therefore the right building was key. The brief was to create something that was ‘instagrammable’ yet delivered a practical, modern workspace that could be used both as a traditional office environment, as well as a meeting and entertaining space, all in a relatively small footprint. It needed to facilitate around 50 people full time with a space for another 20 hot desk spaces.
A building was identified which, despite being a very traditional office space, held great potential with the outdoor area and amazing views.
The Hermes Team decided to implement a number of design features in order to meet the brief. For example, innovative moving walls, custom joinery and AV wall and connectivity were introduced, along with distinctive pendant lighting, on trend tiling and feature walls. Hermes’ distinctive brand is reflected throughout the space. A games area with Tetris display units that can be moved creates private “nooks” for people to work and socialise.
“The objective has been to create an experiential journey for guests and visitors, with angles and walkways to navigate you around the space and TV screens to welcome visitors and this can be altered for each guest, creating a Hermes experience tailored to suit”, explains Wayne.
A flexible work environment was also important for the Hermes Tech Hub so bench desking was introduced into the open plan office which allows for a flexible way of working, both individually and as part of a team. It also needed to factor in the ability for teams to grow and change depending on current projects without changing the infrastructure. The full wall of lockers provides personal storage for all staff which enables “tidy desk” policy.
Wayne attributes the success of the operation to a recognition of the importance of FM by Hermes’ senior management team.
“FM strategy now forms an integral part of the overall business strategy. By increasing our use of smart technology I believe we can continue to drive quality and efficiencies for the business and, as we have a sizeable estate, we are well placed to develop equipment and ideas for the future. We are already looking at innovative solutions around waste, utilities and building management systems. These are exciting times!” he says.