How Greggs increased its shop maintenance productivity by 146% with Aeromark

How Greggs increased its shop maintenance productivity by 146% with Aeromark

Greggs' National Maintenance Operations Manager explains how Greggs, one of UK’s leading food-on-the-go retailers, has created a state-of-the-art, technology-led, Shop Maintenance service, with stunning results.  This article was originally featured in FMJ Magazine

In today’s fiercely competitive market, the facilities service management operation is a vital backbone for all food service chains.  It can impact so many areas of a business including costs, margins, revenue, health & safety and customer experience.   

Any inefficiency has the potential to impact margins through higher costs and reduce revenue through lost sales and negative customer experience.  Equipment breakdown, such as a hot food unit or coffee machine with a fault, needs to be fixed as fast as possible to avoid lost sales, customer frustration and potentially money in a competitor’s pocket. 

greggs drive through shop front

Why Digital Transformation is crucial for facilities service management operations

Unfortunately, when it comes to setting the strategic agenda, many organisations don’t give the facilities service management operation the business-critical focus it should have.  But as pressure continues to increase on the cost and revenue front, particularly with Brexit looming, this is likely to change. 

By innovating and introducing new technology in facilities service management, the productivity improvements and cost-savings gained can offset rising and less controllable costs in other areas of the business.   Processes can be streamlined, operational efficiency optimised, touchpoints minimised, and administration reduced.  Not just across facilities management but in back-office administration, sales order processing and invoicing.  It’s important for all food service businesses to recognise that new technologies can help them to remain competitive. 

Automation and digital processes can remove millions of administration touchpoints and paperwork each year as well as providing visibility, control and an important digital audit trail.   

For organisations and food service chains with field service teams; routes, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be monitored and minimised through a service management system to reduce both costs and environmental impact.   

Increase productivity without hiring more field service engineers

At Greggs, serving millions of customers each week depends on our service operations team maintaining our equipment and premises to optimum condition; from fridges and freezers, hot food units and coffee machines, to the speedy repair of shop fittings; from door handles to light fittings.

Our Shop Maintenance team performs a key role in the overall customer experience and the smooth running of our shops. 

We have a team of 52 in-house engineers as well as subcontractors that maintain 1800 company managed shops and catering equipment nationwide. 

Despite growing our company managed estate, we haven’t needed to increase the number of engineers required to maintain them.  We’ve used our existing resources more effectively by investing in the best technology and continually optimising our processes. 

Our engineers are multi-skilled.  This is important to us because the service and maintenance requirements at our shops are so varied.  All engineers are highly skilled and able to carry out work ranging from equipment repairs to changing light fittings and general maintenance. 

Why Greggs' chose to partner with Aeromark

Our service management platform simplifies the management of complex processes in our fast-paced business.

It was essential for us to have real-time visibility and control of our Shop Maintenance operation for planned and preventative maintenance including engineer activity, every asset at every shop, asset history, and the status of jobs, at any point in time.

The scale and growth ambitions of Greggs and our desire to continuously improve efficiency and customer experience meant we also required a future-proof system able to take on more processes over time. 

We chose Aeromark’s real-time service management platform because, as well as its comprehensive core function set, it is exceptionally configurable both to our current and future needs.  The platform can be customised to how we want to operate, rather than limit our performance or processes to fit the constraints of a vendor’s system. 

Why a single centralised service management platform matters

Our shop maintenance operations team now has a single centralised platform for asset management, dynamic real -time scheduling of planned maintenance and reactive work, integrated mobile workflows, vehicle tracking and seamless integration with subcontractors. 

This has increased the efficiency of our shop maintenance service supply chain, reduced our subcontractor costs and enabled us to use our in-house multi-skilled engineers more effectively. 

As a result, we have driven up productivity by 146% and the number of service or repair jobs our in-house engineers can now do has increased from three, to more than 7 jobs completed daily, by each engineer, on average.  That’s a huge gain in efficiency. 

Self-service shop portals  

We’ve also made it simpler and more efficient for shop staff to report issues and request engineer callouts.

We wanted to empower our shops to take ownership of their requirements and enable them to track the progress of their job requests through to completion. 

Previously, shops had to ring a busy central contact centre which handles 1000s of calls each week

Even relatively minor maintenance, such as a broken door handle, is important to report in order to maintain good looking shops and an exceptional customer experience.  

Today, all 1800 company managed shops have access to a self-service portal to log a maintenance call in a few clicks. 

Every asset, in every shop, nationwide, is labelled and scanned into the system for identification with a dropdown selector for problem codes. 

Providing our shops with a system that has delivered on convenience and ease of use has resulted in an increase in the number of calls logged by staff for proactive maintenance, but at the same time, it has also made our planning team and engineers more efficient.   

Greggs Mall Shopfront

Multi-intervention scheduling 

Multi-intervention scheduling is a feature that provides us with full visibility of all calls open at every shop. 

Now when we receive a reactive service request and schedule the work, the system selects the most efficient route, along with other jobs that have been logged at the shop so engineers can complete them all in one visit.  

It cuts out multiple engineer callouts to the same site and travel time backwards and forwards between sites. This means our engineers’ time is optimised; fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced; planning and scheduling is simpler - making us a more efficient team. 

We also automate the management of planned maintenance which ensures regular tasks are scheduled and undertaken, reducing reactive callouts. 

Subcontractor portals 

We allocate and alert work directly to our subcontractors through a dedicated portal which gives them real-time access to the job details and asset service history. 

While on site, subcontractors provide information and costs to be applied to the job, via the portal, and we can monitor job progress and subcontractor performance.   

Joined-up parts management process 

When engineers need additional parts, they initiate a parts request via their Smartphone which which is coordinated by the planning desk and delivered to the required shop  

When the parts are received, the shop updates the system via their self-service portal which sends the job for re-scheduling to fit parts. 

Optimum equipment lifecycle 

Since capturing all our assets in our system, we have recently introduced a new role of Equipment Lifecyle Manager whose primary focus is to use the data we get from the system to determine the optimum lifecycle of our various equipment. 

This will enable us to plan proactive maintenance more effectively which in turn should extend the lifespan of our assets, reduce reactive service costs, and make the replacement cycle more efficient; it’s important to also know when equipment is beyond economical repair. 


Space audits for order capacity 

We have even created a workflow in our system to manage space audits which determine the food order capacity in each individual shop based on the number of equipment units installed.  

This triggers a report into our SAP system which creates the restock orders and ensures shops aren’t overstocked. 

The future 

Service can’t be static. A huge benefit of our service management platform is that it’s exceptionally configurable which enables us to continuously improve performance.

For example, the next step for us is to integrate Aeromark’s automated parts ordering and van stock replenishment system. 

To get the most positive outcomes and achieve the productivity and cost saving benefits that we have achieved, it’s important to work in partnership, as a team, with your technology provider.  Adopt an iterative deployment model and optimise processes in a phased approach. 

Our people 

Of course, systems alone cannot create these efficiencies.  None of this would be possible without our people who make our business successful. 

Our shop maintenance team are all enthusiastic and committed to offering a first-class support service to our shop operations and it’s our values and culture within Greggs that help us achieve this. 

The introduction of new technology was a big change for us, particularly for our engineers. Without them embracing these changes, adapting their working days, feeding back things that work well, and areas we could improve, none of this would be possible. 

Increasing productivity requires investment in people, skills, technology and innovation; fundamentally it requires a desire and willingness to change how your organisation works.  You will quickly reap the benefits.  

If you would also like to transform your facilities service management operations, book your demonstration today.