In-House FM Team of the Year 2014

The In-House FM Team of the Year Award recognises the outstanding contributions made by a team in organisations, large or small.


Category: In-House FM Team of the Year
Winner: Tesco Maintenance and Energy Format Team
Sector: Retail
Initiative: In-source programme and alignment with the business
Sponsored by: Cloud FM

Best practice learning points

> Team structure and schedules firmly aligned to business need with the needs of the customer the focal point
> Business case to in-source based on value and quality improvements
> Strong leadership skills provide direction to a large multi-skilled team
> Standardised KPIs measure and benchmark quality of service
> Maintenance and retail staff work to the same goals and business practices
> Energy and engineering teams work together as part of the same team
> Strong community involvement extends the Tesco brand
> Comprehensive succession planning and training programme in place
> Considerable productivity improvements and value to the business provided
> New business ventures are now easily accommodated by the new structure


The Tesco Maintenance and Energy Format team is made up of 854 dedicated store technicians who are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of Tesco stores. The Regional teams consist of 50 Group Maintenance Managers (GMMs) who manage the technicians and the relationship with the Tesco Retail teams. Six business leaders focus on growing and developing these teams. Given the dispersed nature of the typical retail estate, there’s always a danger that maintenance can be unresponsive; creating a detrimental impact on the overall customer experience. Tesco felt that outsourcing to contractors could cause problems with communication, structure, processes and lengthy fix times. So starting in 2010, the retailer embarked on a maintenance in-sourcing programme to better support the needs of its business. The team win the BIFM Award for In house FM Team of the Year as a result of the responsive and tailored service they provide nationwide to the retail giant. Tesco technicians are available in thousands of stores on a daily basis and work geographically across the entire retail estate in the UK as well as at the corporate offices. Productivity improvements of 30% have been made, which has allowed the team to absorb the 25% growth in the size of the retail estate.

“Stores having a single point of contact for when they are seeking maintenance and support has been critical in making sure it’s simple to connect with the team. We understand what matters for the store not just in terms of maintenance, but from a customer perspective”.

“We’re really focused on what Tesco Retail want and are really focused on what customers want. We thought about what the person pushing the shopping trolley needs and we do that from every angle. Everything we do is about what matters to the customer”.

Tesco Maintenance was formerly an external business known as M1, who were contracted by Tesco. Since 2010 they have evolved into a proactive in-house team delivering planned preventative and reactive maintenance services to Tesco across the UK.

Servicing of the stores has been improved by aligning the maintenance team structure with that of the main business. Previously a store director might well need to speak to four or five Group Maintenance Managers, but now they each receive a dedicated manager. In London, with its unique needs and high density of Express and Metro stores, one Group Maintenance Manager (GMM) manages it as a single account – making better use of resources and time. The existing maintenance schedules for Tesco Express stores weren’t sustainable so they have now been remodelled closer to retail hours. Stores now get a dedicated technician working on a planned and reactive basis.

The in-sourcing programme has also put the maintenance team on the same terms and conditions as those enjoyed by store staff. They stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the retail team and share in their success. Audit sheets are now completed once a quarter to check the standard of the store, completeness of statutory documents as well as the quality of the service provided by technicians. A forward-looking preventative and proactive approach has replaced teams working reactively.

By the energy and maintenance staff now working into the same GMM it has been possible to identify new ways to save energy; for example, putting timers on ovens or turning off checkout belts when not in use.

Health and safety specialists from the core Tesco business work with the team to design, shape and implement H&S policies and procedures.

Technicians didn’t feel connected to the business before the changes. Now when they walk around the store, they view it through the eyes of the customer. They are now empowered to give each store the attention it needs instilling and nurturing real passion for the store, the customer environment as well as their shopping experience. The team have even gone so far as working in their communities and donating to charity. They have raised £19,000 for Diabetes UK and around £27,000 for Cancer Research this year and they have invested 1500 hours through nearly 30 community projects in the last year alone.

Perhaps further evidence of the success of the changes was thrown up by the extreme weather conditions in 2014 and 2014. Whether it’s 35 degrees summer scorchers, or 90mph gale force winds, adverse weather conditions throw up many obstacles for a retailer. Despite over 500 logged in-store incidents, including power failures, lack of heating, water leaks and large scale roof damage, only one store remained closed a day after the incident.

Now that the team is fully embedded, it has been able to take new business ventures by Tesco in its stride and add further value to the company. The acquisition of Giraffe and Candy Cakes presented a new set of challenges for the team but as a result of being part of the core business they were able to work to understand the brand, define their needs and explore the specific scope of services they could be offered.

The team is doing significant work in the area of development and succession planning. They run both a graduate and apprenticeship scheme and comprehensive technical training. An ‘Options Development’ programme develops future leaders over a 6-12 month period and every individual has a personal development plan. An annual ‘Colleague Viewpoint’ survey provides honest and constructive feedback to allow for continuous improvement. Talent planning is done by benchmarking each manager against a performance and potential matrix from which their development needs can be met and their potential fulfilled.

With the customer remaining a priority at all times, the team and the Tesco business is well set for the future.

The Judges said

The strategic decision in 2010 to bring engineering services and some 850+ individuals in-house was founded on a strong business case based around value and quality improvements which have been delivered.

We noted the strong leadership skills providing direction to a large multi-skilled team and delivering exceptional customer service and value to Tesco. The teams were able to provide evidence from customer and employee surveys to demonstrate YOY improvements and feedback from end users on the improvements in the service today. Value delivered included an improvement of over 30% of the productivity of the engineering workforce and no cost increase in the services provided even though the estate had grown by 25%.

What we also liked is how standardised KPIs measure and benchmark quality of service across the portfolio. There is also strong governance between the business and the engineering business unit. Outstanding environmental and sustainability results have also been delivered with 2,000 hours of support given by the team to the local community by the team.

Further learnings

Watch the 2014 BIFM Awards interview