Originally launched under the name ‘Remainders Limited’ in 1981, The Works is now one of the UK’s leading high street retailers.
Specialising in gifts, art and craft materials, hobbies, stationery, toys and books, The Works employs over 3000 people and they’ve found success in positioning themselves as the ‘value’ alternative to their full price rivals.
Their retail experience focuses on combining a family-friendly environment with helpful service and aims to ensure there is always something new and exciting for their customers to find, hence their motto ‘What will you discover?’.
From a property management perspective, they currently occupy over 400 stores throughout the UK and over the next five years, there are plans to grow to 600.
“The real benefit of using Propman has been to do with creating efficiencies in the way we manage our estate and in addressing the issues and challenges we faced before Propman was implemented. The guidance provided by the Grosvenor Systems team on how best to configure the system, and the flexibility they provide around training and creating bespoke workshops, ensured that all of our needs were met.”Glyn Jones, IT Project Manager
As a privately-owned company, it was important for The Works to have full, easily accessible and accurate information on all of their properties. Glyn Jones, IT Project Manager at The Works, explains more:
“We were previously using an in-house developed property database with separate document storage on a network shared drive, and managing property maintenance jobs using spreadsheets. These systems didn’t allow us to manage our property portfolio in a particularly efficient way.
We wanted to have a single source of all property related information which could easily be interrogated to answer ad-hoc queries that arise, e.g. how many leases are due for renewal in the next 6 months, how many stores do we have with asbestos etc.”
The Works defined three key challenges they wanted to overcome:
1. The ability to inquire upon key data for all properties and perform ad-hoc inquiries
2. The ability to hold key documents against properties including leases, risk assessments, H&S reports, photos, correspondence etc.
3. The ability to manage leases more efficiently e.g. lease end dates, breaks, rent reviews, service charges etc.
The Works turned to technology and selected Propman as their chosen property management software in May 2016. Glyn explains their reasoning behind choosing Propman:
“Propman met all of our essential requirements and the functionality it provided went above and beyond our basic needs. When we were making our decision, Propman came across as an easy-to-use system, and this has proved to be the case as it’s been rolled out across the business. From the initial meetings, we immediately liked and trusted the Grosvenor Systems team and built up an excellent rapport with them.”
The Works started with a basic 2 user system for Propman, but have since expanded this to include 12 user licenses. This enables their team to maintain all property and lease information, manage maintenance requests and create and manage jobs through to completion.
In addition to implementing Propman, The Works have just completed rolling out the Propman Online User Portal, enabling all of their 400+ stores to create maintenance jobs and input them directly onto the system in real-time.
“The real benefit of using Propman has been to do with creating efficiencies in the way we manage our estate and in addressing the issues and challenges we faced before Propman was implemented. The guidance provided by the Grosvenor Systems team on how best to configure the system, and the flexibility they provide around training and creating bespoke workshops, ensured that all of our needs were met.”