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WR Refrigeration to move from national branch network to five regional centres

Radical move heralds high-tech service strategy, including investment in National Service Desk and launch of Electrical division

WR Refrigeration said it is undergoing the next phase of its business transformation by establishing five new Regional Service Operations serving Scotland and Northern Ireland; Northern England; Midlands and Eastern England; Wales and South West; and London and the South East.

The company said that it will retain its full complement of service engineers, with some branches merging and staff being redeployed to the new regional operations, although some backroom jobs will be lost as of the changes. It added that, longer term, “the new structure will offer career progression and continued job security for employees and ensure longevity of the business for customers.”

The company has invested in the creation of a National Service Desk at its Thurmaston head office that will control all service activities across the country. It will liaise directly with customers and coordinate engineers around the clock, ensuring timely procurement of spares and organising deliveries and manpower so as to minimise the company’s carbon footprint. With its new data capture and analysis capabilities, the company said it will be able to provide ‘immensely detailed’ reports for customers on the condition and performance of individual locations and entire estates.

Alongside this, it has commenced a field IT roll-out programme issuing all field engineers with high-tech tablet PCs, giving them instant access to customer records and technical support information, producing more efficient workflow.

WR said: “The new structure is designed to ensure the most efficient use of manpower and technical expertise across the country, which will continue to improve the high levels of service experienced by our customers and create clear lines of communication for the sharing of best practice.”

WR Electrical will provide a comprehensive range of services, including electrical design, installation and testing to NICEIC-approved installer standards.

Mike Nicholas, managing director, said the initiatives are designed to support the continued growth of WR Refrigeration, which saw an increase in turnover of some 30 per cent last year: “Our successful delivery of major new contracts for a number of national retailers, managed and controlled centrally, has provided a model for how we can deliver service excellence for all our customers.”

He said: “The most important measure is not the number of branches you have on the ground, but the speed and quality of response in meeting customers’ needs. We are confident that the new operations, supported by a major investment in new IT infrastructure, provide the optimum structure to deliver service excellence to our customers across the UK.”

Mr Nicholas added: “Despite some changes in recent years, the company’s existing structure was largely a legacy of the many acquisitions it had made in the past. The new approach gives focus and coherence to the business, and is a continuation of the process of continuous improvement we began two years ago”.

He added: “WR Refrigeration has a history of over a century of service, a remarkable achievement in any sector. I am confident we have the foundations in place on which to build the business for the next 100 years.”

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