Streamlined service reduced costs for Arcus
The management of Arcus Group, Norway’s leading distributor and producer of wine and spirits, were convinced the internal service operation could be more efficient. Coor was brought in to structure and implement this rationalisation process. Over the course of 10 months, a more efficient service organisation was developed and fine-tuned that could offer the same service delivery but at a lower cost. The changes enabled Arcus to reduce its service costs significantly.
The aim of the change project was partly to create a more streamlined service organisation for Arcus, and also to improve working methods and procedures surrounding the service delivery. As one of the project’s measures, parts of the service operation were co-ordinated and co-located.
“We relocated the reception, switchboard and post/goods management from several places in the building to one. Bringing these functions together enabled a reduction in staffing. Property engineers were also moved into a single place. This not only improved communication, it also facilitated co-operation and work allocation,” says Christer Olsson, Coor’s project manager for the change process.
New working methods and procedures
Many of the measures focused on improving the personnel’s working methods. One way of reducing the workload in the canteen during the lunch period was to start preparing lunches in the morning to a greater extent. Another solution was to compose the cleaning teams based on the staff’s capacity and the needs of each location. Moreover, cleaning staff began a certified professional training course to learn more about ergonomics in the workplace and methods that simplified and rationalised their work.
A new position was also created: an operations manager, whose job it was to streamline the work allocation and workload, as well as to inspire and motivate personnel in their daily work. Coaching in customer relations and good service became part of the everyday routine. Arcus hired the operations manager from Coor.
Another new solution was to begin using internal staff to provide temporary cover, rather than bringing in external help as required. Personnel learnt how to do each other’s jobs so they could back each other up. In addition to lower costs, another benefit with this approach was that staff could try out new work duties and thereby vary their working day.
In addition to all the internal measures, a process was initiated to review Arcus’s supplier agreements, and renegotiations were begun.
“The process of change led to a reduction in service costs for Arcus. Another consequence of the project was that Arcus decided to completely outsource its service unit to Coor, thus ensuring a long-term effect in its cost-cutting as well as further improvements,” Christer Olsson explains.
Arcus is headquartered and has a production unit in Oslo, Norway. Some 450 people work at the facility, which is just over 90,000 square metres in area. The service operation comprises property management, reception and switchboard, physical security, cleaning services, a lunch canteen and catering, as well as post and goods management.