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Brief client and company background:
Egg and butter merchant William Morrison founded his business in 1899 from a stall in a Bradford market. With the inspiration to innovate and lead the way in supermarket retailing a vision was formed and the first supermarket opened in 1961.
Taking over the mantel from his father, Sir Ken was instrumental in growing the supermarket Morrisons into one of the UK’s largest retailers, taking it from a small group of shops in his native Yorkshire to a national grocery chain. With 498 stores across the Country, Morrisons is now the 4th largest chain in the UK.
Morrisons moved to purpose built Hilmore House, with 330,000sqf of office space, in 2006 as demand necessitated the move. The facilities housed within the walls were outstanding, but as with everything with time, technology changes and evolves and the display/information systems housed were no longer fit for purpose.
Morrisons contacted Universal AV, as they had worked with sister company Universal LIVE for many years, and were a trusted audio visual partner.
The customer services team had grown dramatically as had their reliance on displaying and utilising live statistics, but the existing audio visual provision was both inadequate and outdated.
Michael Forbes, Senior Technology Manager at Morrisons Head Office, was tasked with finding a solution that would meet the expanding department’s needs, allow for growth and the dissemination of key messages to different departments in a suitable manner
Universal worked key stakeholders within Morrisons to fully understand their requirements in terms of functionality and budget, to produce a number of options which embodied these criteria whilst not compromising on performance and providing room for further expansion.
The 13 LED Screens and 3 Projection Systems are strategically placed to provide maximum coverage within the workspace. Six individual PC’s are controlled from one central location, with the aid of a KVM switch, to provide all the content for the displays. This content is distributed over an Extron DTP Crosspoint infrastructure, allowing the content from any PC to be displayed on any screen.
The whole system is controlled by a password protected Extron Touch Panel, which provides designated users with the ability to control each individual display and the content shown. The Universal AV Project Team worked with Morrisons Team Managers to develop several system pre-sets, creating a quick and easy way of pushing content out on pre-defined scenarios.
Morrison’s Head Office a true 24/7/365 of the year office. The stores are open so the office needs to be. This meant working conditions for the installations team were challenging. As a busy working office the installation had to be non-intrusive, staff internally, externally and customers could not be affected by the install. LCD Screens and statistics via projection were needed continuously throughout the process, no down time would be allowed.
The teams worked between 5 and 12pm each evening, as this was when the office was at is minimum staff numbers. Universal worked with electrical contractors Pitts to ensure the smooth installation and carried it out in phases. During the process it became apparent there were existing building services which had to be worked around which were identified when moving roof tiles to run cables. Pitts and Universal worked in harmony to resolve these issues and ensure the project was completed on time and within budget and achieved the desired outcome.
The displays and infrastructure were installed within pre-defined phases; this not only lessened the impact on Morrisons staff members, but also ensured that there was always a working system to provide the live statistics throughout the whole installation process.
Kyle Shah, Contact Centre Manager commented: “The solution is great, exactly what we have needed, it allows full visibility of key messages and statistics. It has been made easier through Michael and Neil who provided lots of options, they never said no, and were happy to move around as and when needed.”
Communications and Display get a Revamp at Morrisons HQ
““Universal were incredibly helpful. Not only did they provide a flexible solution to meet our needs, they worked with contractors and facilities seamlessly, they could not have been more helpful. They also looked at utilizing older equipment. Screens which although were not new, but perfectly fine, were PAT tested and re-utilised, saving us money.””