Transport for London signs up ABM UK as it looks to streamline supplier network
Transport for London (TfL), operator of the UK capital’s underground train network, has awarded ABM UK a five-year contract for cleaning and associated services of its transport system.
This will include the cleaning provision of tube stations, trains, bus depots, head office buildings and the London Transport Museum.
The move is in line with TfL’s aims of delivering cost effective improvements to London’s transport network through improving the services it provides, whilst simultaneously lowering operating expenses and streamlining elements of its supply chain.
ABM is the sixth facilities management contract to be consolidated from the network’s 50, with TfL’s Chief Procurement Officer David Wylie confident that this strategy will ensure improvement in multiple areas.
“By consolidating TfL contracts we will be operating in the most efficient way and ensuring better value for money,” he said.
“The contract with ABM UK will see our high standards of cleanliness on the transport network maintained and enhanced and, by creating much-needed apprenticeships and supporting our schemes to help those who might otherwise find it hard to get a job, this contract will also open up opportunities for hundreds of Londoners.”
ABM, which currently employs over 5,500 people, were required to submit an equality and diversity plan as part of the procurement process, with the company promising to create 150 apprenticeships throughout its contract as part of the deal.
“ABM UK has a great track record of looking after some of London's most iconic sites. The buses, trains and Tubes are a defining feature of daily life in the Capital,” said Group Managing Director of ABM UK, Andy Donnell.
“We are proud and honoured to be working alongside TfL and look forward to playing our small but important part in helping to keep the city moving, working and growing.
“Importantly, and as a former apprentice acutely aware of a growing skills gap in the industry, I'm pleased that creating apprenticeships is at the heart of our agreement with TfL.”
The contract will go live on 17 September 2017, with three phases of implementation.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.