Weetabix Food Company is the second largest branded manufacturer of cereals and cereal bars in the United Kingdom, based in Northamptonshire. Its family of brands include Weetabix, Alpen, Ready Brek, Weetos, Oatibix and Alpen cereal bars. The Weetabix brand has been manufactured and sold in the UK since 1932 and is one of Britain’s most iconic brands. Today it is the number one selling, most trusted and most recommended cereal.
What was the existing situation?
Weetabix had been outsourcing its cleaning and hygiene services to three companies, whilst also maintaining responsibility for some aspects in house. This was a lot to manage so the company took steps to bring all of the cleaning under the same umbrella, being mindful to make sure that the high brand standards were met at all times.
In 2012, Servest took over from the three existing facilities management companies as well as taking on the janitorial plant cleaning from the in house team. Between 2014 and 2015 Servest also became responsible for the specialist automation deep cleans and environmental high level cleaning from the in house team which included additional sites within the portfolio.
From Jan 2016, Servest started mobilisation of End of Production cleans for the majority of the plants. This provided Weetabix with the flexibility to increase production and to audit the production cleaning to improve standards.
What were the challenges facing Servest and Weetabix?
To ensure consistency and brand integrity, Weetabix had been managing the cleaning which included overseeing the different service providers. The main challenge facing Weetabix and Servest was managing the relationship and expectations of each party. As the Weetabix managers were used to directly supervising staff and moving them around as needed, it was important to establish where the lines of responsibility were drawn.
Weetabix and Servest now work in partnership. As the relationship has developed the Weetabix management have gained confidence in the Servest team and their determination to protect the brand and so allow them the freedom to do their job.
How have the changes affected Weetabix?
The relationship between Servest and Weetabix has led to significant cost savings per annum, with further cost savings being implemented through the development of new and existing contracts that will synergise cleaning activities and methods. Not only has Weetabix benefitted from reduced costs, it can take advantage of the flexibility that outsourcing to Servest provides.
Since Weetabix and Servest have been working together with the same goal in mind, Servest has consistently achieved excellent audits results from the British Retail Consortium, in addition the team has received excellent audit results from all supermarkets, and achieved a Tesco Blue award which is unprecedented.
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