Waitrose & John Lewis

Case Study



& John Lewis

Case Study

Reduced Engineering Call Outs
£600k per annum – remote alarm triage eliminates store investigation time and reduces reactionary call outs

Mitigated Stock Loss
£1.48m per annum – continual monitoring of stock temperature, case temperatures and case operating modes mitigates likelihood of stock loss

Reduced Trading Loss
99.37% Asset Availability – continual monitoring of case performance facilitates early identification of issues and expedites stock relocation to minimise sales impact

Eliminate Abortive Call Outs
£350k per annum – remote alarm diagnosis prevents abortive call outs and increases first fix rates

Reduced maintenance costs
£650k per annum – trend analysis of case performance drives condition based maintenance rather than time based

Reduce store energy intensity
£1.5m per annum – identify and prove the impact of energy initiatives and eliminate drift from defined profiled

Minimise reputation risk
Independent, audit quality data provides reputation protection in the event of a food hygiene event


The Waitrose John Lewis Partnership is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s most successful and respected retail groups. They are a market leader in the premium sector with more than 400 stores and serving of millions of customers every week.

As a business, the Partnership's shops and branches are focussed on the overall customer experience. Their building and energy management initiatives, devised over the John Lewis Partnership estate includes 357 Waitrose branches and 38 John Lewis stores, have always placed this and partners' engagement as the key foundation of the Partnership's sustainability strategy.

Jim Burnett - John Lewis Partnership Engineering Manager

“Next Controls have worked with the John Lewis Partnership for 24 years. They have matured as a company as we have grown our estate looking after our branches refrigeration, heating & ventilation systems, energy and building energy management systems. Continually pushing innovation ensuring that we remain on the leading edge of technology ensuring that we provide our branches with the best service possible.”

Laying the Foundations for Estate Wide Performance Monitoring and Control

Prior to 2000, Next Control Systems were simply monitoring buildings for selected locations within the Waitrose estate, and performance data was provided by way of regular printed reports and ad hoc spreadsheets post event.

In 2001, remote connectivity to each building was achieved via 56k dial up modem. This enabled two way communication between Next Controls Remote Support Centre and each site, integrating monitoring and remote intervention across all building services including HVAC, Lighting, Refrigeration and Energy Monitoring.

The monitoring of individual plant performance emerged as a key management tool for contractors and JLP engineers and facilitated real time ‘availability’ measurement to be introduced for all refrigerated cases.

Analytical Granularity Accrues with Critical Mass

In 2005, JLP made a major investment in cloud and IP technology for EPOS and IT systems, to improve their market competitiveness. This commercially-driven decision provided the perfect platform to facilitate alarming and monitoring in real time and inspired the joint development of a genuinely innovative retail energy management programme by Next Controls Systems and JLP Engineering team.

Stores were upgraded one by one across the estate empowering a level of benchmarking never possible before including site by site comparison, plant, manufacturer and service provider performance was all tracked and analysed to create improvement and savings.

Implementing and Maintaining Estate Standards

In an initiative designed to eliminate store led deviations from the estate standards, all site based PCs were removed and a technology independent, web based graphical user interface was implemented by Next Control Systems.

The ability to change performance parameters was limited to certain key engineering personnel and all stores revert to the estates standard at 2am every morning. This eliminates operational and energy performance drift.

As a by product, this move freed up IT resources and removed the need for expensive and time-consuming backups, software version control or anti-virus software.

Merging Building and Energy Data into Retail Analytics

In 2013, with the whole Waitrose and John Lewis property portfolio covered by real-time monitoring and alarming, the drive was to create a proactive store management platform. A platform that matched the same level of granularity as business retail metrics. A platform that was able to integrate this data into a single pool of meaningful, actionable management information.

The platform was to monitor asset performance continuously and to segment activities and functions at estate, region, and store level.

The monitoring and alarming of refrigeration systems is a significant factor in measuring case ‘availability’ in store. This is a key performance indicator that affects both customer satisfaction as a well as store level margins as if a refrigerated case is unavailable, this limits the product stock available for purchase, reducing consumer choice and impacting revenue streams.
The platform was able to analyse potential issues, model and recommend solutions, based on identified weaknesses, ahead of costs being incurred.

Now with a single addressable data set spanning the whole customer-facing retail environment, from buildings, plant and merchandising, retail and energy management were able to make informed decisions that reduced costs, increased margins and maintained or even improved the customer experience.

This approach explains The Partnerships high level of market performance when other large retailers have been under increasing pressure over the past five years.

Driving Analytics and Stakeholder Visualisations

Instead of harvesting data and having it analysed by the provider and presented as a report and/or spreadsheet, Next Controls have developed a suite of web based dashboards that allow managers, at a wide variety of function and seniority, to view performance at multiple levels in real time.

These performance dashboards show the estate performance in real time including case availability, environmental conditions, energy profiles and key specialist contractor performance.

The platform empowers JLP management with the most detailed profile of the retail environment ever seen.

Danny Ryan - Waitrose Refrigeration Manager

“Next Control Systems have supported Waitrose and John Lewis for the past 25 years by ensuring our refrigeration equipment and buildings are monitored and managed efficiently.

The Next Control Systems 24hour Remote Bureau, Technical Response Team and intuitive Dashboards provide our Branch Partners, Central Maintenance Teams and Servicing Contractors the information they need to ensure that the refrigeration equipment is at its maximum availability.

Always professional, easy to do business with and a can do attitude, we would happily recommend Next Control Systems to anyone requiring a remote monitoring and support service.”

Colin Hawes - Oaksmere Design

"We have worked continually with Next Controls over the last 15 years in a number of varying roles.

They have always provided insightful and solutions driven outcomes for all their clients maintaining at all times a real ‘can do’ attitude.

Their ability to attract and retain knowledgeable staff is a real strength and they always seem to have their clients best interests front and centre of all their activity.

I would have pleasure in recommending Next Controls to any business that needs support with the management and optimisation of their facilities."
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