At our automated Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFCs) we process thousands of orders every day, all of which are time-critical so we can meet Ocado’s commitment to one-hour delivery slots. A key team in making sure we achieve Ocado’s commitments are the Engineering Operations team. They continually monitor and maintain our automated mechanical handling equipment (AMHE), for example: pallet and tote cranes; miles of conveyors; plant equipment; thousands of shuttles and robots.
Through continuous training, they have all the skills they need in-house. They constantly motivate the teams to do well and, through listening forums, ensure they harness ideas and keep their employees engaged.
The role of the Central Management team is to ensure we are always achieving the highest standards with regards to our equipment, the way we work and our training. As a team we frequently travel between sites to assess our current ways of working, whilst also identifying best practices to replicate and deploy across all other sites. Our team ensures we work together with a universal set of standards and from this, we are able to continually improve.
CFC1 and CFC2 Site Activity
Our skilled and dedicated teams of engineers are responsible for the day to day maintenance and repair activities at our mature CFCs in Hatfield and Dordon. The CFC1 and CFC2 engineering teams are integrated in the wider Operations division at Ocado, enabling them to work closely with Inbound, Outbound and other support teams to optimise availability and performance of the facility and its MHE automation. The teams adopt a continuous improvement (“CI”) culture with a pro-active focus which enables them to develop a good technical ability and understanding related to the automation hardware and software powering the CFCs. This culture has led to breakthroughs in diagnostic tooling and methods to promote proactive, rather than reactive maintenance.
From technical assistants to senior engineering operations managers, working in Hatfield and Dordon offers everyone the chance to get hands-on with the latest conveyor-based production, picking and storage MHE systems or perform active monitoring using state-of-the-art computerised management systems. The engineering team at CFC2 are proud that the CFC is a recognised learning centre with its own assessors who can train and assess NVQs. Both these CFCs have a strong culture to train and promote from within whenever possible.
CFC3 and CFC4 Site Activity
We currently have three Site Activity teams split between our two OSP CFCs, Andover and Erith, and our General Merchandise site in Welwyn Garden City. Our teams are responsible for achieving 100% of maintenance KPIs whilst ensuring rapid response and repair to unplanned breakdowns. We are focused on continuous improvement and development, ensuring strength in the team is maintained whilst enabling internal promotions. Together, as Engineering Operations, we ensure all Ocado sites share good practice and we train our people well, whilst always keeping safety as one of our key concerns.