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Box clever

With UBS consolidating into one central location, Harrow Green was challenged to find new homes for all of its legacy furniture and assets. One hundred per cent recycling and reuse of assets including desks, cabinets, computers, planters and chairs was achieved. Through Harrow Green’s Refresh environmental programme, the company organised the donation of these assets to local charities, community organisations and small businesses.

Capel Manor College in Waltham Cross received more than 1,600 planters, while the British Heart Foundation received over 5,000 cabinets. Twelve charities in total benefited, including The Bridge Academy in Hackney, which received more than 500 computers and monitors, along with screens, mice and keyboards (once they had been securely decommissioned and had all data removed by Harrow Green’s IT asset recycling arm, IT Efficient). Where products had reached the end of their useful life, Harrow Green took them to be dismantled, sorted and recycled. In total, 8,200 pieces of furniture and over 2,200 tons of waste were recycled.

The combined team worked tirelessly and diligently to ensure UBS achieved the seven impact standards set out at the start of the programme. The positive impact on the employees entering the new facilities was immediate. Every employee was working seamlessly in their new, industry-leading London campus within 15 minutes.

By the end of the project a total of 7,685 staff had been moved. Harrow Green had also securely packed, transferred and unpacked 8,500 linear metres of filing, together with 1,500 computers. “This was a project that required an enormous amount of resilience from Harrow Green and, at times, more patience than could ever be imagined,” says Dave Monger, EUS Change Delivery Lead at UBS. “Despite that challenging backdrop, it was one of the smoothest and most professional moves that UBS has ever experienced.”

The 5 Broadgate project is the culmination of a 25-year award-winning partnership between UBS and Harrow Green which began in 1992. The relationship between the two organisations has matured in that time, driven by mutual respect, trust, transparency and integrity. In the past 16 years alone, they have completed 116,000 moves, with an average of 600 people moved per month.

During this quarter-of-a-century collaboration, UBS and Harrow Green have worked together to develop best-in-sector approaches to relocation, many of which have been replicated by competitors. These include:

  • The introduction of fixed per-head moving rates, allowing accurate budgeting for each move.
  • The implementation of a ‘crate-free’ move using ‘flight bags’, designed to fit inside new agile lockers, making the move as seamless as possible.
  • Providing a handyman service to reduce the number of suppliers on site and create a more integrated service at a reduced cost.
  • On and offsite storage using barcode technology to provide a smooth and secure transition between locations.
  • Access to Harrow Green’s proprietary Moveware software enabling instant access to data and real-time planning.

The strength of this collaborative relationship has been further enhanced by creative problem-solving and strong crisis management. For example, Harrow Green had five truckloads of business-critical assets being transported from Basel, Switzerland, to the UK. Unfortunately, the Port of Dover became embroiled in an industrial dispute, stranding the UBS assets off-shore. In order to meet the tight delivery deadlines, Harrow Green pulled out all the stops and arranged for an American cargo plane to collect the trucks and staff from Switzerland and fly them to London.

In addition to these examples of exceptional service, Harrow Green has worked to bring the two teams closer on a day-to-day basis by installing Helene Edgar at 5 Broadgate on a permanent basis, a rarity in the relocation world. This serves multiple purposes, from increasing the visibility of Harrow Green within UBS to fostering a greater sense of trust and collaboration, and enabling greater flexibility and even quicker response times for UBS.

“Our long-standing partnership with Harrow Green has helped to support our core business during a time of enormous change to the company,” adds Ian Gregory, UBS Director and Client Lead. “Because we have worked hand-in-hand for 25 years, Harrow Green understands the UBS way of doing things. They are firmly integrated with our business, and because the relationship is so seamless, I often forget they are officially contractors. The strength of our partnership was ably demonstrated during last year’s extremely complex move.”

All of which means that as UBS grows and develops, there will be more weekend working for this strong combined team.

About Sarah OBeirne


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