Royal Mail Group chooses Asset Factory

CDS delivered their Asset Factory Solution for Royal Mail.

Royal Mail lorries

The requirements

Royal Mail presented CDS with requirements/outcomes that needed to be achieved:

  • Help improve the performance of the Facilities Management (FM) supply chain.
  • Focus on eliminating/minimising disruption of the mail operation from a property facilities perspective.
  • Provide a dynamic dashboard linked to KPI performance on a mobile device.
  • Create an interface into the supplier data warehouse, refreshed four times a day, that creates a client side data set and mitigates data/supplier ‘lock in’.
  • Provide Royal Mail with visibility of reactive maintenance.
  • Pro-actively manage performance.
  • Help budget setting through targeted and accurate investment in the estate and its assets.
  • Provide insight to asset condition to help inform asset replacement decisions.

CDS delivered all these in full with its Asset Factory Solution.

The solution

Royal Mail tabletCDS developed Asset Factory to analyse FM data from the company’s FM supplier. Reactive, planned and asset condition data is gathered and then reported on.

The main ‘use cases’ for the solution are that Operations Managers and Directors have a solution that allows two-way stakeholder management:

  1. Being able to show the mail centre, distribution centre and delivery office managers that the FM service delivery is under control, operating legally and meeting required service levels.
  2. Being able to ensure that the FM supplier is dealing with high risk issues that affect operations and mail delivery, in a timely manner.

Royal Mail demands high levels of performance from their assets and facilities and Asset Factory helps keep operations running smoothly.

Reactive Work Order data from the FM provider is analysed four times a day. Planned Maintenance Work Order data, once a week and Asset condition data, quarterly.

Blending asset condition data with actual reactive data allows the client to see the true picture of how an asset is performing, especially if it is coming to the end of its expected life. It allows budgets to be set based upon real-time and trusted data from the operational systems.

Technically the solution has a very simple architecture:

  1. A Powerful Integration Layer – this ensures that data can be harvested over many communications mediums and formats, email, SFTP, web browser mapping tool and web services.
  2. A Flexible Data Layer – A datawarehouse and unique property schema based on CDS collective Property skills and heritage.
  3. A Best in class presentation layer – Asset Factory leverages the Microstrategy mobile app for iOS and Android. We operate a mobile first strategy, delivering to tablet based computing.



From the outset, Royal Mail laid out the reasons for the project and that ultimately this was to help maintain and improve its service to customers. Weekly meetings to track the project were held.

Establishing a meaningful mapping of project resources enabled technical discussions to happen directly and fast, removing blockers as and when they arose.

The business case for Asset Factory has been established in the following areas:

  • Time saved (daily work patterns)
  • Risk avoided (operations maintained)
  • Insight leading to better use of money.

In a recent survey that followed up on the use of the tool and gathered developmental feedback, the users rated some areas and provided some insight into time saved and risks mitigated.

In the feedback from Royal Mail users, 83% said the solution had saved them at least two days’ work since January 2015, and 17% said it had saved them up to five days.

In terms of risk avoided and operations maintained in an estate of this size and complexity it is hard to measure. However, given the level of use by the teams using the tool and the level of intervention, this could be significant. Avoiding cost is not just about saving money, but also about preventing service levels to customers falling and also putting time saved to more productive use.

Without even looking at the Insight leading to better use of investment – the business case has already been met. Also, Asset Factory is now allowing the senior members of the FM team in Royal Mail to budget more effectively in the maintenance of equipment. This will have far-reaching consequences in terms of the smooth running of Royal Mail’s property estate going forward.

Download the Royal Mail Group case study

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Asset Factory helps to identify reactive faults of a business critical nature, enabling Royal Mail’s customer facing teams to respond quickly and avoid incidents which could impact on its operations if not quickly resolved.

Ronnie James - Head of Quality Assurance

Royal Mail Group



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