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Winslow, Bucks, United Kingdom, 2007/02/22 - Workplace furniture provider VERCO has supplied seating to the Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) JobCentre Plus southern UK branches within a £750m re-design, re-brand and refurbishment programme.
Launched in October 2002, the JobCentre Plus project is one of the largest government construction programmes undertaken in the UK, with – at its peak - more than one office completed each working day.
Approximately 1,000 former JobCentre and Social Security offices in Great Britain were affected by the project which, by making branches brighter and more comfortable, aims to make job-seeking and benefit-claiming experience less sterile and more like that encountered in the banking and retail sector.
Considerable emphasis was placed by the project supply chain team on selecting the right skills and attitude in the supply chain, combined with the right price.
Pre-selection of a range of optimum product solutions delivering best value was another focal point. Analysis of the tenders was based on a 40 per cent quantitative and 60 per cent qualitative basis.
Task and visitor seating from VERCO’s Spyne range are a dominant feature of JobCentre Plus branches, which also feature reception seating from the company’s Plaza range.
Spyne chairs have synchronised seat and back movement with free-float allowing for dynamic support. The design’s name is derived from a distinctive chair back treatment that emulates the human spine in appearance.
Reception seating needs are met by Plaza, a range offering unitary medium back fabric upholstered chairs (with or without arms) and with complementary coffee tables.
DWP senior supply chain manager Ian Lewis said:
"A key aim of our refurbishment programme has been to improve user experience of branches. Brighter and more comfortable surroundings make finding a new job a less daunting proposition and thereby speed up the process of getting one.
"Performance feedback is a key part of the approach to identify and improve supply chain activities.
The performance of the management team and supply chain is reviewed quarterly, on a range of objective and subjective measures."
In four out of the past six contract periods, VERCO has scored top marks in DWP JobCentre Plus Supplier Reports, the most recent citing the company as ‘a good contractor always willing to help …demonstrating good experience of DWP requirements, offering a quick response to estimates and on time deliveries’.
Many of the companies in the supply chain have adopted the processes and procedures employed on the JobCentre Plus project which received the Government Opportunities 2004 Award for Public Procurement Excellence and the Building 2005 Integrated Supply Chain of the Year award.
Founded by the Vere family in 1912, and in family ownership to this day, VERCO Office Furniture is one of the UK’s best known workplace furniture providers. The company operates from a wholly-owned 440,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in High Wycombe, where it makes a wide range of seating, desking and storage designs for all types of modern workplace environment.
The DWP is responsible for helping people of working age to find work and get any benefits they are entitled to. It also administers the Pension Service, the Child Support Agency, and the Disability and Carers Service. JobCentre Plus branches work with Top 2000 employers (by volume of employees) and list more than 400,000 vacancies in a collective job bank representing 30% of all UK vacancies. The network offers additionally a dedicated service to employers to fill their vacancies.