The Waitrose Maintenance Department is responsible for ensuring over 300 Waitrose branches, distribution units and offices are operational, safe and compliant – each and every day. With a team of 100 Partners, as well as specialist subcontractors, this countrywide department operate ‘behind the scenes’ to create a better everyday experience for the Customers and Partners.

Business Goal

The retail market is particularly challenging at present, forcing retailers to rapidly rethink strategies and store plan. This results in a need for a more agile workforce, who can respond more quickly and initiate and implement local change.


We’ve been working with the Waitrose Maintenance Department for about 12 months. One project has focussed on Developing Strategic Thinking.

A one-day workshop was delivered to four groups of Managers exploring:

  • Top down vs bottom up thinking
  • Organisational roles – from strategy and product development, through sales, delivery, support and management
  • Developing an outline strategy for a toy manufacturer AND changing that strategy to achieve significant growth & cost reductions
  • Applying that to their role in Maintenance, and
  • The how and why of engaging stakeholders before, during and after change.


All of the participants gained a different perspective on running a commercial business in 2016.

They enjoyed learning how to be both more creative in developing ideas for significant improvements, and how to quickly assess associated risks using the collective experience of the group.

What the client says

“Thank you for yesterday. It’s really useful to get our focus away from operational and moved to strategic. A great day and very much appreciated with lots to take away!” – Paul Cox

“Thank you for the great day yesterday and it gave me lots of food for thought.” – Greg McEvoy

“Thanks Susannah – It’s been very informative and interesting.” – Stephen Monks

Maintenance Operations Managers
Waitrose (part of the John Lewis Partnership)