Head Office Development – Marden, Kent
Marden, in the very center of the garden of England, Kent, has been the home of Produce Packaging since its creation in 1980. To meet the needs of the business, as both ourselves and our industry develop, we are developing the site that has been our home since 1990.
Improvements to the site include a brand new suite of office and back room facilities; redevelopment of the old offices (combined, 3 times as much space when completed); a landscaped staff area outside, to get away from the desk; a new customer reception area with seating and displays; a new, separate staff and visitor reception; separation of car parking and HGV traffic (and separate entrances); new kitchens and staff rest areas and a dedicated customer service area for the storage, preparation and dispatch of samples. Combined with an upgrade to the latest technology and business systems, this will help us to provide exemplary service to our valued customers for years to come. We also want it to be a great environment to work in, so as we continue to invest in and recruit more colleagues , we must continue to invest in their working environment for all of our benefit.
The ‘ground was broken’ in January this year with the first stage being the creation of the new entrances to the site. Followed shortly by the closing up of the original goods entrance to the warehouse and the opening of its new position to the side of the building. A corresponding opening was also created in the larger unit next door to enable forklift traffic to flow freely without entering the car parking or HGV areas.
During February the landscaped outside staff area was completed and many (almost invisble!) test and preparation tasks were set in motion. Due to a slight delay with a major piece of structural steel, the work continued inside in the main, with the order of works adjusted to keep the tempo up. Much un-glamorous, yet vital, work on drainage, plumbing, electricals continued. With added excitement of several of the old internal walls going missing.
Suddenly the steel was here and in a flash the framework for the new office and meeting suites was up! Floors were down in no time and it really began to feel like progress was being made. Ground floor – two new receptions; new offices for our Customer Services Team; new offices for our Operations Team; new kitchen, rest and hygiene facilities for all. First floor – new offices for our Buying Team; new offices for our Sales Team; new conference / meeting spaces; new kitchen and hygiene facilities for all. Top floor – sample storage and preparation area. (The pool table and dart board are yet to get the green light). Now the changes will really start to appear.
Following further upgrades to the warehouse areas and facilities – great progress has been made on the new office suite. Insulated walls are all up and the windows have gone in prior to the exterior face-lift. Extensive electricals have preceded the installation of the fresh air system and the suspended ceilings are almost done. Starting to look less like a site and more like a building! Even Unit 10 looks happy. Two weeks to finish phase 1 then the old offices will get their much needed upgrade in phase 2. Everyone is very much looking forward to it!
Finished! A tad overdue (but isn’t everything at the moment?) but complete and everybody is in their new home. It really is quite a transformation. Spacious, light and with hugely improved facilities, Marden will continue to be home for Produce Packaging for years to come. We are currently trialing our paperless delivery system (EPOD – more news shortly) to compliment our 21st century offices and IT infrastructure, along with advanced vehicle tracking and a CRM to maximise our customer relationships. Produce Packaging will continue to invest in technology and infrastructure for the benefit of its most important asset, it’s people, both staff and clients alike.