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Issue 10

Summer 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEETON 30 years on and still going strong


Healthy Heart first for Bradford



THE BIG EVENT Book your place on page 8

News, views & reviews - all the latest from Damart

WELCOME 2009 - 2010 That was the year that was! The Editorial Team Damart Team Spirit Summer 2010 Editors: Rachel Barker Cicada Communications Helen Laura Taylor Geraldine Vernon Mark Scurr Contributors: Stuart Creeley Neil Hirst Steve Bartle Portia Williamson Paul Anderson Angi Graham

In retail you are only as good as your last result. Now that the finance team has finalised the accounts for the year to June 2010, I can confirm that the past year has been an absolutely fabulous success with sales growth of 20% and our operating profit up by 300%. We should all feel really proud.


trong growth reflects the fact that our customers love what we do and we’ve been making some great improvements in the way that we handle customer contacts within the Contact Centre. Here are some examples of what is driving improvements:• The Mail & Banking team has reduced processing backlogs for customer orders and returns, giving a better service to the customer. This has resulted in gains elsewhere. For example we have had fewer phone calls from customers asking “have you had my return yet?”

Sarah Brown Jo Wood Steven Vickers Phil Shaw Jeanette Askin Paul Milligan MCG If you have a story for Team Spirit, email your ideas to


• The “Rapid” project brought all customer call handling into Bingley in June last year and as a result the quality of phone conversations that our customers experience has improved.

• We have all experienced “call centre hell” and know that keeping customers waiting to be transferred to an agent is not good. We have increased the number of telephone agents to reduce the average wait time, which is currently around 15 seconds. As a result customer frustrations and hang ups are very low.

•A  nd of course we can’t continue to deliver these fabulous business results without you. It’s a good job we’re all so healthy and energetic. In fact we are the gold standard in ‘Healthy Heart’. Turn to page 8 for some examples of where you have gone the extra mile.

Sales growth of 20% and our operating profit up by 300%. We should all feel really proud. • An immediate benefit of answering the phone quickly and professionally has been the stunning increase in “telesales” which doubled last year adding an additional £1m to sales. This also reflects the good teamwork between the Contact Centre and the Product Division which ensures the right product offer is made to the customer.

Looking forward, we are committed to continually improving customer service levels, see page 7 for an article about the OPRA project. OPRA is the replacement of our current mail order processing system. The new system will deliver significant benefits for the customer and the business.

Stuart Creeley Finance and Customer Services Director





245 of you pledged to walk more than 10,000 steps a day as part of the Global Corporate Challenge.

Following the launch in May, staff from Bingley and Steeton completed the virtual walk around the world, recording their individual step count on a daily basis. Find out more at™

for their involvement in our Healthy Heart initiative, helping us to become the first company in Bradford to achieve Gold! We’ve been awarded the Gold mark in record time, after only registering to take part in September 2009.

Front row names left to righ t: Trevor Allan, Amanda Loft us, Denise Armstrong (HR UK), Helen L Taylor, Ger aldine Vernon, John Bottom ley, Andy Hill. The launch was also attende d by GCC Team Captains and Management.

GCC Team at allenge the ch e th to in itiatives and month a series of in ed is an rg o way out of t Damar leading the as w o h w So ere spot prizes. pants that w d 245 partici an s ton ee am St te 5 m the 3 gers’ fro ted Challen o 1 and Fo 3 ,3 ig 0 ‘B 2 e f Th daily step o e ag taking part? er av s’) with , reporting an d Challenger te o Fo led the way ig B e C Team (also from th age. The GC Anne Taylor ly step aver ai d e the 6 8 m ,3 o 1 ec 3 e ould b an impressiv see ‘Who w to et d’ from tl le n ee au H g e ant. ‘Well p ci laid down th ti ar p d l achieved ved team an esert Rats) al (D ’ yd most impro ro at rg ‘Justine Mu Bingley and first place! to see ‘Who up the pace ed p ons to ep st ts cipan Congratulati All 245 parti in one day’! s ive ep st re p st o d an im ss the m could walk ), who walke le b ing ee n in W w m e y (Tea ge. All th Darryl Gildro the challen f o 8 3 e ay th d s on s and 81, 831 step re goody bag ded foot-ca ar aw e ffl u er w iPod Sh e. teams s received an er n in w al u report from individ the final step d an s er n ’s Big Event. more win d at this year Look out for ce n u o n an will be e who took s to everyon the GCC that n o ti la tu ra d Cong Thank you an allenge! ch part in the


Congratulations to everyone

The Facts

The Big Footed Chall engers were ranked in the top 5% of the GCC Global lea der board from an amaz ing 13,892 teams! During week 13 of th e challenge, Damart’s daily average step count was recorded at 13,522! Which indicated that parti cipants were leading a ‘Extre mely Active Lifestyle’ 80% of the 245 parti cipants taking part had achie ved 10,000 or more daily steps!

Bradford Bulls & Stuart Creeley, Line Dancing Over the last 12 months the Healthy Heart Team introduced a range of ideas which many of you have been involved in, from healthy eating options and recipe suggestions in the canteen to training sessions with the Bradford Bulls, line dancing lessons and lunchtime Pilates classes. Let’s keep up the good work!


star feature


Soul singer Beverley Knight is the new face of the 2010 Breast Cancer Campaign Pink Vest.


his is the eighth year that Damart has supported the charity, raising over £100k to date. Beverley modelled this year’s hot-pink cami at a photo shoot held in London. Attended by John Bottomley (Marketing Director) and his glamorous assistant for the day, Rachel Cuckson (Design Manager from the Product Division). John charmed the gorgeous soul diva while Rachel was in charge of the styling and directing the photographer with the help of Beverly’s personal makeup assistant . Here’s some behind the scenes photos of how the team created Beverley’s look. Look out for the launch of the pink vest campaign in October 2010.


WORLD CUP World cup spirit and colour exploded across the contact centre during the World cup, bring the team and competitive spirit of world cup into Damart.

Damart launches charity fund for staff Damart currently donates to many good causes, including Breast Cancer and Heart Research UK. As part of our ongoing commitment to local good causes, we have decided to launch a Damart Sponsorship Fund, which will be used to support local charities or good causes close to your heart. Damart will set aside an amount of money each year to support the wide-variety of fund raising activities which we know you are involved in. You will be able to apply for money to be used towards local charitable events/ initiatives. Each request accepted will then be followed up by an article in Team Spirit, to help raise even more awareness for your chosen charity. Further details about this scheme will be on Damart-TV, DamartNet and notice boards around the business. For further information contact Jo Wood on ext 6372. Application forms will also be available on DamartNet.


maginations and creativity ran wild during the Contact Centre initiative, creating some real vibrancy in the department. The teams went to extraordinary lengths to decorate their workspaces after randomly selecting a competing world cup country from a draw. When the teams country was playing the team was then allowed to dress down (prior to the revised casual dress policy). The judges Jeanette Askin and Neil Hirst were so impressed they decided on three winners, each team winning a meal at Pizza Hut. Congratulations to Holland (Green team), Brazil (Pink Team) and Mexico (Credit Team). The decorations remained throughout the entire tournament and generated a real buzz. Also as part of the world cup initiative the Contact Centre also ran the ‘Special Offer Conversion Cup!’ Teams were assigned groups. They then played fixtures against each other based on their special offer sales that day. As the tournament progressed, the two surviving teams were the Lavender team and the Cream team. The Lavender team were the winners and were presented with a trophy and £150 in vouchers. Neil Hirst said “The world cup initiative has been a great success, everyone in the contact centre made an amazing effort to decorate their team areas!

Media Coverage With summer drawing to an end we can safely say that our SS10 Collection has proved extremely popular. The biggest fashion buy of the season was the colour block maxi dress, a real hit amongst our customers becoming a must have item. And there’s more to come as we launch the AW10 collection which is all about the key catwalk trends. We predict that the long-line cardigans and great range of winter coats will be just as popular.


main story

Celebrations galore at Damart Steeton celebrated its 30th birthday with a slice of celebratory birthday cake. The Internal Comms team pulled out all the stops, decorating the canteen with posters featuring music, food, TV and film from 1980 to reflect when Steeton was born. Six of our longest serving employees also celebrated milestones with Patricia Ratcliffe marking 35 years at Damart. Rodney Sykes, Glenis Early, Richard Howes, Ian Park and John Kettlewell have all been celebrating three decades of service. Here’s what they had to say about their time at Damart:

“I’ve seen people come and go over the years but they always seem to come back to Damart. It’s a good community and the people are good to work with” John Kettlewell

“When Richard and myself started here in May 1980 the site was just a shell. There were no drinking and toilet facilities for the first month, so we had to bring our own pop and get drinking water off the builders” Ian Park (Shultz) & Richard Howes

L to r Glenis Early , Andy Hill, Geor ge Cook, John Ke John Bottomley, ttlewell, Linda M Ian Park, Richar ontgomery, d Howes, Lynn Co rdall, Pat Ratclif fe, George Vasil i Originally a warehouse to store Damart’s stock and dispatch customer orders, the site recently expanded to also encompass the company’s mail and print centre; a major operation mailing out over 45 million catalogues and direct mail items each year to customers across the UK. Managing Director, Andy Hill said: “It’s a great achievement to be celebrating such a milestone birthday for our Steeton site and we’re extremely proud to have a number of employees who have been here from day one.” “The site has come on a long way since it first opened, undergoing


“The recruitment for staff took place in the Grouse Pub in Silsden as the warehouse was still nearing completion” Pat Ratcliffe

major refurbishments over the last decade. This long term investment in the Steeton site has shown our commitment to the business and the community which was made possible by the local Authority’s decision to grant planning permission to extend our site. We are delighted to say that this has been Damart’s most successful year to date, in which Steeton has played an integral part. Here’s to another 30 years of success!”

Andy Cuts the cake with Steeton employees

“Damart has grown over the years – the investment and the opening of E-block” Glenis Early

NEWS OPRA is coming soon…. What, why, how & when What OPRA will replace our current system Softa and a 30 year old mainframe with a new order processing system using modern technology supporting the business in its future growth.

Why OPRA will provide a flexible platform for future enhancements enabling us to offer a broader range of services to our customers.

How and when The OPRA project team consists of a cross functional team of I.S. developers, Business Analysts and contact centre personal who are looking at the system build in a ‘phased’ approach. The new order processing system is under development throughout AW10 and will be rolled out to the business in early SS11, to all the areas that currently use Softa.

The new system will not only mean a new modern look and feel, with new screen layouts, it will also link into all other business systems, including Buying, Marketing and Financial Systems, in the same way Softa does. A rigorous ‘design’, ‘testing’ and ‘implementation’ period is planned into the schedule for AW10, with orders and customer transactions gradually being phased onto the new system. The in-house training team will be providing extensive training to everybody who currently uses Softa and will use the new system starting in SS11.

Fashion Forward In July this year we held our eighth internal Fashion Show.


e’ve come a long way since the first show in SS07, and now the seasonal event is the hottest ticket in town. This year our models showed off the latest AW10 collections, supported behind the scenes by the Buying department assistants. The show was Introduced by Portia Williamson and Paul Anderson.

sound system, to sweets and fans for the models! (Yes! models eat sweets!) The 80’s themed music was once again coordinated by Darryl Gildroy (I.S) . For those of you who didn’t get to see the AW10 show, we’ll be presenting a version (including glitzy Christmas party styles) at this year’s Big Event.

Angi Graham, made sure the event ran smoothly, arranging everything from the catwalk and

This is an exciting project for the business. Although the system will be designed to initially work as Softa does now, OPRA will have the capacity to deliver huge benefits in terms of new services to our customer, for example: delivery to alternative address. Look out for more information on OPRA…….. coming soon.

STUDENT SHOWS OFF OUR DESIGNS Fashion and textiles student Lorna Reid has incorporated Damart’s thermal leggings in to her final University fashion show. Lorna used the leggings to great effect, using silk screen printing to produce bold motifs and patterns onto the fabric, all done by hand. Lorna from Edinburgh College of Art said: “The leggings have added a great finishing touch to my tribal collection and many people

asked where I had got them from. Thanks to Damart’s support I hope to gain a high mark in the show which will ultimately help me achieve my dream of becoming a successful fashion designer.”




ongratulations to Bev Longley, Stephen Carter, Leanne Mawson, Ruth Emmott, Maureen Shutt and Edgar Stolers who successfully completed their Level 2 qualifications in Team Leading with BTAL Training and Development courses (Bradford & Keighley based covering West Yorkshire).

Bartle, Val Marshall (Contact Centre), Rob Moore (Finance), Jamie George and George Cook (Steeton). The presentations were fantastic and, the managers were amazed by the benefits gained both for the business and the attendees personally. Well done.

HR Training Manager Helen Taylor said: “With over 35 years of experience BTAL was chosen as a perfect fit for Damart due to the knowledge, capability and expertise which we felt meet the learning needs of our organisation.” All the attendees from the course were invited to take part in a presentation ‘What Achieving the NVQ has meant to them’, to recognise their achievements and to share their success with the business. Also present and there to support the training; Geraldine Vernon (HR) Steve

Baby News... Congratulations to Debbie Farren (from Inspection, Steeton) whose daughter gave birth to a little bundle of joy named Loyd born on 17th May weighing 6lb 7oz.

STARS The STAR’s awards for April, May and June 2010 have now been judged. Overall we had a total of 20 nominees with some very close scores. The winners are: Nicola French, Contact Centre Team Leader Nicola won for participating in the brand ambassadors meeting. David Brown Contact Centre Agent David won for his involvement mentoring new starters

From l to r: Peter Jackson (BTAL), Bev Longley, Ruth Emmott, Leanne Mawson, Maureen Shutt, Edgar Stolers, Stephen Carter & Ken MacKenzie (BTAL)

Congratulations to proud grandmother Chrissie Lamb. Phoebe Olivia was born on 28th May weighing, 6lbs and 5oz. Phoebe is Chrissie’s first grandchild. She said: “I’m over the moon - she’s gorgeous!”

Angela Wright Mail and Banking Administrator Angela won for going above and beyond her duties, manually processing payments when the systems were down. Each will receive £250 of vouchers of their choice

Baby Phoebe

The Big Event 2010 is nearly here! We’ve got plenty to celebrate following our record breaking year and we hope you can join us


he fourth annual event will be hosted by a famous face who is guaranteed to make you smile - be there to meet them yourself! Once again we’ll be applauding all your successes with the annual Mission Vision Values (MVV) Awards, which will recognise both individuals and teams. Team Spirit, Innovation and Passion for Customers are just some of the categories this year, and the nominees will be revealed soon - watch out for details in your departments to see if you are one of them. The winners will not only receive a unique award, but some amazing

prizes which won’t disappoint. On the evening you can also look forward to:

•free return transport •free food and drink •fashion show featuring Damart employees •disco •spot prizes So don’t miss out and book the date in your diary. If you haven’t booked your place, it’s not too late. Contact Joanne Phipps or Paula Drake on ext 6152 or your line manager. We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday 1 October 2010, from 4.00pm, at the Abundant Life Conference Centre in Bradford 8 DAMART TEAMSPIRIT

TeamSpirit 10  

Quarterly Colleague Magazine

TeamSpirit 10  

Quarterly Colleague Magazine