A staple of the highstreets for over 100 years, Shoe Zone has over 400 stores in different towns and cities throughout the UK. Their head office, situated in Leicester, employs 300 people and is looked after by property manager, Steven Chater. Our reporter recently caught up with Steven to share his experiences with the Tensor systems.
“It’s been a long-standing relationship,” explained Steven. The first time Tensor installed their time, attendance and access control systems at the head office were back in 2005. Whilst the project leader at the time — IT and warehouse director, Nigel Humphries — has since retired, Steve was part of the project’s team and recalls “we all did a little bit of research and Tensor was the one company that came up more than anybody else. It was a system we knew we could use.”
When asked what Steve likes about the system, he replied “for access control, it ticks all the boxes: setting the levels, mandating how and when people can come into the building, it solved all our issues. Tensor did that, and continues to do that for us.”
Shoe Zone’s head office comprises the main warehouse, distribution centre and office space, which saw Tensor install time and attendance clocking stations for the warehouse staff and access control for all. Steve mentioned, “We use both the smart cards and keyfobs — they are so handy. The whole system governs everyone getting in and out of the building and access to only certain areas, which was exactly what we needed.”
Over the years, Shoe Zone have upgraded and modernised the systems to fit their operations too, including a recent customization to their reception: “Due to Covid, our reception is less manned than before, so we added some extra locks to the front door. There’s now also an airlock system to control the flow of people. People can get through the first door (to get out of the rain for example), but the second set of doors are set up via. remote control and CCTV — that lets people in or out, or deliveries can simply be left in the holding area.”
When asked if Steve thinks they use the Tensor system to its full potential, he replied, “I think there’s a lot more than the system can do, but it works for us. We get what we need out of it. What I will say is every upgrade feels like a game-changer!”
Steve has “very infrequently” spoken to the Tensor Helpdesk “due to the reliability of the system”, but when needing to make contact, the service (along with any repairs required) has always been trouble-free.
When asked what Shoe Zone like about the system: “I think it is easy to use. One of the biggest pluses for me is knowing we’re dealing with a rock-solid, stable system; we’re not on the phone every 5 minutes saying this is not working, that’s not working.”
“Yes, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt!” was the answer to the Tensor reporter when asked if he would recommend the systems to another company. As the conversation ended, Steve summed up Tensor, saying “We always find the system reliable, accessible, and it has certainly saved our payroll department a lot of time,” before mentioning he’s looking forward to the next upgrade happening later in the month.
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