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Prime Systems successfully extend WHSmith application in Australia

WHSmith PLC is a global retailer, headquartered in Wiltshire, England, which operates over 1,600 high street, railway station, airport, port, hospital and motorway service station shops worldwide selling books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, entertainment products and confectionery.

Prime Systems have been working with WHSmith since 2014 when they were selected to provide a new online Accident & Incident Reporting application. One of the main benefits of the Prime application was that WHSmith were able to launch it across all their stores with no training or disruption to the reporting process due to its ease of use and flexibility. For that reason it was seen as more of an upgrade of the old in-house system rather than a new system. The Prime application uses the “Universal” user approach, whereby stores can submit accident and incident reports quickly and easily, the reports are then received by the central safety team for review and investigation.

In 2010 WHSmith opened their first Australian store in Melbourne Airport. Since then, they’ve expanded rapidly, opening stores in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and across other parts of Queensland and New South Wales. As well as WHSmith branded stores based in Australian airports, stations and universities, they also operate under other brands – Zoodle, Gadget Shop, Fresh+ and franchises Supanews, Wild Card & Gift and Kenny’s Cardiology.

Last year Prime were asked by WHSmith if they could extend the system to their sites in Australia. Rather than simply adding new sites, the Australia business had different requirements (as detailed above), so Prime had to work out how to add a different reporting structure into the existing system, whilst still giving the UK based risk management team easy access to data and management reporting. Prime were able to bolt on a separate system that linked to the existing one, which then gave them the freedom to incorporate all the different factors and requirements WHSmith Australia wanted. This included flagging certain accidents in a different way to the UK so that they were escalated to management if they were deemed serious, different terminology for Near Misses and Enforcement Visits and a different investigation process.

The system was tried and tested by a few selected users before being successfully rolled out across 60 sites in Australia.

Paul Ramsell, MD of Prime says, “We were delighted with how well the Accident and Incident Reporting application has evolved for WHSmith and how seamless the Australia extension process was. The ability to be flexible with our products to fit the needs and variations of our customer’s business is vital to allow us to build the relationships we have with companies like WHSmith. It’s been great to see how they have embraced our system and extended its use across more parts of their diverse range of businesses.”

Paul Atherden, Group Health and Safety Manager at WHSmith says, “Whilst we were using Prime for both our UK and International based stores, we were keen to apply some further tailoring of the system for our Australian operations which had grown in size over the last few years. Prime worked with WHSmith to understand and spec out these further requirements. Creating a separate tailored system which enabled us to refer to local terminology (benefitting the end user), improved reporting capabilities for both the Australian and UK offices, and enabled us to incorporate additional features to cover different legislative requirements such as Workers Compensation insurance. Prime delivered the system on time and to the agreed budget enabling a smooth roll out across our Australia business, that has strengthened the reporting of accidents and incidents, providing improved visibility and assurance.”

Prime are looking forward to continuing their long-standing relationship with WHSmith for many more years to come.

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