Aesop chooses UpKeep because of powerful analytics

Aesop is a global skincare brand and Certified B Corporation founded in 1987 with over 320 points of sale across 25 countries. Aesop offers skin, hair and body care formulations created with meticulous attention to detail, and with efficacy and sensory pleasure in mind. Each Aesop store has a unique interior design developed in collaboration with various architects, interior designers and artists. Erin Lucombe is the Store Maintenance Coordinator at Aesop, where she oversees all maintenance for over 80 stores in the United States and Canada.

The Challenge:

Erin manages maintenance for all Aesop stores, in addition to her responsibilities in design and renovations. With a busy schedule, it was becoming impossible to manage maintenance requests using Excel spreadsheets and emails. Erin needed a simpler way to unify all maintenance requests in one location to better collaborate with different team members dispersed internationally. 

The Solution:

Erin turned to UpKeep’s mobile maintenance solution to better monitor and prioritize work requests coming in from different Aesop stores to maximize efficiency across all locations. 

Time savings from streamlined work requests

Upon starting her search for a solution, Erin was looking for a tool with simple yet powerful analytics that would work best with her distributed team. Erin chose UpKeep over other software vendors because “their graphs were complicated. It gave you almost too much information that didn’t apply to what I needed. I found that UpKeep’s analytics were much easier to understand,” Erin shared.

Previously, Erin had relied on Excel spreadsheets to record maintenance requests that would come in from stores through an emailed form. Erin had to enter in the information that would then be shared with their vendors who take care of all maintenance work. “Especially the amount of requests, the email communication, I would get tons of emails and multiple emails from different people about the same work order, it was becoming very chaotic for me. So I thought there has to be a better way,” Erin said. Previously, Erin had to set aside two hours in her day to review the form that was emailed to her from a store manager and then manually type out the work order in her spreadsheet. She would receive around 200 emails per day related to maintenance requests and it was becoming more difficult for her to find the time to manually filter out the higher priority work orders, as her role and responsibilities grew. Often, Erin would receive duplicate emails from Store Managers, Area Managers, and Regional branch Managers who were all looking for information about the same maintenance request. Even when work orders were in progress, it was difficult to provide clear updates in a centralized space. Without a digital work order system, Erin shared, “It was just not efficient and not sustainable.”

Now with UpKeep, Erin has gained two hours back in her day without needing to manually go through emails and re-enter information into spreadsheets. Each store now has access to a work request portal, where they can submit work requests when maintenance issues arise. Not only does Erin have a clear understanding of outstanding and completed work, but also the Regional Branch Managers and Commercial Directors can see everything in UpKeep. If a store manager wants to know the status of their work request, they can see all comments on progress in the updates section.

Centralized vendor communication among distributed teams

Erin is more easily able to communicate with her preferred maintenance vendors directly on work requests that come in through the UpKeep app. For example, if a maintenance work request comes in regarding a store’s HVAC, she tags her vendor, Professional Retail Services, on the work order. 

Direct communication on the work order makes life easier for Erin. She no longer has to spend hours going back and forth between spreadsheets, emails, and phone calls to coordinate maintenance and repair work internationally. More centralized communication allows both Erin to know exactly what is going on at each of the Aesop stores, but also keeps the local store managers informed on the status of their work requests. 

Transparency into work orders increases productivity 

Erin is now able to get to more work orders than ever before. As she onboards more stores to the platform, each store is adopting UpKeep as part of their regular routine. “I notice that slowly I'm able to get to more work orders because we're communicating better, and there's less confusion or miscommunication where the work order has to be on hold or it's slowing down for whatever reason,” Erin said. The maintenance team can receive work orders quickly and get to them speedier than before. 

Additionally, Erin juggles many different responsibilities with maintenance, design, and store renovations. “Before I had a hard time having a balance between the two because I was focusing on maintenance so much and being able to catch up with all the work orders, but now I feel like I have a bit more time to focus on other things,” Erin said. Erin can more easily wear her multiple hats by scrolling through all pending work requests on her phone and assigning them to the right vendor

Quality and timely maintenance yields higher customer satisfaction

The sooner a work order is taken care of, the faster the store can provide the best possible customer experience. Each store has been uniquely designed with luxury and customer experience as top of mind for each location. Without working sinks, heating, electricity, and more, the customer experience is not the same. “We want our customers to be able to feel the design of the store and be comfortable, so they can enjoy our high-end items. It’s very important that we properly maintain the conditions and the aesthetics of our store. We don't want our customers to feel too hot or too cold. When customers come in, we offer them hot tea in the winter and cold tea in the summer,” Erin said.  

UpKeep Analytics provides insights to justify increased headcount

Erin has multiple roles and responsibilities and is using UpKeep Analytics to provide data into maintenance processes to help justify the need for an additional headcount on her team. With UpKeep Analytics, she was able to quickly pull month-over-month and year-over-year work order time to completion, work order completion by priority level, total requests received, total requests by category, total requests by priority, and more. “I'm also just one person handling requests from over 80 stores. “I only have so many hours in a day and work requests that are higher priority are constantly coming in. So I'm using UpKeep just to kind of convince upper management to have someone else help with maintenance,” Erin said. 

Insights into costs and informed decisions with UpKeep Analytics

Erin is able to get a full understanding of where their maintenance costs are going each month with UpKeep Analytics. “I like to see how much depending on the months or the seasons or what have you, and how much of our work orders, in general, are plumbing or how much is HVAC,” Erin said. Erin has a full picture of the state of maintenance and operations across all 80 stores and can easily share that information with upper management. Each store has multiple sinks that are used with product demonstrations. Maintenance on each sink can be costly, so Erin tracks all plumbing-related costs in UpKeep and tracks which locations have the most plumbing issues, so they can better decide whether to repair or replace pipes.

With information into the frequency of reactive maintenance in comparison to the preventive maintenance performed, Erin can better determine what additional adjustments need to be made so that the stores are in the best operating condition. For example, every quarter they do HVAC maintenance. If Erin notices there are still a lot of reactive HVAC work requests coming in, she can make the decision that they need to increase their frequency of preventive maintenance to reduce the unplanned breakdowns.