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Avnet to close Chessington office, staff on redundancy notice

Microscope contributor

Avnet Technology Solutions has initiated a redundancy programme at its offices in Chessington, formerly the European headquarters of Bell Microproducts, after internally announcing plans to exit the building.

In a staff memo leaked to MicroScope, Avnet TS UK boss John Toal confirmed he was overseeing the next wave of changes - following last month's senior management appointments - as it seeks to realise cost savings.

"We are now closely looking at the rest of the UK structure," he said, "we have specific profitability targets, regrettably there will be some cuts to our current staffing levels and unfortunately some redundancies will be unavoidable."

"A number of functions will be centralised to Avnet's Bracknell office which will become the UK headquarters of the restructured business following the expiration of the lease on the Chessington building," he added.

The credit and finance function in the Surrey-based offices will move to Berkshire, the Systems Integrator team will transfer to Warrington while customer services will move to the logistics centre in Hamshall near Birmigham.

In the note, Toal asked staff to nominate employee representatives to voice any concerns through the 90-day consultation period that started on 18 October.

As previously revealed, the plan is to migrate onto Avnet's Frida ERP system by around February 2011, when the assets of Bell will be legally transferred to Avnet. The Bell brand has already disappeared.

In a statement sent to MicroScope, Toal said the changes were part of the integration plans announced back in July.
 
"These are difficult decisions that we do not take lightly and we will be fully supporting our employees throughout this process.

"At this point we cannot determine the total number of employees leaving the company because we will be seeking to redeploy where possible," he said.

There are circa 150 staff based in the Chessington office and around 70% are understood to live in the local area.


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