NJW Celebrating 25 Years
Like many small technology businesses, NJW Limited was getting its start 25 years ago.
Initially founded in a windowless basement in Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road with IBS Limited, NJW subsequently moved out to the old Second World War airfield huts at Membury to have more space but less rent.
In March 1993, NJW’s founder Nigel Warrick decided to start his own professional Computer Aided Design business supported by his long-standing partner Christine Foster, who managed the accounts. The other employees on the payroll were Graham Morris, a CAD Engineer and Jim Sugden an M&E CAD Engineer who are still with the company now.
Within weeks Honeywell commissioned NJW to provide CAD/CAFM and Cable Management services for all of their network infrastructure projects, providing a high-tech drawing office.
Honeywell customers needed more than Computer Aided Design plans and were rewarded with the first bi-directional relational databases denoted as Computer Aided Facility Management solutions.
The 1990’s marked the end not only of the century, but also the millennium. The internet changed the way we work and live. Economic growth was re-established, and the end of a lengthy recession was officially declared in April 1993. As a consequence, many corporates were investing in large construction projects.
Early CAD/CAFM projects working with both IBS Limited and Honeywell included MI5, MI6, The London Underwriting Centre, The Bank of England, Willis Carroon, British Airways, Abbey National, DoT, The Guardian, John Menzies, Scottish Nuclear, Shell, GSK, Pfizer and many others.
NJW Limited began to grow its own reputation within the property and facility management market place for both professional services and technology. International CAD/CAFM software companies started to use NJW professional services, and one noteworthy project was to survey ABRO Army Base Repair Organisation. This required 4 teams of NJW auditors to carry out building surveys and barcode 65000 assets spread across 12 military sites.
Famous organisation such as Sotheby’s, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the Welcome Foundation, London Clinic, Vodafone commissioned NJW directly to survey their buildings and convert the data into CAD/CAFM solutions.
In 2003 a step change in NJW’s fortunes came when pharmaceuticals corporates such as Astra Zeneca, Pfizer and GSK commissioned NJW to run onsite CAD/CAFM Space and change management teams.
These organisations had highly talented Real Estate and Operational individuals who wanted to push technological boundaries and consolidate big data for their global property portfolios. Such portfolios had multiple organisational hierarchies, thousands of staff, millions of assets and hundreds of buildings.
As such, a new, unique flexible ‘Top HAT’ web-based technology solution was required. It was fortunate that NJW had just hired a brilliant, visionary Senior Software Developer called Roy Bleeks who could translate NJW’s (OCP’s) Operational Control Procedures into java software code.
NJW as a consequence designed and developed a software platform called FOCAL365 winning new business customers. Roy is now (CRO) Chief Creative Director at NJW, still designing the ‘WOW’ factor for the NJW365 software progressive web applications.
THE NEXT DECADE
Over the next decade NJW professional services continued to be successful and grew in size, working from smarter offices in Hungerford and developing a European partnership with American company ‘TRIRIGA’ based in Las Vegas, who were eventually acquired by IBM. IBM TRIRIGA invented a new software medium called ‘IWMS,’ or ‘Integrated Workplace Management Solutions.’
This technology partnership and others opened up European and domestic IWMS projects such as Staffordshire University, Colt, Bristol NHS, Sheffield College, Suffolk NHS Trust, London Met University, HSBC, KIER, ING, NATS, Diamond Light Source, Merrill Lynch, NSPCC, American Red Cross, Kings College London, Nokia, Nortel and many others.
Honeywell sub-contracted the new Wembley Stadium and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium’s onsite mechanical and electrical drawing offices to NJW, managed by Associate Director, Jim Sugden and a NJW onsite team.
Six years ago, NJW was sitting on a very successful IWMS professional services business but the IWMS market was getting more competitive with other technology companies and large Facility Management companies beginning to offer the service.
Everyone was investing in the ‘IoT,’ Internet of Things, and embracing software applications to support their varied business operations.
Customers were faced with multiple technology solutions and service providers creating terabytes of un-associated data, whereas NJW had already successfully developed and delivered FOCAL365 to sit on top of these. It sat as a data warehouse and produced meaningful property, facilities and asset management analytics.
NJW approached Sodexo, a French food services and facilities management company headquartered in Paris. The company is one of the world’s largest multinational corporations, with 420,000 employees with revenues of €15.3 billion.
Sodexo’s CIO Kevin Fitzpatrick, who was the Director of Operational Excellence, embraced the potential of FOCAL365 to be utilised as a client facing analytical and operational solution.
Working with Sodexo and their customers’ positive reaction to FOCAL365 gave NJW the confidence to purchase Goldwell House, a grade 2 listed mansion in Newbury, built in 1740.
It also gave the opportunity for the company to undertake the transformation from being predominantly a IWMS professional services company to becoming a software company.
This new journey required four years of financial investment, a new management team, research and development progress, new operational procedures, quality control mechanisms and a larger software development team.
A strong friendship and working relationship evolved not only between Sodexo and NJW but also between Nigel and Kevin. It was by pure coincidence that Nigel had found a talented, senior officer with strategic IT skills who could be trusted to manage NJW’s new journey.
Sodexo reluctantly released Kevin to become NJW’s Chief Operating Officer over 4 years ago.
NJW has always had talented, loyal staff. Several individuals who have flourished in recent years are Business Commercial Director Trudie Jedynak, CTO Graham Morris, CXO James Gould, and Project Director Debbie Taylor. Each have been instrumental in supporting NJW’s ascent as world class company.
Today, NJW has won new multi-million-pound customers such as Transport for London, ISS, Fidelity, Allied Irish Bank, Office of Public Works, Wolverhampton City Council and JLL.
NJW is fit for purpose more than ever as the company rapidly expands into new horizons including the United States.
As NJW marks its 25th year in business, we acknowledge and thank all of our employees; the many talented and dedicated people who service our customers well and make this Newbury company great.
NJW staff celebrated the occasion and successes with a VIP day at Newbury Races on Saturday 21st of April 2018.