The firm employs almost 7,000 people with 390 branches across the UK, and its commitment to technology has seen it develop an impressive internal IT team, developing their own software and web services.
The team has now reached capacity at CEF’s Meadowfield offices, and work is soon to begin on a new IT, data and marketing centre on the land directly opposite.
Pauline Kirk, head of IT for CEF, said: "Over the years, the innovation we have brought to the industry has all been driven by our own team of highly skilled IT professionals and software developers. Our systems and services are unique in the industry and this has all been developed from within our business.
"We try to do as much as possible in house with our own team. We manage our own data centers and don’t buy off the shelf software or websites – we develop it ourselves to ensure it meets the exact requirements of our business and our customers.
"Most people would not think of electrical wholesaling as an industry to work in if you are a software developer or IT specialist, but in fact we have a growing team of 70 all bringing innovation to the way we run our business."
The 10-acre site was acquired earlier this year and planning permission has now been granted for the £10m build. The design brief, met by Newcastle based FaulknerBrowns Architects, was to develop a cutting edge building, which would provide quality work space in the North East while also reflecting the company’s industry and heritage.
Main contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, won the tender to bring the design to life and will break ground on site soon.
Steve McIntyre, partner at FaulknerBrowns said: "It has been great to work with Pauline and the whole CEF team. From the beginning of the project they have encouraged us to develop a contemporary workplace solution which embodies and reflects their drive and commitment for innovation. The building we’ve designed reinforces this culture and will provide the ideal workplace to allow them to support their growing business".
Ashley Dale from Sir Robert McAlpine said: "Sir Robert McAlpine is proud to be part of the team working to deliver this superb new IT Headquarters that will help CEF build for the future."
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