Ocado run the finest grocery delivery service in the UK. To deliver such a service, they have created highly complex processing and fulfilment systems at their warehouses to answer the needs of their customers and out-class the competition. They have several main distribution centres across the UK, then run several spoke sites from strategically placed locations.

Protecting the business

The unique processes and machinery that Ocado uses is highly complex and forms part of the automated solution that makes Ocado unique. Restricted access is therefore needed to prevent unauthorised staff seeing their unique processes. Ocado operate central distribution ‘hub’ and ‘spoke’ sites, which all require the same complex level of access control for all their staff, vehicles and visitors. What’s more, the entire system needed to be controlled from one central office control station.

The requirements:

  • Access control to secured areas
  • Intercom system (external) for all gates and barriers
  • Bespoke made vehicle posts, to match vehicle specifications
  • Vehicle barriers
  • Access control integrated with the fire alarm system
  • Six sites required including a main distribution centre
  • All access control links back to one main office

Who can do it? Silver Group of course!

Silver Group were contacted on a referral as they have a reputation for meticulous attention to detail, highly qualified multi discipline engineers and the full range of fire, automation and security skills. Having attended several meetings to scope out the requirements, Silver Group won the tender with a thorough cost effective plan.

How it was done

Access Control Systems were placed on a variety of doors in different locations. Varying levels of access control were applied to each individual, depending on their role and locational requirements throughout the warehouses. This ensured that members of staff could only access areas of their responsibility. The entire system across all sites was tied to a central database controlled at head office, giving total control of movement, and therefore protection of key procedures and essential assets.

Gates Barriers & External Doors were fitted with intercom systems and ANPR, so the entire vehicle logistics area could be tightly controlled. This allowed excellent management and movement of all deliveries to a tight and efficient schedule, making the drivers lives simpler and less stressful. All the vehicle barriers were installed, along with the ground and safety loops. These were then tested and deployed (this prevents accidents to cars and people with automatic listing barriers).

Bespoke Vehicle Posts – made-to-measure – Silver Group, with its partner metal fabricators, designed and manufactured the intercom posts to specification, installed them and then wired in all the intercom systems. All the Ocado vans are a particular make and drivers have certain procedures when entering and leaving their distribution centres. This meant that bespoke intercom posts needed to be manufactured. Silver Group commissioned these and finished them to Ocado’s brand guidelines.

Fire Safety with Access Control – is an essential part of any commercial distribution system. Even a small fire can stop operations for hours and with each Ocado driver seeing over 35 customers per day, and each centre having many dozens if not hundreds of drivers, it’s easy to see why it is vital to detect and control a fire without affecting operations. Silver group created an automated system, so that in the event of a fire, a series of actions occurred to safeguard staff, whilst opening doors, automatically opening vents and other cause and effect systems that aid in this specific type of event. This formed part of a wider fire strategy and operation plan that Silver Group implemented.

The Results

Silver Group is a trusted partner of Ocado, and forms a small team of individuals who can control the central access control and fire database at head office. Silver Group continue to work with Ocado on their new sites and head office, delivering essential access control and fire systems. The end result is an efficient and secure system which protects the businesses procedures and key assets whilst ensuring the safety of staff, visitors and goods.



I have always had a great experience with Silver Group, everyone from head office to the engineers, they are always very helpful.

Silver Group are available 24 hours a day and are always helpful, we cannot fault the service. The equipment is very easy to use but, if we do ever need any help, we know they are always there. We would recommend Silver Group to anyone.

Silver Group provide a professional, quick and efficient service. From the initial survey of the property to completion, all engineers and employees were polite, clean and informative. I would recommend that anyone looking for an AOV system speak to Silver Group.

Having used Silver Group for several years on many development projects, they have always been very thorough from design to install. Their advice has certainly saved us a few headaches!

Silver Group understood our needs and designed and installed a system that met those needs in an efficient and friendly manner, a job well done!