Guy who works part-time for the company and is minimum wage employee offers a suggestion that saves £1.5 million a year.
He gets a reward for it.
Mark Heslehurst, of Middlesbrough, suggested to bosses that Argos van drivers only use Sainsbury’s petrol stations to refuel after the supermarket chain took over the catalogue business in September.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Mr Heslehurst, a van driver for Argos, said after staff were emailed by Sainsbury’s chairman, Mike Coupe, to suggest ideas to help the firm cut costs, he pitched several ideas in an email.
The father-of-one claims he was subsequently invited to present his ideas to fast track delivery team at Argos’ HQ in Milton Keynes.
Mr Heslehurst, 52, said: ‘Some ideas they liked, some they discussed and some they rebuffed, which was fair enough. One which stuck was Argos vans using only Sainsbury’s petrol stations to refuel.
‘The Chairman of Argos wrote to me thanking me for my ideas. Five months later, a circular [email] was sent to all Argos workers informing them of the new policy to only fill up at Sainsbury’s petrol stations, as some but not all forecourts are 24 hours.’
Mr Heslehurst wrote to a senior manager at Sainsbury’s, who informed him a large number of vehicles were now only filling up at Sainsbury’s and this had saved the business around £1.5 million.
He said he was later called into the office and given a voucher of £10 as a token of thanks.
Mr Heslehurst added: ‘While the voucher was a nice gesture I was a bit irked by that because I’m a part time driver on minimum wage and I’m aware how much money the idea has saved them.’
Prior to working as a van driver, Mr Heslehurst ran his own business school, which had branches in the UK and France.
But after losing a contract with a major supplier for his business, which accounted for 70 per cent of the turnover, his marriage broke down and his wife, who is French Cambodian, left the country with their son for Cambodia.
Mr Heslehurst decided to step down from the business to try bring his son, Edward, now 14, home.
For legal reasons, he was unable to fight for custody through the courts and launched a campaign to raise awareness.
He gathered 100,000 signatures from his community and walked from Middlesbrough to London with the petition to submit it to Downing Street.
Unfortunately, nothing came of his efforts, however, two years ago, his ex-wife contacted him and he was able to bring Edward home to Britain.
Mr Heslehurst decided to take a part-time job so he could spend more time with Edward. However, as Edward is now older, Mr Heslehurst wants to ‘apply himself’ more.
He said: ‘I live in a one bedroom flat and have spent the last six years sleeping on a camp bed so my son can have his own room. He has everything that he could possibly want, but I would like to have a higher position to provide for him and I better.
‘I was kind of hoping there would be some advancement career-wise, so I am little disappointed.
‘I really do like my job – I enjoy working there and have met some brilliant people, I just thought there was a discrepancy between £1.5 million and £10.’
An Argos spokesperson said: ‘We always appreciate colleague feedback. On this occasion we already had the measures which were suggested in place.’
The MailOnline has contacted Sainsbury’s for comment.
Last year, Sainsbury’s bought Argos for £1.4billion.
At the time, it said it wanted to create a ‘food and non-food retailer of choice’ and was hoping to draw in more shoppers by using Argos’ click and collect service.
Sainsbury’s added it wants to bolster its financial services operations and offer a ‘wider range of customer-centric services’, including credit cards, loans and insurance.
Mr Coupe said last year: ‘Our customers want us to offer more choice and for that choice to be faster than ever, driven by the rise of mobile phone and digital technology. It will enhance both businesses in the way customers respond.’
On Monday, The Daily Mail revealed Sainsbury’s is aiming to purchase convenience chain Nisa for £130m.