Camgrain is a farmer-owned co-operative established in 1983. Co-operative members across the UK benefit from Camgrain’s network of advanced processing centres that link its farmer members to the UK’s food supply chain. Members enjoy a safe and secure society with economies of scale for the collection and processing of their grain giving a route to premium value added markets not available ex-farm.
Camgrain relies heavily on IT infrastructure and applications to ensure grain is stored cost-effectively and distributed on schedule. Andrew Wingate, head of business systems, is responsible for all IT projects within Camgrain’s three business units.
During the UK combinable crop harvest Camgrain becomes a 24-hour operation. Andrew needed an IT service that could run 24/7/365 and provide users with varying IT access and equipment.
“The number of IT users doubles in size during harvest season. Some staff require a full desktop while others only need a phone and email access. As we are reliant on IT and applications across all aspects of harvesting, IT uptime is critical for all staff – from lorry drivers to lab technicians – having access to the tools they need to do their jobs” says Andrew. “It’s also crucial for members, the owners of the society, who are accustomed to 24/7 access to their account information and grain delivery reports”.
Camgrain needed an IT service that could provide round the clock support but also carefully balance cost, risk and value for money to society owners.
Andrew looked at a variety of IT providers. “Too smaller organisations have an increased element of risk whereas it felt like you start to lose the personal touch when dealing with the larger national scale organisations. The service and support are critical in allowing our staff to be effective and for Camgrain to keep its promises to its members”.
Andrew discovered London-based ExcelRedstone Managed Services after checking the Software Advisory Board. But could an outsourced IT supplier check all the boxes? Reliable IT? 24/7/365 support? Cost-effective and value for money?
The answer was yes.
To provide Camgrain with maximum uptime ExcelRedstone offers a 99.9% uptime SLA, 24-hour network monitoring and management and a 4-hour hardware fix and replace service. Plus ExcelRedstone’s fully managed IT platform is replicated to ensure any disruption in service is minimal to keep Camgrain’s infrastructure and applications online at all times.
The ‘Service First’ approach from ExcelRedstone could fulfil Andrew’s 24/7 support requirement. Camgrain has a relationship team with a technical account manager and site visits from a dedicated technical engineer as required. Plus a service desk operating 24/7/365 direct to a second line engineer. This would give Andrew peace of mind: “UK-based support is convenient for us and we rely on the knowledge that support is dealt with within the SLA timeframe”.
Andrew found the flexible contract was a good fit for Camgrain. It means Camgrain only pays for the number of users and services provided – matching the needs of seasonal demand. Andrew says “We pay fairly and correctly for our IT support usage and this, in turn, makes sure our members get the best value for money from us”.
The transition process to ExcelRedstone Managed Services was very smooth says Andrew: “I cannot thank the managed services team enough for a seamless transition. All the team made a massive effort and for Camgrain staff, it was just another day at work like nothing had happened.”
“For anyone looking to switch IT providers, one of the top concerns is transition. ExcelRedstone does this really well, they onboard quickly and conveniently, the dashboard is great and so is the service support. I was able to build up my trust in the team in a short period of time.”
Camgrain’s IT infrastructure is now able to keep pace with its growing business and have round the clock support 365 days of the year. Camgrain’s members get value for money as the business benefits from flexible IT contracts matching the seasonal demands of the co-operative.