Cranswick Convenience Foods adoption of mobile technology: the proof is in the pudding

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East Yorkshire-based Cranswick plc was formed by farmers in the early 1970s to manufacture pig feed.  The company expanded through organic and acquisitive growth and now operates in two areas: food and pet ood products.  

Today, Cranswick plc has successful partnerships with all major UK supermarkets. The company has diversified over the years into the production and delivery of pet products and tropical fish.

The Challenge

As a large, fast growing business, Cranswick Convenience Foods required a cost effective mobile communications package which would enable its employees to communicate with one another and with customers quickly and effectively, wherever they were.

With senior employees constantly on the move, we needed a complete mobile communications package to enable them to work remotely and access email away from the office, says Matt Benson, Group IT Manager, Cranswick plc.

The Solution 

Cranswick Convenience Foods purchased 34 T-Mobile Mobile Broadband USB Sticks to replace data cards.  These devices have provided staff with quick, easy access to the internet via their laptops while on the road.  A range of T-Mobile BlackBerry Smartphones including the 8800, the Curve and the Pearl were also handpicked to suit the varying requirements and preferences of employees. T-Mobile created a bespoke tariff for Cranswick which reflected the exact needs of the company for both voice and data and ensured expenditure could be easily controlled. 

We were attracted to T-Mobile, not only because of the package it put together for us, but also because it offered the right level of advice we needed when choosing devices, says Benson.  By catering to the different demands of various employees and ensuring they had the right mobile solution, we found that our job was a lot easier when it came to staff buying in to the concept of mobile working.

The Benefits

Strong network coverage

Cranswick plc required strong and consistent network access, due to the widespread location of its offices across the UK.  T-Mobile offered the best voice and data network access on the market.

One of the key things we were looking for when choosing a mobile communications partner was a strong data offering, and we found T-Mobiles was second to none.  We rate its network coverage very highly indeed and, importantly, the speeds which T-Mobile promised have been delivered.  Furthermore, the ease of access means that it doesnt matter where they are in the country, if our staff need to access the internet while visiting a supplier for example, they can without the worry that network coverage will be weak, says Benson.

Responsiveness

Cranswick is committed to providing the best possible customer service to clients, and having the right mobile communications in place is a key part of this. Those who spend time out on the road and travelling on the continent have found that having access to the internet and email while out of the office has increased their ability to respond to clients and made a real difference to their working lives.

Access to mobile broadband has been of real benefit to us as a business.  We can now answer queries and solve problems in an instant without being restricted to the office. For instance, I was recently in Germany when I had to resolve an IT problem quickly for a colleague back in the UK.  Luckily I was equipped with a T-Mobile Mobile Broadband USB Stick and so I was able to fix the issue in real time.  Without it, I wouldnt have been able to resolve the issue until I had returned home, says Benson.

Greater Flexibility

Any changes within a company require buy-in from staff to ensure success.  Having the ability to work remotely, while still staying in touch with colleagues and clients has allowed employees far greater flexibility, a key ingredient in the success of the scheme.

Whereas before mobile working was a nice-to-have, now our employees are seeing the flexibility these devices offer them in terms of managing workload, responding to requests and utilising any downtime.  Senior management have found their working lives have become much easier.  For example, using their USB Stick they can check data and information in their car prior to a meeting with a supplier.  It just takes the worry away that you need to have all the information to hand before you leave the office, comments Benson.

The future

Having initially rolled out mobile technology primarily to senior level executives, Cranswick plc is committed to extending its mobile working capabilities to more employees.  At the same time, it is continually looking for new technologies and is working with T-Mobile to determine the next step for its mobile communications offering.

As mobile working becomes increasingly popular within our organisation, we will be continually reassessing whether we have the right technology in place to suit the changing demands of our employees.  Weve been hugely impressed with the quality of service offered by T-Mobile and we plan to work closely with our Account Manager moving forward, concludes Benson.

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