EC Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of fulfilment and distribution services. Based in Grays, Essex, the company stores and fulfils a range of goods on behalf of clients across a variety of sectors, including e-commerce, charity, print and promotions.
We were initially engaged by EC Group to undertake an IT operations review in the summer of 2016. This initial review identified the key issues that EC Group needed to prioritise. However, lack of bandwidth in the company’s small IT department meant that resolving these issues within the required timescales wasn’t going to be achievable.
“I wasn’t confident that IT was making sufficient progress to keep pace with the rest of the business,” says Chris Long, Managing Director at EC Group, “We operate in a fast-paced sector, and have plans to expand and grow the business – we couldn’t get where we wanted to be if left to our own devices.”
Overdue projects, including the replacement of out-of-date elements of its IT infrastructure and the review of key software and infrastructure support partner contracts, needed to be prioritised.
EC Group took on both an IT Operations Manager and an IT Project Manager on a full-time basis from us for four months. Both roles were focused on implementing the change agenda required to get IT operations back on track. The replacement of various IT systems, the provision of ongoing IT maintenance, and a tender process for finding a new infrastructure support partner were all undertaken.
We also provided a consultant in a project assurance role. Due to unforeseen circumstances the IT Operations Manager had to be replaced at short notice very early on in the project – we managed the handover and ensured that there was no disruption to planned activity. “I trusted you to come up with the right calibre of person for all three roles,” says Chris. “The project assurance offered real oversight and was key to the ongoing continuity and success of the project.”
“We certainly wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are now without the interim resources on board,” concludes Chris. “Our principal focus is meeting our clients’ requirements so our own IT projects, like infrastructure replacement, often take a back seat. I’m satisfied that we now have a fully up-to-date IT infrastructure, together with the systems and support partners that provide a solid platform for the growth of the business.”
Chris is quick to point out that these projects were never about delivering immediate cost savings – instead they’re viewed by EC Group as a long-term investment. “We’re in excellent shape now,” he says. “We’re committed to the ongoing work, building on what we’ve got, using the disciplines put in place by your interims.”