Transputec provides one-stop shop for Salvation Army's IT needs

THE CLIENT

The Salvation Army is a world-wide evangelical Christian Church which operates in 122 countries. It follows mainstream Christian beliefs and its articles of faith emphasis God's saving purposes.

The Movement was founded in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth, who took their message to the streets of London to help the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute. The Army aims to help the poor in practical, skilled and cost-effective ways. Its social services have evolved to meet endemic needs and specific crises worldwide.

The need for modernisation and longer-term development is under continual review. Increasingly the Army's policy and its indigenous membership allow it to cooperate with international relief agencies and governments alike.

The Salvation Army responds not only to disasters which receive worldwide media attention, but also to those which are sometimes forgotten by the wider world. Recent crises in which it has provided vital support include Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma), flooding in Romania and Moldova and the Phillippines conflict.


BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The Salvation Army's International Headquarters in London provides software for almost 50,000 users in the 122 countries in which the charity has a presence. It also needs hardware for its 150 staff based in its own offices in London and supplies laptops and networking equipment to help respond to humanitarian disasters worldwide.

Mark Calleran, The Salvation Army's Chief Information Officer, said: "Our emergency services department deals with humanitarian emergencies anywhere in the world, so we often need to get hold of equipment, such as laptops, software and networking, at very short notice to provide communications for our relief workers.

"We are currently looking at sending workers to Angola and Myanmar for the first time, and they will need a field headquarters linked into our worldwide network.

"As a charity, we have to be careful that our donors' money goes to help those it is intended to, so we need to work with suppliers who recognise this and are willing to squeeze their own channels and margins to give us the best deal possible."


THE SOLUTION

"Transputec is much more to us than a vendor of services," said Mark. "It forms a partnership with us.

"Gaye is always looking at ways of pressuring her channels and margins to get the best possible deal for us as a charity. "That's important for us, because our money is needed urgently around the world and we don't want to invest more than we need to into other company's profits."

Transputec deals not only with the large orders of computers or software, but also everyday replacements of everything from cabling to printer cartridges. Administrators at The Salvation Army call Tranputec with orders and requests several times a week, knowing that they will be dealt with quickly and at the best possible price.

The relationship is enhanced because only Gaye and a couple of other key staff work on The Salvation Army account.

"The fact that we deal only with a few key workers means we have that continuity of service that is so vital to a good business relationship," said Mark.


THE BENEFITS

"Transputec is much more to us than a vendor of services," said Mark. "It forms a partnership with us.

"Gaye is always looking at ways of pressuring her channels and margins to get the best possible deal for us as a charity.

"That's important for us, because our money is needed urgently around the world and we don't want to invest more than we need to into other company's profits."

Transputec deals not only with the large orders of computers or software, but also everyday replacements of everything from cabling to printer cartridges. Administrators at The Salvation Army call Tranputec with orders and requests several times a week, knowing that they will be dealt with quickly and at the best possible price.

The relationship is enhanced because only Gaye and a couple of other key staff work on The Salvation Army account.

"The fact that we deal only with a few key workers means we have that continuity of service that is so vital to a good business relationship," said Mark.