Prior to upgrading the service from two days a week to full time cover, Belron® put the contract out to tender. "As it was sensible to review the market we conducted a proper benchmarking appraisal," said Phil. "After approaching a number of providers we were pleased to upgrade Transputec's contract. They outperformed other bidders in terms of experience and sheer range of skills but they also offered a proven track record in remote user support, a very important part of the spec." As Transputec now provides a fully managed service, Belron® no longer retains its own in-house support team.
Peter Finnegan, Senior Technical Consultant, is Transputec's main onsite representative. Permanently based at Richmond, he provides day to day IT cover and works alongside the Belron staff. Peter is responsible for all support and maintenance, from simple printer malfunctions to more serious trouble shooting such as server failure. A supply of spare parts is maintained onsite so that repairs can be carried out quickly and easily with minimum disruption to the business.
Support requests are logged via the Transputec helpdesk and relayed back onsite although inevitably staff will approach Peter directly. "Peter and his colleagues are very approachable and responsive in fielding a diverse and sometimes unusual range of requests from the staff.
They have a good deal of autonomy so they just get on with the job - the ability to escalate an issue back to the guys at Transputec means I don't need to get involved." This leaves Phil free to concentrate on his primary responsibilities - managing large-scale projects and strategic IT initiatives for the Group.
When necessary additional resources are deployed by Transputec to meet increased workload demands and to provide holiday cover. There are also visits to users working at home and some out of hours support: "Transputec's flexible costing structure means we can arrange weekend support when we need it, even at very short notice
According to Phil, the most important benefit of the FM package is cost: "We conduct cost reviews quite regularly and by any calculation the Transputec service is cheaper than anything we could maintain in-house. When we take into account staff overheads such as salaries, training, holidays, sick leave and other absence cover we just couldn't match the Transputec service." Additional savings result from purchasing equipment and supplies through Transputec." Through their management of all supplies, spares and warranty we gain the advantage of a discounted procurement channel. That also keeps our admin costs low."
The ability to draw on such a wide range of skills and know how is also an important advantage of FM. "Maintaining a high level of intellectual capital in-house is very costly whereas now we can tap into specialised and diverse pool of expertise as and when we need it," said Phil.
Facilities management can also avoid some of the efficiency pitfalls associated with complex IT departmental structures. "I don't think we've ever suffered from the gatekeeper syndrome at Belron but we all know it's very common. FM provides a mechanism to avoid the kind of political baggage that can get in the way of delivering IT effectively. It's in Transputec's interests to be as efficient and effective as possible which means we benefit from a consistently high level of service quality." Phil concluded: "Transputec's facilities management service provides a comprehensive, high quality package of specialised support at a cost we couldn't beat in-house."