Hobbycraft are the largest arts and crafts retailer in the UK with 90 stores nationwide. Hobbycraft has a strong appetite for growth; in the last five years alone it has opened 40 stores and there are more in the pipeline. A 250,000 sq. ft distribution centre in Burton-upon-Trent reflects their large-scale operation, with stores across the UK, from Truro to Inverness.
Hobbycraft deliberately keep their IT department small. The team consists of just eight staff managing IT systems in all stores, the distribution centre, head office systems and website. It is imperative that their IT support and services is co-serviced with a trusted IT outsourcing provider.
Mike Thomas, IT Director: “My job involves looking at how we continue to improve the performance of the business through IT and the only we can do this is working with a partner like Transputec.”
Hobbycraft recently reviewed their cybersecurity measures and although the outcome was positive, they felt there was some room for improvement. With the help of Transputec, they are now deploying a software tool called ThreatSpike which monitors suspicious or unusual activity internally within the network and enables Hobbycraft to trace that activity.
Andy Elston, IT Infrastructure Manager: “When the WannaCry ransomware attack happened, we got a call from Transputec and by the following morning all our XP machines were patched and resolved. There’s no way we could have achieved that on our own.”
Mike Thomas: “I consider Transputec as an extension of my technical team. Transputec will field calls related to hardware or network issues. We have worked with them for three years and have just extended the contract for a further three years."
“They are very responsive and proactive, picking up on issues before we realise we have an issue. I haven’t known a time over the last three years when Transputec haven’t responded quickly and effectively. We feel like we are an important customer, in some respects like the only customer.”