Palmer and Harvey is one of the UK’s leading wholesale distributors. Established 90 years ago, it has a £4billion turnover, 15 regional depots, and a fleet of 1000 vehicles which serve more than 88,000 UK retail outlets.
Palmer and Harvey wanted to utilise Crimson’s managed IT services to harness the potential of its mission critical sourcing system.
Crimson took on the challenge of man-managing key stakeholders, taking ownership of an extensive range of business processes, and providing business and software solutions that protect the wholesale distributor against market changes.
Crimson began by conducting an extensive knowledge transfer project with the Palmer and Harvey IT team, to provide the company with additional sourcing options.
Crimson’s team of specialist IT consultants integrated with Palmer and Harvey’s existing project team, at their Head of Office, so they could develop a deep understanding of their operational processes, analyse the support provided by the mission critical system, and extract key information.
Once all the key information was collated, Crimson documented the processes to create an online knowledge base using SharePoint. This was made available to all members of the Palmer and Harvey IT team and has become a blueprint for the project. It continues to evolve as the system changes according to the needs of the business.
Prior to starting the project, Crimson worked with the Palmer and Harvey to ensure the company had its own internal communications plan set up, that key stakeholders had been briefed, and that their responsibilities had been assigned from the onset.
This meant that when Crimson started to report back the knowledge it had obtained about the system, Palmer and Harvey offered an active audience which was already supporting the project.
Four members of the Crimson consultancy team worked together with the Palmer and Harvey IT team and senior business figures to outline structured processes, review existing documentation, and ensure that the knowledge base could be easily understood, redistributed and shared.
Palmer and Harvey has reported an improved service from its mission critical business solution, after implementing managed IT services from Crimson.
Crimson now provides 24/7 support for Palmer and Harvey’s mission critical business system.
The company is continuing to work closely with Palmer and Harvey to evolve the system to support any changes in the company’s business processes, and to ensure that the system is still a reliable, high performing foundation for the business.
Ken Pearce, Director of IT at Palmer and Harvey explained: “Our IT systems are supporting the continuous growth of the company.
“The key to this project for us was not just the knowledge transfer, but the fact that Crimson is sustaining our existing platform to help us experience an improved service.
“With Crimson’s support, we have been better able to satisfy the business requirements. With our knowledge base documented, we can now evolve this as we evolve our system.
“As your business technology grows, you end up in a difficult position; your technology is no longer small and nimble enough to leverage the latest trends. It pays to seek external support, as we did with Crimson, to re-evaluate how you are using your core system, update processes, and help everyone in your business engage with your system.
“Sometimes, IT can be perceived as a cost rather than a benefit to a business and this should never be the case. Working with Crimson is helping us continue to perceive our IT as a benefit, and making us aware of additional sourcing options.”
Ian Price, IT Consultant at Crimson, explained: “The mission critical business system at Palmer and Harvey has been customised to support the company’s extensive business processes.
“Before we could begin to perform a knowledge transfer with the rest of the team and deliver a managed service supported by measures, it was essential that we understood the system inside out: how it responded to individual requests, how it supports these processes, and the workflows behind it.”
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