Awarded Ireland’s ‘Fastest Growing Brand’ 2015 and Ireland’s ‘Most Improved Brand’ 2016 in the Checkout National FMCG Awards, Ireland’s #1 Ham Brand (Kantar World Panel, Jan 2017) and a market leader in ready meals, Carroll Cuisine is a household name in Ireland.
The company was founded in 1979 and like many businesses, Carroll Cuisine relied on technology installed by several different providers in stages over many years. Some of the hardware, such as its old PABX phone system, was over a decade old. Though originally fit for purpose, these systems were showing their age in the face of company growth.
Communications are essential to Carroll Cuisine. The company has long-standing relationships with meat suppliers and it needs to stay in contact with them. In a competitive market, missing a call from a farmer or a delay in responding to an email, could mean the difference between securing supply and missing out on what is needed to keep up production. “As our business grew, we were having some difficulty keeping everything running as smoothly as we would have liked. Trying to get all of the different technology providers together was problematic, leading to downtime and service issues,” explains Niall Corcoran, Head of IT at Carroll Cuisine.
After one of their providers suffered a service outage lasting more than 48 hours, Carroll Cuisine knew a new provider was needed. Landline phones and internet connections are critical to the company and it could not risk more interruptions.
Carroll Cuisine chose Three Ireland, having been impressed with the levels of service, the close working relationship with account managers, and the range of products that would meet its needs in future. Three upgraded the broadband connection at the company’s Tullamore headquarters to a Wireless Leased Line (WLL). This dedicated link provides connectivity to Carroll Cuisine’s data centre, phone system, email and internet. Carroll Cuisine uses cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to run the business, which makes reliable, high-speed broadband connectivity critical. As business needs change at the company, Three can add more capacity to the connection as needed. “The WLL connection is at the core of our business and it is of great benefit to have the reliability and support that Three provides on such a critical piece of hardware,” says Corcoran.
Three also upgraded the landline phone system at Carroll Cuisine from the old PBX to Three’s cloud telephony solution, 3Connect. The old system was extremely difficult and costly to maintain, and didn’t allow the flexibility needed to change call flows in the sales and distribution team. 3Connect delivers this flexibility at the click of a mouse, as users can easily manage the system through a web portal. “The functions that are available to us now with 3Connect, enable our departments to run much more smoothly. The reporting tools available to us and the cost savings are of great benefit to management and accounting,” says Corcoran.
The third stage of the project saw Three migrate all Carroll Cuisine’s mobile phones to the Three network. Additionally, about 150 devices including tablets, handheld point-of-sale (POS), broadband modems, delivery vehicle temperature monitors, and alert systems, are now fitted with Three SIMs providing reliable Three network connectivity. This lets them quickly identify any abnormal spending on their plans. The Observations panel in 3Analyst highlights excessive usage and lets managers see spending overruns in moments. They can also see if the cost was due to inadvertent use of premium services. Managers can also get an automatic monthly report for their team.
Carroll Cuisine has seen significant cost and productivity benefits thanks to the new WLL, 3Connect and switching to the Three network. Consistently high uptime of its critical systems is enabling the business to keep working and growing. “From a personal perspective, working in IT, I can say the service levels from Three are excellent,” says Corcoran.
Communication has been essential to cementing the partnership between Carroll Cuisine and Three.
Since switching system providers to Three, the company has realised substantial savings in addition to getting better service. 3Connect has delivered cost reductions of up to 50%. What’s more, its fixed price per seat per month means the company now enjoys predictable, regular costs and did not need to make a large upfront investment.
“The choice of Three over other providers was a simple one,” Corcoran adds. “Simply put, we were impressed by what Three could offer. The solution they proposed matched our requirement exactly. We now have a system in place that covers all of our business communication needs in our main facility, and also nationwide by our sales and distribution fleet. All of this being supplied by a single provider is greatly beneficial to IT and also from an accounting perspective, as the costs are less than when we were dealing with multiple providers.”
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