Case Studies : Ginsters
Ginsters is the UK brand provider of the chilled savoury pastry market and is one the nation’s favourite brand of snack food. Located in Callington, Cornwall, the Ginster family founded the company in 1968 and with a staff of 30 people the family produced hand crimped Cornish Pasties.
Since being acquired in 1977 by Samworth Brothers Limited, Ginsters has grown from strength to strength and now employs over 750 staff producing over 2.5 million products a week. Today Ginsters is firmly recognised as an established leading brand and is constantly looking for new innovative ways to ensure customer satisfaction.
Like all businesses, Ginsters places great store in its commitment to quality, both in its products and its operations. The company has recently invested in a new IT Service Desk system from Sunrise, Sostenuto IT Service Management ITSM, to support 2000 employees across the group’s 17 operational and distribution sites.
Streamlining work processes with ITIL
Ginsters selected Sunrise’s Sostenuto software for its modular functionality and easy-to-use interface and configurability, following a review of several shortlisted solutions.
Fran Reilly, IT Service Desk Manager at Ginsters’, said; "Until we implemented Sostenuto ITSM we had no way to track user calls or to meet our KPIs. We liked the look of Sunrise’s software as it had a straightforward user interface and it is relatively easy to configure to our needs, while still allowing us to adapt to ITIL(R) best practice processes. Its modular structure also means that we can readily adapt it to support the needs of other service departments.
"We also really liked the Iguana self-service web portal, to enable our end users to log and track their own queries independently. It has enabled us to provide a really flexible and accessible way to support our end users, freeing our agents to focus on resolving issues."
The investment was initiated by the IT team, which was finding it increasingly difficult to manage requests from IT users across the business, whether located in its manufacturing sites, head office or its distribution and sales offices. IT support was fragmented, with incoming emails and calls for service or support dealt with in an unstructured way, with no clear record of outcome.
Requests for new equipment or changes to existing equipment were made on paper forms which were signed and passed to the IT team for action. Tracking progress and completing requests was both time consuming and difficult to monitor. Recognising the need for automated processes and clear audit trails, the IT team took the decision to investigate Service Desk systems that could help them record, track and manage requests and enable them to report back to the business on KPIs.
"Our workload is now much easier to manage," said Chris Hargraves, IT Director at Ginsters. "We have changed the structure of our department to provide 1st, 2nd and 3rd line support. With Sostenuto we can allocate calls and tasks to different lines of support according to workloads and can track progress to completion with a full audit trail. It helps us to manage individual workloads as well as identify training needs for our agents, which we simply couldn’t do before."
Smooth rollout helps get end users on board
The IT team installed Sostenuto in January 2011, phasing the roll out to users across the different parts of the business over a period of six months. The team invested a lot of time informing the different parts of the business, to clearly communicate the benefits of the new way of working prior to full scale adoption.
"The installation of Sostenuto was smooth and straightforward and achieved very quickly with the help of the Sunrise team," explained Hargraves. "We then wanted to take the time to roll out in a measured way to ensure a clear understanding and adoption of the system amongst our end users and ensure its success."
As well as supporting the 750 employees that work for Ginsters, the IT team of 15 also provides a support service to staff in other parts of the Samwell Brothers business. In total, the team supports over 2000 employees located across four manufacturing sites, Westward Laboratories, which provides microbiological and chemical testing for the food industry and fifteen distribution and sales offices.
Self-service portal gets top marks in end user survey
Currently Sostenuto is used for Incident Management and Knowledge Management, with plans to introduce Change Management over the next six months. All staff log and track their own support or service calls using the Iguana self-service portal, accessed via a short cut on their desktop.
Feedback on the self-service portal has been very positive, with annual survey results indicating that it has contributed to users having an improved IT experience overall.
"The self service portal means that all our users have full visibility of their own incidents – what they have logged and the status," explained Reilly. "Since using Sostenuto we have been able to prioritise and deal with calls much more efficiently, providing a much better, quicker service, with the same resources.
"We have been able to draw reports on our activities and feedback against our KPIs to the business and include feedback from our annual user survey. Over 80% of users are using the portal, with more than 60% claiming it has improved their overall experience of using IT."
The ability to increase efficiencies and improve the end user service has not only fed into the KPIs, but also enables the IT team to look at continuous improvement. They have been able to collate common problems experienced by users and identify where training may be required, recommending appropriate actions.
Sharing best practice across the organisation
The success of Sostenuto has encouraged the IT team to recommend how other support functions within the business might benefit from adopting a similar approach.
"We have had tremendous support from Sunrise over the past eighteen months," said Reilly. "With the benefits we have seen there is no doubt other teams could adopt the ITIL service desk approach and improve efficiencies companywide."
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Ginsters is a company based in Callington in Cornwall, in the south-west of England. The biggest selling pasty maker in the UK, it specialises in making mass-produced pasties, sausage rolls, sandwiches, pasta bowls and other savoury snacks.
About Sunrise Software:
Sunrise was founded in 1994 and is an independent provider of Service Management solutions for internal and external facing IT service operations. In 2003 they launched Sostenuto, a process driven, entirely browser based solution. Their customer base includes blue chip and public sector organisations.
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013