SME saves thousands with hosted service

Commercial gritting service Gritit has saved £40,000, reduced business risk and improved its effectiveness by outsourcing its IT and subsequently moving to a hosted model.

Commercial gritting service Gritit has saved £40,000, reduced business risk and improved its effectiveness by outsourcing its IT and subsequently moving to a hosted model.

The company which began life as a gritting service now supports businesses on their business risk plans.

Gritit is split into six UK regional operations and has 100 trucks spread across the UK, which are despatched to businesses when required.

The company has to co-ordinate multiple tasks such as monitoring weather, tracking vehicle movements and ensuring there are sufficient supplies of salt. But its IT was very basic and the company was operating inefficiently opening itself up to legal problems.

Employees were working purely on spreadsheets with a web e-mail system. There was no synchronisation of IT across the offices and no back-up of communications. Each individual was working in isolation.

"Processes were slow and efficiencies poor," said the company. "For such a complex task, relying on manual data management meant the risk of human error was high."

Because Gritit takes responsibility for any accidents on clients' sites, small errors could cost millions so they would be liable.

The company decided to outsource its IT department to services company Outsourcery via a hosted infrastructure. This way IT can scale with the business and it did not have to manage the IT itself, which would have been impossible with its limited IT resources.

Via the hosted model Gritit now has Microsoft Exchange 2007, Microsoft Sharepoint 2007, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 and Blackberry from Vodafone on a Total Business tariff.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

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