£30m outsourcing deal boosts Magnet's IT

A £30m outsourcing deal at furniture retailer Magnet has allowed the company’s IT department to innovate and boost competitive...

A £30m outsourcing deal at furniture retailer Magnet has allowed the company’s IT department to innovate and boost competitive advantage rather than simply operate systems.

The project, which has seen IT, finance and accounting functions outsourced to services firm Liberata, has made the IT department central to the success of the business, said Marc Bertrand, human resources director at Magnet.

“The IT function internally had become very reactive and driven by issues such as system failure,” he said. “Outsourcing will allow IT to become more strategic, delivering solutions to improve the business.”

The Liberata contract, which was negotiated by outsourcing consultants Orbys, has helped Magnet overcome technical issues it would not otherwise have been able to do, Bertrand said.

“We wanted to put a broadband network in our stores, but BT does not offer broadband in some town centres as not enough people live there,” he said. “Liberata overcame this by providing an IP-based service which its runs from its business centre.”

By outsourcing its non-core activities to Liberata, Magnet will be able to focus on improving sales and customer service, Bertrand said.

“We want to focus on our core activities, because as a retailer and manufacturer our business is complicated enough as it is,” he said. “We will measure the success of the project on how well we cut costs, improve efficiency and customer service.”

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