Roadchef exits IBM Global Services for direct supplier relationships

Motorway services firm Roadchef ended an outsourcing deal with IBM Global Services when its IT was up for refresh and moved to SAP

Motorway services company Roadchef ended an outsourcing contract with IBM Global Services (IBM GS) when its IT was up for refresh and decided to move to SAP.

The company, which has about 3,000 employees, recently completed the refresh and insourcing project, which cost £4.5m, and is set to save £1.5m a year.

Nathan Sharkey, head of IT at Roadchef, said that in 2012 the company’s plan was to replace IT systems that had not evolved over a number of years. The ERP system needed to be replaced. Roadchef was using a Sage Line 500 ERP system and outsourced its IT to IBM GS.

“We went out to the market and looked at ERP systems to replace Sage Line 500,” said Sharkey. “We decided that SAP was the best fit for us.”

At the same time, Roadchef ended its relationship with IBM GS. It also carried out other projects, including the implementation of a wide area network and a desktop refresh. The company used different technology suppliers and brought IT management back in-house to its seven IT staff.

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Sharkey said the company wanted to work directly with different IT suppliers, rather than through an IT service provider. “From my experience, you get a better response if you work with people directly,” he said.

However, it did require an SAP implementation partner and chose HP Enterprise Services. Another IT supplier Roadchef is working directly with is software provider QlikView, which is providing business intelligence and analytics technology and support.

The project finished two months ago and Sharkey said the company is already seeing improvements in performance. “In terms of cost, we will see a £1.5m a year saving,” he said.

At the same time, Roadchef insourced its finance department, which had been run from India. This, combined with the IT insourcing, has created 25 jobs.

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