Timewade & Fleet Components
We recently caught up with James Tout, Assistant Manager of Fleet Components. He also heads up the IT side of the business, working closely with Timewade to ensure that from an IT perspective everything runs smoothly and is a streamlined, ‘well-oiled machine’. Fleet Components specialises in truck & trailer components, consumables, engineering services & solutions, so staying on the cutting edge to offer the best service, is imperative.
James, let’s start with a little background on Fleet Components and how you came to use Timewade for your IT requirements?
We supply commercial vehicle parts to large fleets and owner drivers, we operate out of six depots across the South West. Timewade approached us because we previously had an IT company that let us down with loss of data, no proactive maintenance, poor machine upgrade planning and essentially a lack of knowledge of new products. In 2016 we had a chat with Julian and Jordan from Timewade to see how they could help us, and it has grown from there.
Could you give us a brief overview of the Fleet Components set up and how the business works with Timewade to provide support across all your depots in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall?
Prior to Timewade, our IT infrastructure was very dated, and back-ups would never happen, which is what led to us wanting to change, as we had an instance where we lost data when a server went down. We now have a much more up to date infrastructure with Timewade, which allows us to budget our IT spend for the year and they offer very good coverage over the South West.
They support us remotely and if they can’t help us remotely, are quite happy to drive out to our sites. The problem we had before Timewade, was that only certain of our sites were visited which left many of them unsupported. We are a reactive business in a reactive industry, waiting for people to ring us, so with Timewade’s support we are able to get back to our customers more quickly.
We no longer experience IT dropouts at depots, and all our data is live. Prior to moving to Timewade, everything was done on a ‘previous day’ basis. Essentially, we are able to act a lot more quickly in getting a response to our customers from a pricing and availability point of view, which gives us the upper hand, because normally the first person back, gets the job.
So, when you say you are reactive, what does that mean?
Essentially, we only get contacted when something goes wrong and someone is needing a part for a vehicle or truck that has broken down. Businesses can’t afford to have their trucks off the road, so we try and tailor our stock to suit customer needs.
We do carry a lot of the stock on the shelf and can arrange that the rest comes in by the next day. A large part of managing our stock is identifying that need. This can be tricky with HGVs but with the more advanced IT systems that Timewade have installed is has helped us become more efficient and we are doing a lot more online.
This has meant we can react a lot quicker – being able to get onto supplier sites, being able to process orders and generally being able to manage everything that goes on.
How has a more strategic approach to IT support impacted your business?
The key thing is having a ‘roadmap’ or guide in place- being able to plan and forecast and having a budgeted costing for IT spend.
How has the relationship moved from Timewade being your IT Service Provider into more of a partnership between the two businesses?
Essentially, Timewade are another ‘employee’ to us, but rather than us paying for one staff member to manage our IT, we now have a multitude of people at Timewade, supporting us. Before Timewade, everything was reacting to a failure rather than being proactive.
Do you interact with Timewade on a regular basis, do your staff interact with their staff?
Our IT spend incorporates proactive visits from either Jordan or Mario (Timewade IT Consultants ), they will come to site and basically review our systems and complete IT maintenance tasks. They sit in the office with us; they don’t disturb us but if they need any clarification, we are here to help. They are part of the team, they join in on the banter and we give it back to them as well.
What do Fleet Components value about the partnership with Timewade?
Their knowledge, their finger is on the pulse with new products and just the fact that our data is safe and secure. It’s been proven to us that our data can be recovered at any stage if something were to happen. Essentially it is an insurance that we don’t lose that data and that we can continue running our business efficiently.
On the disaster recovery side of things, they commit to getting us back up and running as quickly as possible, they will have us back up within an hour or two. It is security, at the end of the day, and keeps us running as an efficient business, staying ahead of the game.
If you would like to know more about how we can become part of your IT Solution, please call us on 01392367676
or jump online at www.timewade.com