Case Study: Pooch & Mutt
Pooch & Mutt benefit from a Microsoft and Complete I.T. “Techover”
In 2014 Microsoft announced a competition for two organisations to win a ‘techover’ worth £10,000. Microsoft asked Complete I.T. to deliver the upgrade for one of the winners, Pooch and Mutt, to enable them to take advantage of the latest technologies.
When Pooch & Mutt, a leading UK supplier of healthy dog foods, treats and supplements, found their business was outgrowing their technology, Microsoft and Complete I.T. helped them refresh their systems with a modern joined-up solution including Microsoft 365 and Windows devices. Now with email, documents, video conferencing and instant messaging accessible on all their devices, the team face no restrictions on where and how they work. They can keep connected to suppliers and agents all over the world, share news instantly with customers and stay focused on growing their thriving, award-winning business.
When Pooch & Mutt founder Guy Blaskey’s dog was diagnosed with a degenerative hip disease, he discovered there were no high quality dog supplements available on the market to help. So he decided to start Pooch & Mutt, a thriving small business that manufactures and sells a range of grain-free, hand-made dog foods, hand-baked treats and natural health supplements to help dogs lead a happier, healthier life. That was back in 2008 and today the business is growing fast, recognised as a leading supplier of high quality, tasty products and multiple award-winner. Selling its products through supermarkets, pet chains, high street retailers and direct to the customer online, Pooch & Mutt is run by a team of eight in the UK, a growing network of distributors all over the world, and ‘Pepper’ the office dog.
Challenge – Old IT, restricted collaboration
Pooch & Mutt needs to be reactive, make decisions fast and always present a professional image to customers and suppliers. Like many small businesses, they’d added new hardware and software each time someone new was hired. Over time, that created a real mix of devices and software. Without up-to-date applications and communications tools, it was getting harder to work effectively on the move and keeping close contact with agents and suppliers overseas was virtually impossible. With an office expansion planned in the near future, Guy became concerned that team communication would dwindle without a joined-up IT toolset; plus there was an ever-present danger around back-up and information security.
Guy recalls, “Each time we hired someone we’d buy a new PC and then muddle through using collaboration applications really designed for home use. No-one was running on the same system and it was becoming unmanageable and impossible for us to each work effectively from any location.”
The Solution – Connected modern technology for anywhere working
Complete I.T. knows that business is about people and success is achieved when people have the tools they need to achieve their best. Complete I.T. spent time with Pooch & Mutt, getting to know the team and how they each liked to work. Armed with this insight and a view of where Guy wanted to take the business in the future, Complete I.T. recommended a joined-up solution using the very latest applications, devices and cloud services including modern Windows PCs, portable Surface Pro 3 devices and Lumia smartphones, coupled with Microsoft 365 for email, Microsoft Office and communication and collaboration tools.
Following a series of planning sessions, Complete I.T. set-up the Microsoft Office 365 accounts, installing all software on the new PCs, Surface Pro 3 and Lumia Smartphone devices. All historical data was migrated from the old hardware into the new secure, cloud-based environment, while user training sessions ensured everyone was up and running, happy and excited about what the new tools and applications could do. In less than one month from the initial meeting, Pooch and Mutt have gone from old, troublesome IT to a smart, connected, empowering environment.
Pooch & Mutt can now work as team from anywhere with email and documents available on all their devices. Skype for Business video conferencing and instant messaging has re-energised relationships with agents and suppliers overseas while secure, cloud-based document storage in OneDrive for Business has taken away back-up concerns.
Every customer interaction over the phone, online, over email or through social media can be handled instantly and professionally, while high-resolution cameras in their portable devices, means they’ll never miss an opportunity to capture pictures and share them with their growing social media follower base.
“The greatest thing about the new software is that we can be much more efficient. The solution gives us amazing new capabilities and will easily scale up as Pooch & Mutt continues to grow,” Guy enthuses.
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