Monday 24th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Gist cuts costs and bumps up visibility

Gist makes hundreds of millions of deliveries across Europe each year. To manage its operations and ensure that goods can be delivered within tight timescales, it relies heavily on its IT support systems.
However, delivering to some 800 customers across five continents, and juggling a growing and increasingly diverse infrastructure was becoming a strain on its IT systems. Mike Flynn, business solutions director, Gist, says: “Our IT support costs were rising and we were rapidly running out of datacentre capacity.”
As a result, it decided to give its IT infrastructure a boost and brought in Computacenter on a five-year managed services contract.
Computacenter supports 1,000 end user devices and hosts 200 virtual servers from its shared customer facilities. Its service desk handles around 1,400 requests from Gist users a month, which include incidents and changes, and it also provided a disaster recovery option for Gist’s datacentre as part of the deal.
The outsourcing contract has helped Gist reduce IT costs and improve business agility while maintaining customer service levels. “Computacenter offers the breadth and depth of expertise that we need to maintain our IT infrastructure and deliver high quality logistics services to our customers,” says Flynn.
The need to integrate seamlessly with its customers’ IT infrastructures, mixed with increasingly sophisticated systems of its own, had left it with a complex IT environment. It was important this didn’t affect customer services, so the transition of the server infrastructure had to be completed in a single weekend.
“Our customers have extremely high expectations and cannot afford disruption to their deliveries as this could impact their own customer base. We therefore need to provide our staff with bullet-proof IT systems to safeguard business continuity,” says Flynn.
All services are developed and delivered via Computacenter’s Shared Services Factory, which means Gist can take advantage of its best practice processes and shared resources to help reduce costs.
The deal has given Gist better visibility of its IT operations. Mike Hornby, head of IT at Gist, says: “Computacenter provides us with comprehensive management data so we have total transparency of service performance and can see at a glance if Computacenter is meeting its service level agreements.
“We are now focusing on continuous improvement initiatives that will enable us to deliver more cost efficiencies and higher service levels to the business.”