How Connection Vouchers Boosted Williams Ironmongery
It’s nice when grants pay out for your business but it’s even better when they pay off.
Figures released by the UK Government last week confirmed that the fund available for businesses to upgrade to fibre broadband has seen a surge in demand over recent months.
Some businesses call us asking whether they need to upgrade or asking what the upgrade will let them do. Others call us with their plans already in mind and pleased that the grant has encouraged them to get on with it.
But here’s the thing. Fibre connectivity doesn’t come in a one-size fits all package. There are various fibre solutions for super fast connectivity and what’s right for your business isn’t necessarily right for another. It comes down to what you want to do with it. So, whilst a lot of people are happy to get the grant and get an online quote with virtually no human contact, we like to do things differently. Very differently.
Williams Ironmongery in Aberdeen is a great example.
Thanks to a consistently high level of product, service and vast experience, Williams Ironmongery (Aberdeen) Ltd is now the leading provider of architectural ironmongery in the North East of Scotland. With an enviable client list including Dounreay Nuclear Power Stations, offshore services company, Proserv, hospitals, schools and high-end hotels, their reputation for quality and service precedes them.
However, Managing Director, Simon Traynor, felt that the same could not be said for the speed and consistency of their internal systems. Whilst the team expertly and swiftly handled all of their customer needs, they were often left frustrated by the low speed of online stock update systems between the Aberdeen site and the head office in Glasgow.
They heard about the Connection Voucher grants and looked into their options but they were worried they’d end up in a contract for something that wasn’t going to suit them. That’s where we came in. We’re all about tailoring the technology around the business and that doesn’t change just because there are grants available.
For Williams, there was one initial goal – to speed up the online stock updates between Aberdeen and Glasgow. Did they achieve that? Absolutely, their new connectivity is ten times faster than previous but not only that. Because we all took the time to identify other areas of the business where better connectivity could change working practices, we were able to pinpoint connectivity that would achieve their main aim and that was future proofed for the planned developments and growth. In this instance, it was a Managed Business Fibre circuit.
Williams are now looking to integrate their current telephone systems into just one system, which allows calls to be made and transferred instantly between sites at zero cost. They are integrating cloud based systems for all and video conferencing to provide powerful online collaboration tools to service their client base more effectively.
MD, Simon Traynor, had been aware for some time that the connectivity needed to be upgraded and the BDUK Connection Vouchers not only reminded him of the importance of connectivity for business growth, but also provided the grant money to cover the installation and hardware costs that made it possible.
The application process couldn’t have been simpler, as Traynor explains,
“Grants are one of those things that you forget you’re often entitled to and quickly dismiss as difficult and time consuming to obtain but I’ve been proven wrong. From the minute Ionna Giannaki (of Aberdeen City Council) made me aware of the process and the subsequent care and attention to detail we were shown by Abica, the whole process has been hugely simple and effective. We have already seen a huge improvement in our working practices and are planning many more.”
In terms of monthly costs, Williams’ improved connectivity meant a marginal increase to their monthly costs but Simon argues, “the increase is very slight and is a small price to pay for the speed and reliability delivered by the new fibre circuit.”
Here are the top tips for making good use of the grant if you get it:
1. Think about how you currently use the Internet
2. Think about the ways your business could be more effective
3. Think about what Internet solutions could help achieve that
4. Tailor the fibre connectivity around your business
5. Make sure it’s future proof
Don’t, under any circumstances, waste your funding on a knee jerk upgrade.
If in doubt, get in touch with us!