Established over 50 years, North West based Len Wright Salads (LWS) has grown to become one of the most respected salad growing businesses in the UK. Their extensive product range, quality focus and flexibility in their approach to client engagement, has earned the business a well-deserved reputation for delivering the freshest of produce to its leading high street supermarket clients, consistently on time and on budget. From humble beginnings, working just 2 acres of land in the mid 1960’s, LWS now operate across 2,500 acres, combining land for growing and a modern state of the art, purpose built factory, utilising state of the art machinery and processes. This ensures absolute freshness and products on shelves within hours of leaving the ground.
The business has enjoyed significant growth in recent years. A combination of both this growth, and an ageing IT infrastructure, prompted the Directors to initiate a ground up review of their IT estate and support arrangements to ensure both were fit for purpose for their continuing growth story ahead. As a result of this process commencing, String Systems were invited to participate in the selection process of prospective suppliers to assist with mapping out the best route forward.
The starting point for the process was detailed discussions between the Len Wright Salads Team led by Finance Director Colin Charlesworth and the String Team led by Account Director Nigel Bennett and Technical Director Tom Wright. These discussions sought to understand at a detailed business level, the current landscape, the operational challenges needing to be addressed as the business scaled, but also the wealth of opportunities ahead and how these could be capitalised upon. To further the understanding of the ‘as is’, a detailed technical audit was also completed by Andy Carter, Service Delivery Manager at String. A combination of these discussions and the audit confirmed some key themes.
String made a series of key recommendations
Having received several submissions from prospective suppliers, LWS concluded that String Systems offered both the best technical solution and the best ‘relationship fit’ and duly awarded the contract for String to be appointed their new IT partner.
The Project solution brought together the four key elements of String’s Cloud Journey Solution methodology:
Productivity & Engagement
Platforms & Places
Security & Continuity
String 365 Services
String Systems took complete responsibility for all aspects of the Project planning and management, liaising with specialist providers of the LWS finance software, EDI, order processing, access systems and telephony to ensure all the interdependencies were clearly understood and factored in.
Following extensive preparatory work, building systems in advance in String’s technical centre, the core on site deployment took place over a weekend to minimise disruption. A smooth switch over from old systems to new took place with specific emphasis on ensuring no disruption to the critical EDI capability which manages the receipt and translation of orders overnight. When the majority of staff returned to work on the Monday morning, it was absolutely business on usual.
Len Wright Salads now have a fit for purpose, modern, flexible, scalable and future proofed IT environment in place utilising the best of both the on premise world and the world of cloud hosted solutions. Further evolutionary system enhancements and future phases are planned to take advantage of the technologies now in place with the expectation that this focus on how technology can make a real difference is not an event, it is an ongoing process.
And to ensure all continues to perform as it needs to, the String 365 Managed Service is in place and fully operational, providing extensive remote system monitoring and management and when needed, a team of friendly and experienced technicians available to resolve any issues.
"We are in the midst of significant growth within our business and absolutely recognised the important contribution IT could make to supporting our ambitions. We wanted to find a partner to work with who really understood what being a partner means. String Systems stood out from the crowd. Nice people, responsive, knowledgeable and business focused, they were easy to understand and easy to deal with. I am excited about how our investment in technology is going to help continue to transform our business and look forward to working with the team at String in the years ahead."
Colin Charlesworth, Finance Director, Len Wright Salads