case study: flannery plant hire
With up to fifty live projects throughout the country at any one time, could Assembly deliver a solution that kept everything together?
The Challenge: Flannery Plant Hire has been delivering high quality services to the construction, demolition and rail industries since 1972 and is now the largest plant supplier in the UK. Headquartered in London and with strategically-located depots in Newport, Birmingham, Manchester, Northumberland and Aberdeen, the company operates a modern fleet in excess of 3000 units.
When Flannery’s existing IT support contract was coming up for renewal, Managing Director Patrick Flannery decided it was time to see what else was available.
“We’d been with these guys for years, and I liked them. The trouble was that I didn’t feel they’d kept up with the pace of change and I didn’t want us to be playing catch-up all the time. We decided to see if we could find an IT partner that didn’t just fix a PC when it failed but who could look at how we used IT in a more strategic way and with a fresh pair of eyes.”
After a rigorous selection process, Assembly was appointed to scope, design and deploy a new logical and scalable IT infrastructure to replace the out-of-date, inefficient and costly existing one. The priorities for Flannery were rapid rollout of services for new sites, high-performance connectivity across all 6 main depots and a streamlined server infrastructure. These were all essential to their business which could manage up to 80 sites and 1000 contractors at any one time.
The Process: With dozens of servers and hundreds of PCs, laptops and other devices, Flannery’s hardware, management and replacement costs were very high. Assembly proposed a cloud-based solution which would incorporate core infrastructure, key applications, security and unified communications. Not only would migrating to a cloud platform deliver far better performance and flexibility, it would also reduce capital expenditure and support costs to a fraction of their previous levels.To enable Flannery to best leverage this new infrastructure, we then designed a managed MPLS solution and deployed new connectivity circuits (fibre where available) ranging up to 1Gig to all 6 main depots, with secondary lines for failover. We also created a support solution that would see on-site engineers prioritised for Flannery during the transition period, with all support reverting to our 24/7/365 service desk thereafter.
The entire project was managed by Assembly’s PRINCE2 certified project management team, who separated it into two concurrent workflows. The first involved the transition of day-to-day IT support services for the users & on-site infrastructure from the incumbent providers to to Assembly’s dedicated 24/7/365 support team.
At the same time, core systems were moved to Assembly’s London data centre and most existing physical servers were decommissioned in line with Flannery’s environmental responsibility policy. A new, fully-compliant back-up and disaster recovery solution was also deployed. The new cloud platform was stress-tested with a small user group before being rolled-out across all business units. Finally, once the managed MPLS circuit was in place and the various new connectivity services came on-line, a Skype for Business Unified Communications platform was overlaid and moved into the production environment.
The Results: Having an award-winning hosted telephony solution deployed across the business has transformed communication and productivity in all areas. The centralised fibre connectivity, cloud-based application stack and streamlined infrastructure has slashed operating costs and ensured management and support of the entire network is structured, responsive and highly effective.
Technology ROI is estimated to increase by over 30% in the next three years, and having a standardised roll-out IT model for new temporary sites has enabled Flannery to bid for new contracts with more confidence and commercial accuracy than ever before.
“What we were asking wasn’t easy. Our business model means that our workforce and projects are very widely distributed across the country. Assembly nailed it. Absolutely nailed it.”
Patrick Flannery, Managing Director, Flannery Plant Hire