In 2019, we partnered with a newly formed nursery group with big ambitions to become one of the largest in the UK. Proudly integral to their growth, our collaboration with the group spanned their expansion from 4 to over 100 fully connected nurseries across the UK, with a staff of thousands.
During this period, we were entrusted with every aspect of IT. Wherever IT interfaced with something, we were there. We collaborated with the senior management team to establish an IT strategy that allowed for a total refresh of IT for new acquisitions, putting every nursery on an equal footing across the group.
We developed a blueprint for improving infrastructure and facilities, applying the same process with each new acquisition. Our surveys during site visits unveiled consistent IT challenges: nursery managers complained of persistent WiFi and internet problems – perhaps not surprising given that routers behind filing cabinets or balanced on top of radiators were common finds! IT services often relied on old equipment and ad hoc support from kind friends and family members.
Providing scalable solutions that enable growth from day one.
Our incredible team at Haventrust became the go-to for all IT issues, providing flexible resource levels and a fully managed IT department for the group, ready to handle whatever was needed.
Because we were included in all aspects of IT across the group and we were not considering our services in isolation, we were able to ensure that best value was achieved – whether that was choosing the most appropriate licenses for hosted services; bulk purchasing and inventory management of hardware; or selecting and deploying business systems for the finance and legal teams.
The infrastructure we installed was designed from the outset to enable flexible working and to be remotely supportable. This came into its own during Covid and allowed staff to seamlessly continue working. We also rapidly deployed video link-up screens to enable nursery staff in the settings to have story time with children at home.
The collaboration brought about innovation, too, as we reached for creative technology to resolve complex issues. For example, we borrowed from clients in other sectors we support and created systems such as a bespoke notification system to alert staff reliably and allow them to safely join emergency response meetings when they were on the move. We also radically transformed the process of producing floorplans and layouts for new settings by deploying room scanning technology, saving money and creating a library of virtual nursery tours in the process. These were used by facilities, marketing and operations teams, as well as IT.
At Haventrust we are organised to adapt and we understand that with growth, change is needed. As the group grew to a critical size, we worked closely with management to plan an in-house IT department, starting with an IT manager, then building a team. We provided staff training and escalation support services to enable a smooth transition.
We continue to provide business services as the nursery group’s long term IT partner. Now that the in-house team is fully up to speed we remain just a phone call away for support and advice.