Home builder makes move to mobile

16 November 2016

Crest Nicholson built nearly 3,000 homes in the south of England last year, and has 840 staff and about 2,400 contractors. Sales and marketing teams need to stay in touch with, typically, 45 sites in development, while engineers often need to download drawings and building specifications.

The company’s group IT director, Myles Gibbins, says an increasing number of employees are using mobile devices: “We started rolling out mobile devices at executive level, and we’re gradually deploying them to our customer service teams too. These users are the face of Crest Nicholson so we need to provide them with exceptional IT service levels.”

The developer has a contract with Computacenter to provide IT services including a service desk that provides: incident, problem and change management; IT procurement; server, storage and backup management; and network management.

“We pride ourselves on offering excellent customer care through the home-buying process,” says Gibbins. “As sales take place predominantly onsite, we need to ensure we have adequate and well-maintained IT capabilities across our development sites as well as at our head and regional offices.”

Crest Nicholson uses Computacenter’s global service desk and operational command centre in South Africa. The firm decided to move services to Computacenter’s facility in Cape Town due to the flexibility offered, as well as lower costs. Gibbins reckons this offers the best of both worlds. “We can take advantage of optimised processes that maximise efficiency thanks to Computacenter’s industrialised approach to service delivery, but we also get the flexibility we need to meet changing business demands.”

Every month at service review meetings, the combined Crest Nicholson and Computacenter team identifies potential improvements and creates a plan for putting them into action. 

Gibbins says Computacenter’s PASS12T methodology, which is based on a ‘shift-left’ approach, has resulted in a number of improvements over the years. “For example, we’ve [moved] system administration tasks for core applications from the internal second-line support team to the Computacenter service desk, which frees-up our team for more specialist work.”