23 July 2020
Hesco manufactures, designs and deploys defence barriers in several countries around the world. It is renowned for its rapidly deployable Concertainer system that is used for both flood control and military fortification worldwide. Camp Bastion, the former British Army headquarters in Afghanistan, was named after the company and its iconic barrier system.
Operating from both the UK and US, and with around 300 staff, the company has customers in various parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East.
Keeping in contact with customers, and making sure staff can contact each other, is vital to the company’s operations around the world. Having a communications solution that supports this is crucial.
The challenge was as follows: improve communications and customer service across the company, increase ability to send and receive documents and resources across a reliable network, ensure staff are safe when on location through better communications and find a data package that allows travel and communications usage without the shock of unknown costs.
Mobility is key to Hesco’s operations. Its technical support teams are always on the move, meeting customers around the globe.
This could mean they’re inspecting a barrier in Algeria one day, then repairing a flood defence system in Thailand the next.
“We work on a very responsive basis. If our customers need something urgently, we need to be able to respond to them quickly. The signal we were using wasn’t giving us the reliability to do this,” says Adam Robinson, Supply Chain Manager at Hesco.
A lack of reliability meant the company’s staff couldn’t respond to customers in the way they wanted, so the company needed a reliable communications solution, to provide a seamless service whether staff were based in the US offices or on location.
“It didn’t feel professional hanging up on customers, clients and suppliers because a signal wasn’t working. When you’re constantly late for meetings or need to leave part-way through because a web conference isn’t working, the frustration builds,” adds Adam.
The company was also lacking a data package with the ability to accurately predict the cost of usage when abroad.
“Travelling to different countries that have different network providers was tough, and we needed to buy data bundles in every location,” says Ben Jenkins, Technical Support Manager at Hesco. “The cost builds up, and it was frustrating not to have a consolidated solution.”
Hesco’s support teams train and educate people, repair barriers and maintain defence systems in all parts of the world, so giving them the assurance they can contact base means they’re able to feel secure, wherever they’re located.
“When our teams are on the front-line, speed and efficiency is needed. A lot of territories they work in are hostile, so to be able to have regular and clear contact with our teams, and knowing they’re safe, is very important,” says Supply Chain Manager, Adam.
“So from an operations side of things, we needed a solution that would give us that.”
Hesco looked to Vodafone to provide a continuous and reliable service, and one that gave them the flexibility and adaptability they needed. Roaming worry-free with Vodafone was chosen to meet their needs across the board.
“The move to Vodafone was seamless. Our costs are now predictable and thanks to roaming worry-free with Vodafone, we know what the cost will be, based on where our teams are in the world,” says Adam Robinson, Supply Chain Manager at Hesco.
“We can take our standard package abroad and use our minutes and data for a small daily fee,” adds Adam. “It allows our teams to travel without the worry and stress of a huge bill when they return.”
Straight away, the business stopped worrying about roaming charges and unreliable signal strengths.
“We’re no longer having to buy data every time we go somewhere, and we’re not worrying about not getting a signal or service. Our costs are now predictable and we know what we’re going to get charged at the end of each month,” says Technical Support Manager, Ben.
Hesco’s communications are now more flexible and adaptable to meet different needs.
The business has seen plenty of practical benefits too, involving the safety and security of its staff around the world.
“We have two people deployed in Eastern Africa and it’s important that we know they’re safe. By using mobile, whether it be a voice call or video call, we can know they’re safe and well in these locations. Vodafone gives us a high level of confidence wherever we are,” says Ben.
Another benefit of using roaming worry-free with Vodafone has been the increase in staff productivity.
“Staff can now connect their laptops to their phones and use their data packages to access emails and the internet,” says Adam. “This means they’re worry-free and they don’t need to go into the office or a suitable location with Wi-Fi.”
“Being able to access our website and download documents with more ease has led to a clearer operation of marketing.
“Our various teams want to take technology for granted and now we can do that,” concludes Ross.