Tewkesbury-based Cotteswold Dairy was established in 1938 by Harry Workman, with the core values of quality, service and cleanliness. The family-owned dairy has four sites across England and Wales and specialises in high quality milk, cream and cultured products using milk supplied from 50 local farms. The business, which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2018, was built on a strict policy of providing quality service to its customers. Now servicing more than 18,000 customers in Cheltenham alone, the company has expanded and recently relocated one of its primary offices.
In 2018, Cotteswold Dairy moved their Hyde Farm operation to new, larger premises in Cheltenham. Even the best planned moves can present challenges and for Cotteswold Dairy, it was a growing reliance on resilient connectivity for their telephony and ICT.
Like many companies, their operations rely on fast, secure and stable connectivity. However, as Andy Mitchell, Procurement and Business Intelligence Manager discovered prior to the move, fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) services would not be available at the new site. Instead, Andy was left with the option of standard grade ADSL or significant investment in a dedicated leased line, so opted for the former. Whilst he was optimistic that in the short term at least this would offer enough capacity for all their essential day to day operations, it proved not to be the case.
“Our service teams deal with large volumes of orders, amendments, requests and updates,” explains Andy “yet we were having frequent, intermittent service dropouts affecting both voice and data, which meant a considerable impact on our process efficiency, financial operations and overall quality of customer service. We needed to find a solution and fix it fast.”
With all infrastructure, hardware and software angles explored, it was clear the ADSL connection was the weak link and to continue with their tradition of outstanding quality product and service, futureproofing the ICT and telephony at the Cheltenham site became business critical.
Having worked with Bamboo on various projects over the past five years, Andy contacted the team about his new site challenges – and as it transpired, his timing could not have been better. Bamboo explained they were working with CityFibre and would soon be ‘lighting up’ a brand new full-fibre network in Cheltenham and Gloucester, creating two more Gigabit Cities.
This new fibre to the premise (FTTP) solution could give Cotteswold Dairy an affordable, ultrafast connection with virtually unlimited bandwidth. And whilst there was future expansion planned in Cheltenham, it was more good news for Andy, as he was just metres away from CityFibre’s core network.
Cotteswold Dairy delivers to residential customers in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and surrounding areas and also supplies shops, care homes, hospitals and wholesalers across the county and beyond.
These two areas of the business operate from separate sites and for consistency and efficiency, their systems and the links between them are vital. After talking through his challenges and future requirements and hearing more about CityFibre, Andy was completely onboard.
“The driving force behind adopting full-fibre was to get a faster, more reliable connection to support our operations. We are looking to progressively expand the Cheltenham office and needed a futureproof ‘pipe’ that was big enough for us to upscale as and when.”
Bamboo planned and project managed the installation, liaising regularly with Andy throughout the process. “Everyone I deal with at Bamboo wants to help, nothing is too much trouble and I can always get to the person I need to quickly and easily. This project was no different. The physical install was well coordinated and swiftly completed, with minimal disruption and an excellent team of engineers.”
Cotteswold Dairy was one of the very first businesses to benefit when the new CityFibre networks in Cheltenham and Gloucester went live – and the difference it made was instantaneous, resolving their connectivity challenges and operational frustrations at the flick of a switch. The Cheltenham site now benefits from a 500MB connection and the team have enjoyed trouble free communications since.
“We no longer have to worry about loss of connectivity and the persistent problems it caused,” says Andy, who also describes his new connection as a ‘saviour’. “This has added to our productivity and given us the peace of mind that we can always deliver our outstanding level of customer service.”
There is also ample capacity for increased data traffic as the business expands and if Cotteswold Dairy should want to scale up their connection, there is no need for additional installation or any disruption; the upgrade is simply applied at network level.
Most importantly, the business now has the resilient connectivity it sought to support their existing and ongoing requirement for secure and stable ICT Infrastructure. “From my perspective I want everyone to have access to what they need at any point and 100% uptime,” concludes Andy. “The CityFibre solution from Bamboo is absolutely brilliant and delivers exactly what we expected. It futureproofs our business. If we have more customers, more people, better technology, we know we have the core infrastructure in place to confidently continue providing a quality of service to all our customers.”