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Foxground

Foxground’s challenges

Foxground is now an 18 year old London based Stationery business that prides itself on the quality of its products. With one of the largest ranges of stationery and stationery-related products, its products cover everything from pencil sharpeners, to a large selection of papers, and even activity products for children to explore their creative talents. In the year 2000, the company was about to embark on a period of growth and reorganisation and realised that managing such a diverse product range was critical to customer satisfaction and also to good financial controls. IT was therefore central not just to inventory management, but more importantly, to the strategic development of the group. Like many growing companies, however, Foxground’s IT had evolved rather than been planned, comprised 10 computers and an old network; none of which were being maintained. Whilst considering its options, Foxground was introduced to 6300ac.


6300ac’s approach and recognising the strategic importance of IT

At its first meeting with Foxground, 6300ac did an audit of Foxground’s IT and having also discussed the business’ objectives with the directors, identified the current and future limitations of the current IT system, and made the following recommendations that assured: 

  1. Inventory information was accessed faster and files updated quicker, by upgrading the old ‘peer to peer’ network
  2. Availability of the upgraded system via an IT support contract 

In accepting these recommendations, Foxground for the first time formally recognised IT as mission critical; the next step was to move the IT system to new offices


Moving and integrating IT 

In a very short period of time, Foxground undertook a major reorganisation. It became a more established business and opened an administration dept in North London, relocated the warehouse to Bradford and acquired an Essex based stationery company. Foxground had not only become a bigger company spread across a series of offices, but also, directors living throughout the South East. The IT therefore had to accommodate a new multi-site organisation, and combine the systems of two previously separate companies. 6300ac worked closely with the directors to plan and execute a move and upgrade completed with the minimum delay and downtime, and including the installation: 

  1. At the Bradford warehouse, of a small business server offering fast service and extra capacity for future expansion
  2. A secure virtual private network (VPN) between the various sites to assure fast and easy communication and easy access to centralised data 

The VPN was built around super fast ADSL broadband and facilitated the directors working from home and with full access to each other and all systems.   


Conclusions

Growing companies need more than well supported IT. Their systems are generally unplanned and need to be coordinated and upgraded to reflect a bigger business, and therefore growing companies need trusted partners to advise on the new challenges affecting the business. Over a period of 7 years, 6300ac has worked closely with Foxground providing not only day to day IT support, but also the strategic input to assure that IT is not an impediment to the expansion, and facilitates Foxground’s business. 

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