We have a long-standing relationship with Daisy – the field engineers know the site layout. You are competitively priced in the marketplace and, most importantly, I trust Daisy.
Allan Unsworth, IT and Systems Manager at Swizzels Matlow
Founded in 1928 by Alfred and Maurice Matlow, the company began as Matlow Bros. Ltd making jelly sweets in a small factory in London. In 1933 the Matlows joined forces with another sweet factory owner, David Dee, who specialised in manufacturing fizzy sweets in compressed tablet form, both sharing factory space in East London. Swizzels Ltd. was formed.
An evacuation from the London Blitz in 1940 saw the business relocate into a former textile mill in New Mills, Derbyshire. In 1975, the company became Swizzels Matlow Ltd and today is famous for producing iconic sweets including Parma Violets, Refresher chews, Drumstick lollies and – perhaps most famously – Love Hearts. The move out of London during the Second World War was originally intended as a temporary measure but became permanent – and the company continues to operate from the New Mills site today.
With over 500 employees across locations in the UK and Ireland, the business relies on effective communication across the company to make production and the wider operations run smoothly and efficiently. So when the hardware controlling the switchboard needed to be updated, this acted as the catalyst for undertaking a review of the company’s entire voice deployment, to ensure a resilient and stable platform for its end users in the future.
Swizzels Matlow’s historic building and unique location presented potential challenges, but Allan Unsworth, IT and Systems Manager at Swizzels Matlow, was determined to maintain the availability of business systems throughout: “People always expect a phone to work – it is so simple, why wouldn’t it always work?”
As you would expect from a partnership with more than 25 years under its belt, Swizzels Matlow and Daisy worked together to realise the best solution to Swizzels Matlow’s communications challenge. The trust in Daisy, as both a partner and an IT solutions provider, meant Swizzels Matlow had confidence in Daisy’s proposal to upgrade its platform to Mitel’s MiVoice MX-ONE communication server 6.0, whilst keeping the existing Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) and standard handsets.
For the business to operate as usual during the rollout, it was essential that the DECT handset service be maintained during deployment, for vital communication between employees in the production area. The convenience of DECT and the stability of the facility from the end users’ perspective meant that any changes needed to be seamless, having no damaging effects to the employees and the facilities they use on a daily basis. The upgrade to the main telephony platform opened up the opportunity for Swizzels Matlow to further improve its communications with the addition of a Daisy SIP solution over its ISDN connectivity. In addition to an improvement in service, this allowed for a reduction in costs and an increase in resilience of its voice service should the worst happen.
As well as providing a more consistent quality of service to all staff on the New Mills site, the upgrade of the core Mitel MX-ONE, meant that some additional features could also be deployed. Allan continues: “It’s important the ‘behind the scenes’ be up to date with all the latest technology, but for the end user that needs to be invisible to them.”
The trust shared between the Swizzels Matlow team and the Daisy account manager was crucial in finding the right solution for the business, as Allan explains: “Our account manager is our business partner; we have a lot of faith in his advice. He doesn’t just come in to sell the latest product, he listens to what you need, looks at the business and works out what fits best for you. It’s very important.”
With the upgrade to MiVoice MX-ONE 6.0, together with the new SIP connectivity, Swizzels Matlow now has a true IP platform on which to run their business and communicate effectively. Project continuity and stability, silently and behind the scenes, are the key attributes in the service provided to the Swizzels Matlow end users by Daisy and the internal IT teams, allowing them to get on with the business of manufacturing its famous sweet treats.
The relationship continues to go from strength to strength, with Swizzels Matlow now evaluating a Daisy business mobile offering based on the Vodafone network that they know and trust.
They also plan to roll out Mitel’s MiCollab collaboration software to 20 of its senior managers and sales staff, who are home-based or need to be contactable outside of core working hours. This was not part of the initial project but, as discussions progressed, it became apparent that having this unified approach to communications would give the business an added benefit where it matters most. Allan explains: “These are very important people in maintaining the smooth running of the business, so when we need to contact them, via whatever means, they need to be available.”
In terms of the ongoing relationship with Daisy, Allan continues: “It’s about the long journey. Out of all the suppliers that I deal with, Daisy and its account manager are by far and away the best I deal with.”