Whitby Seafoods Managing Director Daniel Whittle joins FluidIT for the third Digital for Transformational Growth webinar, Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.
Dec 12, 2022
Top UK food manufacturer transforms its IT infrastructure and transitions to a cloud hybrid environment
Whitby Seafoods builds a solid IT support structure and transitions to cloud - so their people can get on with the important stuff, making delicious seafood products for happy customers.
Increasing people’s capabilities with the right tools and systems for the job
The new cloud hybrid environment is a strategic enabler for business growth given its almost unlimited expansion capabilities. Staff confidence and capability has increased now their work is faster, more efficient, and backed by a high-performing IT support service.
“We are definitely now in a much happier, safer and more knowledgeable environment than we were before. One million per cent.” Daniel Hudson, ICT and ERP Manager
The business has been able to move away from significant investment in a new on-prem server estate, freeing up funds for more business growth. As well as exciting long-term opportunities, there are immediate operational benefits. IT issues are resolved in hours not days or weeks and company leaders have more visibility into IT operations.
The biggest scampi manufacturer in the UK
Whitby Seafoods is a member of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition, and Project UK, delivering fishery improvement projects. In October 2022 they launched the first UK seafood product with a trackable carbon footprint. The family business has grown to be the biggest scampi manufacturer in the UK thanks to their continuous improvement and investment in their products, factory and people.
On-prem IT servers and ageing IT equipment
The on-premise servers were struggling to keep pace with business demand. Applications were running slowly and affecting people’s productivity and efficiency. This was also causing a security risk as some applications were no longer updated by the vendors. The business’s ‘castle and moat’ security structure was no longer optimal with the shift to remote working. And the IT support structure wasn’t robust enough to support business growth.
Why Whitby Seafoods chose to work with Fluid
“When we talked to Fluid they seemed to speak a similar language. They explained things in plain English, and we liked the fact they’re solution agnostic, and didn't come with a hidden agenda.
“We had confidence they wouldn't want to just sell us what makes them the best commission, but would do what's right for our business and offer the best value for our needs."
Daniel Whittle, MD, Whitby Seafood
Whitby Seafoods senior leadership team worked with Fluid on a Digital Review and refreshed IT strategy. They defined their vision to use IT to empower employees and wow customers with defined company-wide missions: to give everyone the right hardware and software tools to do their jobs, to facilitate efficient processes with the right systems and have resource for IT support and project delivery.
The approach: using Fluid’s team-as-a-service
“We had a visionary project sponsor in Michael Murphy, Whitby Seafoods Ops Director. He could see the capabilities in cloud and the improvements it could be bring to the business. We were aligned with the same goal and that was the springboard.”
Jason Lock, IT leader and Infrastructure Architect, Fluid
Fluid analysed the server environment and reported on the cost vs benefit of replacing the on-premise servers, migrating to a cloud environment, or transitioning to a hybrid environment. Whitby decided on a phased approach, moving first from on-premise to a cloud hybrid.
Fluid created an Azure server cloud estate and migrated most of the applications off the on-premise servers. A few of the applications remained on the on-premise servers for the second phase in 2023.
The team compiled an asset register of devices running on the business network. Devices were specced by department and replaced according to user requirements. The assessment highlighted which software applications were at end of life and these were upgraded or replaced to mitigate security risks. Whitby’s sites internet connections were upgraded and new wi-fi networks were installed.
Fluid provided training for business users on Microsoft 365 and cyber security, bringing everyone together in a modern workplace.
“We have in-house training available for colleagues now and this has come through Fluid.”
Daniel Hudson, ICT and ERP Manager
Fluid built a solid IT support structure for communication and a defined work structure for the IT support team. They collaborated with Whitby’s stakeholders to draw up a new set of IT policies and procedures aligned to the business interests. The approved policies and procedures were published internally, setting the ground rules on how to handle IT equipment, software, security, data and infrastructure. Fluid introduced an IT ticketing system on a centralised platform for the IT support team to view and manage issues. Throughout the project Fluid built Whitby’s capability, giving training and support to create a high-performing IT support team
Immediate operational benefits and long-term opportunities
The right tools, systems and IT resource
The new cloud server environment has almost unlimited expansion capabilities to facilitate business growth, and increased security features to protect business interests and data. The applications already migrated to cloud are running faster, increasing user productivity and efficiency.
Security risks have been reduced and the business has rapid recovery plans in place. The security structure has been re-built to ‘any-device-anywhere’ to support remote workers.
Speed and performance
Whitby Seafoods workforce can operate more efficiently with a competent and well-trained IT team supporting them. Staff capability and confidence has increased, and IT problems are fixed quickly and efficiently.
“I’m happy. I’m happy in my work life, happy with the support I’ve got. I can’t say better than that.”
Daniel Hudson, ICT and ERP Manager
The dream team
- Michael Murphy, Whitby Seafoods Ops Director and project sponsor
- Dan Hudson, Whitby Seafoods IT and ERP Manager
- Jason Lock, IT Leader and Infrastructure Architect, Fluid
- Andrew McGuinness, IT Project Manager, Fluid