This is a business to business landing page. So it’s used more or less as a promoted case study. I’ve taken a no-nonsense but warm first person plural voice, and told the story to deliver out the full effect of the achievement. Case study landing page for hospitality industry tech consultancy Centrality.

How Centrality got Stonegate Pub Company ready to trade, all systems up, in just 5 months.

We’re no strangers to pulling out the stops for our clients, but the August 2011 switch on of an entire estate of 330 pubs belonging to the Stonegate Pub Company is an achievement even by our standards.

With the acquisition in Autumn 2010 by the newly established Stonegate Pub Company of 330 pubs formerly belonging to Mitchells and Butler, a transitional service agreement had been put in place with M&B for the ongoing use of its IT systems until August 2011.

In October 2010, Stonegate Chairman Ian Payne approached hospitality and retail solutions consultancy Retail Fix with regard to replacing this temporary solution with a comprehensive IT environment and set of business systems capable of
providing Stonegate with its own comprehensive operating functionality for Finance, Payroll, Property, Supply Chain, Machine Management, EPOS (including cash management and full wet and dry stock) and pub infrastructure.

In order to avoid a costly extension of the transitional service agreement, the new system needed to be planned, agreed, specified and implemented, with both out of pub and pub staff fully trained, by the time the agreement expired, then 10 months away.

Centrality to the rescue

Because of our particular expertise in design and implementation of commercial solutions within the hospitality and retail sector, Retail Fix invited Centrality to partner with them on the Stonegate Pub Company project.

At the time we came on board the deal had not yet even been formally completed, and Stonegate’s management an operations teams did not yet have offices to work from, let alone infrastructure or any kind of systems for us to start out from.

Within 10 days, Centrality had provided a head office infrastructure and personal computing service for all Stonegate out of pub staff (around 65 people). This included servers, desktops, laptops, email service, network links, mobile phones and remote working infrastructure.

Centrality and Retail Fix swing into action

Our partners at Retail Fix then recruited a team of 10 project managers with experience of delivering similar projects in the hospitality sector. We mobilised our service delivery team and, together, we set about developing a strategy and plan for Stonegate. On Christmas Eve, 2010 we presented a joint plan covering approach, cost and timescales to Stonegate, and this was approved in January 2011.

The nature of the plan meant that all central systems had to be implemented before the in-pub systems could be rolled out, so that the data from the pubs could be captured and processed from the start.

While a series of negotiations with potential suppliers got underway, we began to address the problem of the 330 pubs all requiring recabling to CAT5 standard in order to accept whatever current technology our solution might specify. As a result, we took the unconventional step of starting to conduct site surveys on the pubs before we had actually selected a suitable EPOS solution.

By early in March 2011 the key elements of the IT solution had all been identified and contracts signed with the solution providers. Only then, with just 5 months remaining before the expiry of Stonegate’s temporary agreement with M&B, were we and our partners at Retail Fix able to start out on the actual delivery of the entire programme.

5 months to make it all happen

While Retail Fix provided all of the programme and business change management team, we provided the entire implementation team, along with all technical design, training and solution development staff. In total, the project implementation team totalled 95 people, including 20 Stonegate staff acting as EPOS implementers.


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