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Case Study

Softcat’s MDL service helps NG Bailey get a grip on device estate management

The Client

Established in 1921, NG Bailey has grown from a small, family-owned electrical contractor into the UK’s leading independent engineering and services business. With clients across multiple sectors, its innovative, technology-driven approach underpins every project and has led to multiple industry awards.

Today, NG Bailey strives to create and maintain exceptional buildings and infrastructure that encourage a connected society, operate efficiently, and deliver benefits for generations to come. It’s built its reputation on more than a century of operational and technical excellence. It’s a tradition that continues to this day and leveraging the very latest tools and technologies is critical to its business model.


Key Facts

  • Leading UK-based independent engineering and services business
  • Award-winning projects delivered across multiple sectors
  • Leverages leading-edge technologies to deliver operational and technical excellence

The Challenge

Like any construction business, NG Bailey is involved in multiple projects at any given time. One consequence of its diverse portfolio is the need to continually onboard new starters, effectively manage movers within the business and ensure that people who are leaving return devices they no longer need. In an average year, more than 300 people use the joiner, mover, leaver (JML) service managed by the IT team, making device and peripheral asset management a time-consuming and complex task.

Two years ago, it began working with a third-party provider to deliver build capability, manage and repair stock and distribute equipment across the business. The service agreement proved unsatisfactory. SLAs weren’t fulfilled and with multiple large projects needing hundreds of devices, matching demand became increasingly difficult.

Senior management was unhappy, devices weren’t being repaired and kit was being distributed that didn’t work properly. The in-house IT team was only able to configure five or six devices a day, meaning it was unable to meet the business’s demand and its resources were being diverted from more pressing tasks.

It was clear that the current situation couldn’t continue. NG Bailey contacted Softcat to source an alternative solution that would simplify device management, repair, and delivery and free up the IT team’s valuable time.

Critical Success Factors

  • Reduce the time and complexity involved in device estate management
  • Improve efficiency of device configuration, returns and distribution
  • Scale up device and peripheral supply chain to match ongoing demand

The Solution

“We’ve worked with Softcat on multiple projects over the last decade, so it made sense to speak to our account manager to find out what it could bring to the table,” said Jon Wade, IT Services Manager, NG Bailey. “Jamie Bennett, End User Solutions Consultant from Softcat, recommended its Managed Delivery Lifecycle (MDL) service, supported by delivery partner Greensafe. It’s specifically designed to support organisations to configure and manage every device for JML throughout its lifecycle. It sounded ideal.”

“We began on a small scale,” said Jamie. “We collected a number of devices that needed to have their manufacturer warranty invoked and be re-configured for distribution to users, as well as sourcing new devices and collecting existing kit to initiate the service.”

“I like to keep things simple,” said Jon. “Once we’d seen the service up and running, I was really confident that Jamie and his colleagues could scale it up to meet our needs. The fact that we could also buy devices and schedule repairs and upgrades through Softcat’s eCat service with just a few clicks on a portal, made it even more attractive.”

“Our end-to-end MDL service ensures we can fulfil all of NG Bailey’s JML requirements and relieve the pressure on the in-house IT team,” said Jamie. “Leaver devices are collected, wiped, and then refurbished before being passed on to new users. If a user has defective equipment, we ship a replacement device from stock and then coordinate the collection of the defective device. Once we’ve received it, we carry out a fully managed warranty repair, shielding the IT team from the administration overhead”.

“When users need a device refresh, we issue a new device, collect their old one, erase the data and process to WEEE standards with zero-landfill downstream disposal. We also set up a VPN & mirrored configuration server to simplify device configuration from our facility. This helps ensure equipment is configured to NG Bailey’s precise specifications and technical support is provided  throughout the configuration process to help speed up deployment.”

“Using Softcat’s MDL service has just made everything much simpler,” said Jon. “Softcat has also created robust SLAs and insurance cover to add to our peace of mind. Now, when we need to place an order, it’s simply a case of visiting the website managed by Softcat and it’s done.”

Solution Highlights

  • Managed Delivery Lifecycle service for joiner, mover, leaver (JML) fulfilment
  • End-to-end device return, configuration, and distribution provision
  • Simplified device procurement and asset management

The Benefits

“With Softcat’s help, we’ve transformed our JML service,” said Jon. “We’re now able to get devices to every user on time. They’re configured to our precise specifications and all round, it’s a huge improvement on what we had before. Returns were an issue in the past, with many leavers reluctant to return kit on time, if at all! Now, with a dedicated service, it’s simply a matter or arranging a time for the courier to pick it up. Our return rate has improved significantly as a result.

“It’s also enabled us to introduce an improved onboarding process for new starters. We can provide much better support, including calls to help set up their device. It’s no longer simply about getting kit out on time, it’s about delivering a high-quality service. In the past, we’d get multiple support calls from new users – as many as fifteen per user in some cases –now it’s around two!

“Our onboarding user satisfaction ratings reflect the service improvements. We now have 80% satisfaction with the service, a significant increase on what it was before. And it’s also improved perceptions of the IT team from both a user and leadership perspective. With the benefit of a managed JML service, the wider team can now concentrate on ongoing improvement and forward-looking strategy, rather than dealing with user issues.

“We’re gaining benefits from a sustainability viewpoint too. Improved rates of asset return, alongside device re-configuration and re-use, are helping to reduce both cost and waste. But perhaps the most important benefit, is the pressure it’s taken off the IT team. We can now concentrate on delivering improved SLAs and completing tasks that add value to the business. We’ll continue to work closely with Softcat to improve the service through our regular service reviews.”

Benefits at a Glance

  • Improved device return rates and enhanced user satisfaction
  • Waste reduction through device re-configuration and re-use
  • In-house IT resource redirected to higher value tasks

Why Softcat?

“In the years we’ve been dealing with Softcat we’ve always found it to be a trusted and capable partner,” said Jon. “Its huge breadth of experience across technologies and sectors brings real value to every engagement and it constantly provides innovative solutions to the challenges we face.

“We keep in regular contact with our account manager and collaborate closely to address any issues that arise. The relationship we’ve built over the last decade across multiple projects is strong and productive. Working with Softcat feels more like a partnership than a transactional relationship.”