Dog food business unleashes growth through mobile working

Dog food business unleashes growth through mobile working

When Pooch & Mutt, a leading UK supplier of healthy dog foods, treats and supplements, found their business was outgrowing their IT, they refreshed their systems with a modern joined-up solution from Microsoft including Office 365 and Windows devices.

Now with email, documents, video conferencing and instant messaging accessible on all their devices, the team face no restrictions on where and how they work. They can keep connected to suppliers and agents all over the world, share news instantly with customers and stay focused on growing their thriving, award-winning business.

When Pooch & Mutt founder Guy Blaskey’s dog was diagnosed with a degenerative hip disease he discovered there were no high quality dog supplements available on the market to help. So he decided to start Pooch & Mutt, a thriving small business that manufactures and sells a range of grain-free dog foods, hand-baked treats and natural health supplements to help dogs lead a happier, healthier life.

That was back in 2008 and today the business is growing fast, recognised as a leading supplier of high quality, tasty products and multiple award-winner. Selling its products through supermarkets, pet chains, high street retailers and direct to the customer online, Pooch & Mutt is run by a team of eight in the UK, a growing network of distributors all over the world, and ‘Pepper’ the office dog.


Challenge – Old IT, restricted collaboration

Pooch & Mutt needs to be reactive, make decisions fast and always present a professional image to customers and suppliers. Like every small business though, they’d added new hardware and software each time someone new was hired. Over time that created a real mix of devices and software. Without up-to-date applications and communications tools, it was getting harder to work effectively on the move and keeping close contact with agents and suppliers overseas was virtually impossible. With an office expansion planned in the near future, Guy became concerned that team communication would dwindle without a joined-up IT toolset; plus there was an ever-present danger around back-up and information security.

Guy recalls “Each time we hired someone we’d buy a new PC and then muddle through using collaboration applications really designed for home use. No-one was running on the same system and it was becoming unmanageable and impossible for us to each work effectively from any location.”


The Solution – Connected modern technology for anywhere working

In partnership with Microsoft and channel partner, Complete I.T., Pooch & Mutt’s IT environment was refreshed with a joined-up solution using the very latest applications, devices and cloud services. Everyone has a modern Windows PC or Surface Pro 3 device and a Lumia smartphone, coupled with Office 365 for email, Microsoft Office and communication and collaboration tools.

Pooch & Mutt can now work as team from anywhere with a common set of tools. Being productive on the move or from remote locations is effortless with email and documents available on all their devices. Skype for Business video conferencing and instant messaging has re-energised relationships with agents and suppliers overseas; the team can have instant face-to-face and audio contact in a matter of clicks, without incurring expensive call charges. Secure, cloud-based document storage in OneDrive for Business has taken away any concerns about data back-up, while high-resolution cameras and social media integration in the Surface Pro 3 and Lumia smartphone devices, means they’ll never miss an opportunity to capture pictures and share them with their growing follower base online. Every customer interaction, be that over the phone, online, over email, or through social media can be handled instantly and professionally, fulfilling their business values.

“The greatest thing about the new software is that we can be much more efficient. The solution gives us amazing new capabilities and will easily scale up as Pooch & Mutt continues to grow,” Guy enthuses.


Benefits & Value

Seamless team working, anywhere

• With Office 365 applications available on all devices, the Pooch & Mutt team can work from any location with uninterrupted access to email and their cloud-based documents
Skype for Business keeps everyone in close contact with instant messaging and video conferencing to make sure questions are answered and decisions made quickly
• Highly portable Surface Pro 3 tablets allow team members to work fluidly and freely inside the office and out from one powerful device

“Now we all have the same applications and operating systems we can really work closely together and help each other to get things done. The new tools let us have that close connection anywhere and make us much more efficient.”

Instant customer and partner communication

Skype for Business is helping to grow strong customer and supplier relationships all over the world; responding to a customer query or contacting a supplier about orders is as simple as clicking a button to have immediate audio, video or instant message contact

Secure, backed-up and protected

• All documents are stored safely in the cloud through OneDrive for Business – accessible anywhere and easy to share for fast and efficient collaboration across time zones
• The reassurance of ISO certified Microsoft data security has taken away the need for each person to separately back-up their own files

“It’s great that I don’t have to get everyone to separately back-up their computers any more as the new services do that for us and it means our customer details are secure and in one place.”

Helping the business to grow

• The scalability of the Office 365 cloud platform ensures that new team members can quickly be up and running with all the applications they need
• As a growing business, Pooch & Mutt have the reassurance that they will never face software upgrade costs, and will remain on latest versions automatically whilst only ever paying for the actual services they need
• With an imminent office expansion, tools like video conferencing, desktop sharing and white-boarding will keep the growing team connected and collaborating easily

“We’ve started selling our products outside the UK and it’s great to be able to run the training sessions for our new agents face-to-face using Skype for Business and support them without having to fly all round the world.”