Milly Green Design Case Study
Milly and Ed Green run their product design business from the “command centre” set in the beautiful Surrey countryside just outside Haslemere.
Milly Green designs, manufactures and sells a portfolio of quintessentially English products – homeware, ceramics, stationary, gift food and many more.
The Haslemere based team of ten create designs, coordinate a global supply chain, manage 1500 product SKUs and the sales millions of pounds’ worth of product.
To get “Celebrating Britain English Breakfast Tea” onto the shelves of John Lewis for example, involves:
- the design, product management and supply chain management from Haslemere;
- the manufacture of the tins in the Far East followed by shipment to
- Sri Lanka to be filled with tea and despatched to
- the warehouse in UK for final packaging and distribution to
- John Lewis for your consumption.
Amazing what this energetic team does on our doorstep.
“Our target customers are aspirational consumers (people who are concerned about sustainability and brand responsibility)” says Ed Green, Managing Director “and we connect with them in several ways. Through our own website MillyGreen.com and notonthehighstreet.com as well as through retailers, such as John Lewis, and at major sporting events – Ascot and Open Golf, for example. We continue to see a lot of interest from international customers for our Brilliantly Britain, Celebrating Britain and Royal Memorabilia ranges”.
A colourful quintessentially British product range
It’s a highly competitive market so our designs and product ranges need to stand out and be distinctive. Our product ranges all sit well together – from textiles and ceramics to stationary and food gifting, our products and collections have been described as “quirky” and quintessentially British with a particular focus on colour.
Managing core business versus managing IT
Our entire business is dependent on IT – from creating designs, coordinating with our suppliers and retailers, managing our stock, maintaining our website through to, of course, invoicing and finance. So we need to ensure that our IT systems are resilient and continuously support our business without interruption.
The core of our business is design for which we use the Adobe Creative Suite on Apple Macs. Whereas our ERP and finance software primarily run on PCs.
“When we started out I looked after our computers myself” commented Ed “But as we grew I had to decide what would be the best use of my time. So I moved out responsibility for non-core business and IT was top of the list.
The trigger was really when we needed to introduce Sage and more complex networking – I needed to spend my time growing our core business and so passed responsibility for scaling our technology to IT professionals”.
Managed IT Service from PAAC IT
Milly Green Designs used PAAC IT for a number years on an ad-hoc basis before changing to an IT Managed Service arrangement in March 2016. PAAC IT now:
- continuously monitors Milly Green’s computers,
- provides helpdesk services to Milly Green’s staff,
- conducts regular preventative maintenance checks on all the IT equipment, and
- fixes the technology on the odd occasion there is an issue.
In addition to the Managed IT Service, we provide and configure new computers as Milly Green’s business continues to grow, and have recently installed computer networking and wiring for their new office premises.
We also conduct regular reviews and planning sessions with Ed Green to agree the evolution of their IT in line with their business growth and change.
“All of Milly Green computers have been equipped with ESET Endpoint Security which we continuously monitor from our systems. If anything goes wrong – we receive an alert and can take appropriate action”, says Richard Paterson, Managing Director, PAAC IT.
Good, friendly, reliable, trusted and local service from PAAC IT
“Richard and his team have made a great difference to our business” says Ed Green, “and Richard is truly a member of our extended team. I value the forward-looking planning sessions we have and treat him as a trusted advisor. The managed IT service has taken us from a reactive to proactive approach and I’m delighted that staff now raise issues with PAAC IT instead of me – although I do help occasionally! The managed service is also an insurance policy, providing cost certainty to my business which makes budgeting easier”.
Ed Green “The things I like about the service from PAAC IT are:
- They understand my business and how the IT supports what we need to do;
- They are very helpful and responsive – we can call and email them at any time;
- They are very much part of our extended team;
- The remote support and diagnosis is great – very quick to get issues sorted out”.
“If I was to describe PAAC IT in a few words it would be good, friendly, reliable, trusted and local service” Ed Green, Managing Director, Milly Green Designs.