Global food company Bakkavor improves IT service and support

“For hardware maintenance, BT is competitive and provides a valued service. We have confidence it will deliver a good service and also be flexible. BT understands our business, how we operate and the high standards we expect in IT support.”

Hayley Keenan, Helpdesk Manager, Bakkavör Group
An award-winning provider of fresh prepared foods and produce, Bakkavör Group operates in 10 countries and employs over 18,000 people.

Its products are split into two main categories: Hot-eating, which includes products that need to be cooked or heated, and Cold-eating, which includes products that are ready to eat or require minimal preparation. Bakkavör also markets fresh produce, particularly speciality ranges, and all products are generally sold under its customers’ own brands.


As you would expect, IT is critical to the smooth running of this global business. Bakkavör’s IT department is based in the UK. “From here, we support a large number of UK and mainland Europe businesses,” says Hayley Keenan, Helpdesk Manager. “We have IT representatives onsite but they are not geared up to provide engineering support, which is why we outsourced to BT.”

Bakkavör’s IT includes key factory and business systems for manufacturing and production, including planning staffing levels, ordering ingredients, and running production lines. “We work in fresh prepared foods so timescales are critical in getting ingredients in, producing products, then delivering them to customers,” says Keenan. The technology that manufacturing depends on has to be running smoothly, minimising any downtime.

In addition to this ‘business systems support’, Keenan says her department must also deliver ‘normal’ IT support for servers, PCs and other equipment at factory sites used for activities including marketing, processing customer orders, finance/invoicing, and HR. “It’s critical all these systems and processes work effectively, to ensure our businesses are efficient and productive.” Her team supports around 5,000 users, calculated based on the number of Active Directory accounts. However, Keenan says, 20-30 people may actually use the same account at a single factory across different shifts.


For almost 10 years, BT has provided Bakkavör with highly responsive break/fix maintenance services UK-wide across servers, desktops, laptops, printers and peripherals, helping the centralised IT function deliver consistently high service standards to a diverse and demanding user base, along with IT procurement, additional project resources, Managed Print and Professional Services.

The company is predominantly a HP shop; moves in recent years to standardise around HP saw the warranty side originally sub-contracted by HP to BT. “In 2005 we decided to work direct with BT,” Keenan says. “This was an opportunity to improve and extend the service; to make the process far more efficient, to log calls faster and make communications even smoother. We already had a great working relationship with BT.”

When users experience problems, they call the internal Helpdesk. “We troubleshoot, and anything where we diagnose the need for an onsite engineer, something we can’t fix remotely, we contact BT. Its Service Desk personnel are always very friendly, they log the call efficiently, and engineers are sent very quickly – the same day if a call’s logged in the morning” says Keenan.

Why BT?

BT has a highly responsive team of specialist field engineers available throughout the UK, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

The same engineers tend to be sent to the same businesses, so they already have a good working relationship with employees at that site; they know the business and don’t have to be chaperoned around. They also know the processes Bakkavör’s Helpdesk has to follow and work to achieve them; for instance, if they have to change a PC hard drive, they know the processes to re-image that machine remotely.

In this way, Keenan says, the service as delivered “reduces downtime for Bakkavör employees. Working closely with BT engineers and the account team makes the whole operation smoother, which means we deliver a better service for end users.” This might cover everything from repairing a server associated with a critical manufacturing process, to fixing a single PC used by a marketing assistant – for sites ranging from large factory complexes with several different lines, to small sites with 150 staff, as well as covering a spread of locations from Edinburgh in the north, to Lincolnshire on the east coast, to Dover on the south coast and Somerset to the west. “We receive a very good service,” Keenan adds, “and BT offers competitive pricing.”

For two years, Bakkavör has also purchased all of its hardware and software via BT. In addition, BT manages the company’s Microsoft Select agreement. A handful of businesses also use Managed Print Services, and the company also uses BT to provide resource for projects on an ad hoc basis; for example, a major Windows upgrade that involved replacing a large number of PCs and laptops. “BT provided resource for a number of weeks to image machines and install them,” Keenan adds. “They’ve also provided audits to help in managing our hardware assets.”

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