Pilkington: IT overhaul brings GBP 6 million saving

Pilkington has saved GBP 6 million since reorganizing its IT services infrastructure to cope with a period of globalisation. The company has centralised its IT infrastructure and brought outsourced se…

Pilkington has saved GBP 6 million since reorganizing its IT services infrastructure to cope with a period of globalisation. The company has centralised its IT infrastructure and brought outsourced services back in-house in a project that began in 2000. Information services centre manager Mike Stops says the firm found outsourcers too inflexible to deal with during a period of massive change in the business. “We made the cost argument that because Pilkington was going more global, we did not want to get in with an outsourcer and then be forced to keep altering and renegotiating our contract”, he said. Bringing IT in-house has brought flexibility, allowing the company to introduce new countries or applications without the need for long contractual negotiations with a third party, says Stops. Pilkington is using an IT service management tool from Touchpaper to handle calls to its support service, which Pilkington manages in-house. This has allowed the company to keep information services support staff numbers at about 400. The number of calls to the helpdesk has remained static even though the company has been growing. Pilkington plans to introduce the forthcoming version of the Touchpaper tool to further reduce costs and improve services to its users. The manufacturer is also installing SAP software across its global operations. Stops says this will provide a clearer picture of what is happening across the whole company. “For example, if a customer in Spain says “I need lots of windscreens in this design,” instead of rigging an entire plant to fulfil that, you can look around the world to see where you already have in stock what the customer needs”, he said.