Bakewell Biscuits, a 10-year-old cookies and biscuits company with manufacturing plant and office in Gujarat, wanted to expand into the toughest markets in the world – United States and Europe. Communicating with these customers is different
from existing Asian and Middle Eastern customers. With Bitscape Infotech, Bakewell embraced Microsoft Office 365, a collection of cloud-based email, calendaring, collaboration, conferencing, and web-based Office apps. The new solution has turned out to be
a cost-effective and easy way to access and edit documents, respond to emails, and approve documents by voice or video conferencing with overseas customers. Not only does it allows the management to work with customers the way they want but it eases business
pressures by giving access to information on any device. With more accurate decisions made on the fly, Bakewell is set to capture new markets.
||In India, we pick up the phone to communicate with customers. But in European markets this is considered an intrusion…. Now I check their availability and confirm convenience over IM before I call a customer…. This strengthens the
relationship between us.
| Mohammed Raish Suthar
Chief Executive Officer, Bakewell Biscuits Pvt Ltd
Founded in 2004 by Mohammed Raish Suthar, Bakewell Biscuits is a distinguished manufacturer and exporter of cookies and biscuits to African and the Gulf countries. It also plans to enter the United States and European markets in the future. It has made significant
investments in a state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, along with global manufacturing process standards.
However, as a small business with a regional footprint and about 100 employees, Bakewell was missing out on a key component and this was slowing down the management. There was a clear need for better communications and collaboration to manage its employees
and global distributors to support growth, especially as the management focused on markets with time zones as much as 10–12 hours apart. “With limited resources our investments were focused on manufacturing. But we realized that in 10 years, the way people
communicate in global markets had changed significantly, and we were lagging behind,” comments Javed Suthar, Head, Information Technology and Production and Purchase Manager, Bakewell Biscuits.
He recounts, “In 2004, we were just 10 people, mostly in the management that needed email access. Also, since we were all at the same location, internal communications was usually in person.” At this time, Bakewell started using a free email service supported
by a local service provider. This was unreliable, with frequent outages of the external mail server. Also the service provider visit to the office added almost 10–24 hours of downtime.
Similar issues existed with the website, while the lack of relevant information was slowing down every decision from strategic to execution. “This delayed everything from quotes, invoices, sale or purchase orders and approvals, and adversely affected the business,”
adds Mohammed Rafiq A. Jethara, Exports Head, Bakewell Biscuits.
By 2012, the company had grown to over 100 employees, out of which 10 managed processes using technologies and the remaining were shop floor workers. “We realized that only a world-class solution would allow us to work together irrespective of location, which
in our case is a remote village,” says Raish. ”It was time for us to start investing in technology that would support growth.”
Hiring and maintaining a highly skilled technology team increases costs. Therefore, this wasn’t an option for Bakewell Biscuits, a small manufacturing company. “We wanted a low maintenance solution but all the features of a global corporation included instant
messaging, presence, content sharing and audio and video conferencing with storage retrieval, which would involve high costs. We wanted all our information available from any device, and all the time,” says Javed.
During discussions with Bitscape Infotech, a local IT services firm, Javed realized that cloud-based solutions would provide a reliable and cost-effective alternative to an on-premise solution. After extensive research, Bakewell Biscuits shortlisted two solutions
— Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365.
As Bitscape Infotech is Microsoft Gold Competency Partner as well as cloud accelerate partner, it presented a detailed overview of Microsoft Office 365 for small businesses and also demonstrated several features and capabilities. “I quite liked the idea of
a single global vendor for all our IT requirements, from emails to website, an intranet and web conferencing. With Google, we didn’t see all the capabilities come together as easily. Also, local support apart from lower costs was a big reason to go with Office
365,” says Raish.
In June, 2013, Bitscape deployed five user licenses of Office 365 Enterprise plan for small businesses for the Bakewell Biscuits management. The mailbox migration was smooth. The enterprise-grade email powered by Microsoft Exchange Online offers 50GB of space
for each user. “With web and mobile access, we are now able to receive and read emails anywhere,” states Javed.
Lync Online gives the flexibility to interact without adding the expense of long-distance phone bills and international travel. Besides information on status and availability of users, it helps in setting up meetings on the fly as well as online chats. Moreover,
personal archiving, up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spam protection ensure that the mailboxes are clean and clutter- free. Users can also quickly search content across files and email messages.
||Through online meetings and conferencing, the solution has reduced travelling, telephone and shipping expenses. We estimate that within one year, the solution will bring down the collaboration and communication expenses by 35 percent.
| Mohammed Raish Suthar
Chief Executive Officer, Bakewell Biscuits Pvt Ltd
Bitscape has also deployed SharePoint Online. With this, the management has access to all the relevant information in a single place and the information is always current. Bitscape has also created workflows to ensure approval processes that communicate decisions
effectively across the organization.
And finally, Bitscape Infotech migrated and updated the website as well, using the SharePoint Online component of Office365, creating sub-sites for products using SharePoint Designer and out-of-the-box templates and thus saving annual web hosting costs.
Data is available in perpetuity irrespective of whether the employee is still with the company as each employee has access to One drive and users share documents online.
Post Microsoft Office 365, Bakewell reaps the benefits spanning from rapid time-to-value, enhanced efficiency and productivity, ease of use and reduced expenses.
Frees Management from Office
Says Raish, “The instances of productivity increase are phenomenal. The impact on the business and our personal lives is no less significant.”
Allows Easy Communication with Global Customers
Samir A. Saiyed, Head, Accounting and Finance, Bakewell Biscuits adds, “We can see all updates on the invoicing, purchase and sales orders. I don’t have to wait for updated emails from my team anymore. This significantly increases my productivity.”
Javed further explains, “I don’t need to get back to my desk to finalize the production schedule. I can start processing orders as and when confirmed.”
Lync online allows Bakewell to communicate more effectively with its customers. It’s not just the technology per se, but how it bridges the gap between different business cultures. “In India, we pick up the phone to communicate with customers. But in most
European markets this is considered an intrusion into people’s workdays. Now, I check their availability and confirm convenience over IM before I call a customer; allowing us to be in touch, respond to queries immediately. This strengthens the relationship
between us,” says Raish.
Reduces Costs by 35 Percent
Besides owning the solution at special pricing for SMBs, Bakewell also benefits from subscription based pricing. “We currently have five users and pay for them rather than purchasing licenses after foreseeing future growth,” comments Raish. “Through online
meetings and conferencing, the solution has reduced travelling, telephone and shipping expenses. We estimate that within one year, the solution will bring down the collaboration and communication expenses by 35 percent.”
Enhances Security and Reliability
Besides, the company is also saving on multiple vendors who were earlier required for hosting, emailing and branding. Office 365 single-handedly takes care of all these factors.
The cloud-based Office 365 solution has secured the environment with automatic security updates. Microsoft is responsible for backing-up our data, reducing the time and effort required to do the task. And, with complete back up available for every employee,
the management is also assured that data is available even when employees leave the organization.
Microsoft Office 2013
Microsoft Office 2013 gives your people powerful, timesaving tools to do their best work from more places. With new capabilities and insightful updates to Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook, Office 2013 offers the complete package — with familiar, intuitive
tools. Now you can express ideas, solve problems, connect with people, and create amazing results — in the office, at home, or on the go.
For more information about Microsoft Office, go to:
About Bitscape Infotech
Bitscape is Microsoft technology focused solutions partner and Microsoft World Wide Award finalist for last two syears, specializing in Microsoft SharePoint technologies and Windows Azure based development services. It is an ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO
20000 certified business and technology consulting company that provides Customized Information Technology Solutions. Bitscape does have many ready-to-use cloud solutions for Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. To know more about Bitscape please visit our Microsoft
here or visit our website
For More Information
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For more information about Bakewell Biscuits products and services, call (91) (2774) (243557) or visit the website at: www.bakewellbiscuits.com
For more information about Bitscape Infotech products and services, call (91) (79) (71615100) or visit the website at:www.bitscape.com