The Wales Co-operative Centre is Wales’ national body for co-operatives, mutuals, social enterprises and employee owned businesses. It applies its co-operative values to supporting social businesses, strengthening communities, tackling poverty and promoting inclusion. It delivers major programs on behalf of the EU (via the Welsh European Funding Office) and Welsh Government. Other funders include the Big Lottery and the Nationwide Foundation. It also delivers consultancy services to a wide range of clients.
It currently employs over 90 members of staff who are based at offices across Wales (Caerphilly, Swansea, Carmarthen and Bangor). It is a co-operative, with an active community of members who shape the strategic direction of the Centre and democratically elect a Management Board each year.
They also receive funding for the Social Business Wales project from the Welsh Government. The Centre also delivers Digital Communities Wale s(DCW), a Welsh Government funded project.
Wales Co-op were seeking an experienced and innovative provider to supply a range of smartphones on a shared tariff. They also required the replacement of additional MiFi devices and tariffs later in the contract. Their choice of strategic partner would be expected to apply their experience of using innovative mobile services to enable the achievement of strategic goals, including service improvements and cost savings. The principal outputs of the mobile phone contract would be to lower costs and improve the effectiveness of smartphone services to staff over an initial 2-year period.
Midland Telecom won the tender because of their ability to manage a mixed fleet of mobiles on differing contract types and networks, as demanded by differing coverage requirements throughout Wales. Providing a dedicated Account Management team and have a proven track record of excellent customer service from actual customer testimonials.
Midland Telecom provided a fleet of both smartphones and tablet sims with excellent coverage from the combined network now used following the completion of the Beacon Mast Sharing Agreement between Vodafone and O2. Even in the challenging terrain in Wales, coverage has been tp an acceptable standard and 4G is available in most areas.
The team also have access to EE and O2 sims, which are provided on the same support platform, bill and account.
Sharon Honeyball from Wales Co-op commented
“I must say that both Tracy and I have enjoyed working with Midland and the day to day support from Maxine and Darryl has been brilliant. They are always so efficient and helpful which we really appreciate.”
With a selection of differing services and the need to integrate the smartphones into Wales Co-Op’s ICT infrastructure, it was decided to stage the delivery to suit the available resources. The complete transition from the initial meeting with their dedicated Account Management Team from Midland Telecom to delivery of most services; took three months.
Midland Telecom visited the site to meet with the team at wales Co-op. This gave the opportunity to fine tune the exact requirements of each connection in a shared spreadsheet.Maxine Doyle their dedicated internal account Manager took the time to audit the spreadsheet to make sure every connection was delivered over the transitional period.
Midland Telecom’s Ebillz platform sets up alerts to warn of any excessive usage and their daily billing processes has meant Co-Op Wales have kept their costs, remarkably the controls are so good SCW have kept to zero overspend from their basic monthly rental charges in three of the last five months and well under 1% overall.
Tracey Boast from the ICT team at Co-Operative Wales commented “The day to day support from Midland Telecom has been brilliant”