IT MAY have maintained the same family-business ethos since Grandpa Robert and Isabella set up their Bridge of Allan farm with 12 cows more than 75 years ago, but Graham’s the Family Dairy isn’t one for standing still when it comes to technology.
Since it began in 1939, the family firm has grown to become one of Scotland’s largest independent milk producers, employing 500 people and enjoying annual sales of almost £90 million.
With the company’s two processing facilities receiving around 700,000 pints of milk and hundreds of drivers making thousands of deliveries every day, easy, immediate communication and co-ordination is essential. That’s where cloud computing comes in.
“Our IT partner, IA Cubed, knows what technology solutions will deliver real business value,” says managing director Robert Graham. “When we wanted to improve how we communicate and collaborate across the business, IA Cubed introduced us to Microsoft Office 365.
“Everyone loves the anywhere, anytime, any communication that we have with Office 365. It’s a perfect match for the spontaneous, personal contact style that makes our family business work,” he says.
“Our sales manager uses presence and instant messaging to connect with account managers on the road, so he’s no longer frustrated by gaps in communications that could delay solving customer-satisfaction issues.”
And, perhaps surprisingly, Graham has found that cloud-computing technology has strengthened the sense of family, right across the business. “My mum is all over [business social network] Yammer. When she sees a photo of a nice display of our products, she sends ‘Well done!’ messages to the reps. It adds to the feeling of being one big family,” says Graham.