British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in the UK, as well as providing energy to over half a million British businesses.
In additon to supplying energy, British Gas also offers a comprehensive range of services including boiler installation, Homecare® servicing of electrical systems, appliances, plumbing and drains, and Hive Active Heating™.
With so many different areas of the company needing marketing and other promotional collateral, the challenge for British Gas was to manage the proofing of promotional materials across internal and external teams and control the secure transfer of customer data and artwork. Traditionally, this had been managed through a complex email approval process and FTP file transfer which was becoming slow and inefficient.
British Gas has its own Print Services department, but works with external suppliers for marketing services and with Royal Mail for dispatch. As part of this arrangement there was a need to source a secure file transfer and collaboration solution that could accomodate both internal and external users in the exchange of files and data.
“The security of our customer data is paramount and we have always had firewalls in place, but using FTP sites to transfer large data and artwork files to and from external suppliers was becoming a problem,” explained Bryan Nicholas, the Direct Mail Buyer within Print Services.
In addition to its powerful collaboration capabilites, Huddle meets the requirements of the UK’s Data Protection Act and was selected as the tool of choice. Today Huddle is used to manage document versions, control the proofing process and track approvals, as well as for the sharing of files and customer data with third party fulfilment suppliers.
Amending and approving direct mail campaigns can be a complicated and lengthy process. Proofs need to be seen by several teams, and there can be a number of variables in each campaign. For example, in the case of price events, these can include a wide variety of
tariff tables requiring complex calculations per customer, all of which need to be signed off. Huddle simplifies this process.The secure nature of Huddle also means that data from external suppliers and partners can be uploaded to secure and controlled workspaces.
“The workspace structure of Huddle is easy to use. We have created specific internal client areas separate to the supplier areas to ensure only files relevant to a particular team are visible. Structuring the folders is also important as it means everything is where it should be, and the teams know where to find the files that they need to amend or approve.
“The mobile aspect of Huddle is also a big plus. Because it’s cloud-based we can work anywhere, which is really good for flexible working or remote working. I can access Huddle from my smartphone, transfer files and send notifications, all while I’m travelling. In addition, if people are going on holiday we can add temporary replacements to the user groups to ensure continuity” added Bryan Nicholas.
Lee Bevan, Service Delivery Manager in the Print Services arm concludes, “having been part of the team that originally selected Huddle as the preferred service provider in 2012 it made sense to me to continue the relationship when we became an in-source dept. The ability to segregate workspaces and restrict access to only relevant parties gives a much greater level of data protection than the legacy system it replaced. Huddle also provides us with the level of governance that is all important in such a heavily regulated industry as ours.”