Aulds Bakery: a sophisticated phone system that’s easy for everyone to use

HQ: Greenock, Scotland
UK employees: 300 approx
Silver Cloud client since: 2018

The background
Aulds has been making high-quality, fresh baked goods since 1900. A family business, now in its fourth generation, it has an excellent reputation for both its products and its service. It has two main sites: its HQ and day-fresh bakery at Greenock, and a state-of-the-art facility in Inchinnan that specialises in frozen deserts.

With a turnover of around £18million per year, it has about 250 wholesale customers, and eight of its own retail units. It competes on quality: it uses traditional recipes, and avoids automation and synthetic ingredients.

The challenge
Des Mullan, Operations Manager explains: “I’d worked with Tony [Quinn, Silver Cloud’s founder and CEO] when I was at other businesses. In 2018 we decided to look at our telecoms, and he was the first person I phoned.

“We were using an older landline-based system that was coming to the end of its useful life. We asked Silver Cloud to recommend a more sophisticated system that was better value and more flexible. Above all, it had to be easy to use. Many of our people have been with us a long time, so big and sudden changes can be challenging. We needed something that we could immediately slot into the 3 business, with people then learning the more advanced features later.”

Our solution
We took the time to understand the needs of the business now and in the future – this took several meetings and brainstorming sessions. Our main aim was to protect the investment that Aulds had made in their existing telecoms over the previous five years.

We recommended upgrading their Panasonic system to the latest model. This places calls over internet lines, making it both future-proof and cheaper, as calls to UK landlines and mobiles were included in the package.

Aulds also wanted their teams in different sites to build closer working relationships. To help with this, we introduced a collaboration tool that allows users to instantly view a colleague’s presence, regardless of their location. The system also allows users to send instant messages, a faster and less formal form of communication that encourages closer working.

The result
Des says that the new system answered Aulds’s brief exactly: “We didn’t bamboozle anyone when we introduced it. But there is additional functionality there, which we can introduce to people as we grow into it organically and become more comfortable with it. The system does everything we expected it to, and at a reduced cost to the business.”

This all highlights a key element of Silver Cloud’s approach: we don’t just pick a system and then sell it to the customer. We start by understanding the customer’s needs, and design the solution around that.

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