Hope Construction Materials, which has recently been acquired by Breedon Group plc, operated the UK’s biggest cement plant, with a history going back more than 80 years. Hope’s SAP system was critical to the day to-day running of the plant, as well as the company’s network of concrete plants and quarries throughout the UK. Centralised back-office functions such as finance and purchasing were dependent on the same system.

A modernisation project had left Hope’s support function with a backlog of 500+ tickets and an average incoming ticket level of 250 per week (with as many as 350 some weeks). The company recognised that it needed to take timely action. If the backlog had been allowed to grow, further functionality improvements could have become risky. The SAP system also needed to be as robust as possible, since outages could impact on operational excellence. Hope decided to work with its IT partner Capgemini – which supported the system and provided second and third level support and development services – to manage and reduce the backlog and safeguard the stability of the SAP system.

Working as one team at both management and technical levels, Hope and Capgemini successfully safeguarded the stability of the solution and got it into a state where Hope could confidently add new functionality required by the business. Hope achieved a spectacular reduction in the level of support tickets: the average backlog (defined as the number of tickets open after more than 30 days) reduced from 500+ to 10. The average monthly ticket count reduced from 1,000+ at the start of the project to just 40. These improvements resulted mainly from the use of problem management, with 100+ problem tickets raised and used to understand the root causes of related incidents so that they could be resolved efficiently, and recurrences prevented.

“Capgemini’s commitment to collaborate with us to continuously improve ITIL processes resulted in a highly stable and scalable IT environment which fulfilled the business requirements. In turn, this allowed me to focus my team on defining and implementing an applications strategy and roadmap which aligned seamlessly to Hope’s business strategy and achieved positive business outcomes.” – Isobel Whittaker, Head of IT Applications, Hope Cement

Read the full success story here.