Following a management buyout backed by LDC in May 2016, TXM Plant is currently undergoing a period of rapid growth and investment. To ensure that IT would be an enabler for the business and to lead the IT Department during this time, TXM Plant brought in an Interim CIO from Intuitus on a full-time basis for 6 months.
The Interim CIO’s remit included the creation and implementation of an IT strategy, a review of existing supplier contracts, the removal of technology related growth barriers, and the leadership of the IT department during a period of restructure.
TXM Plant provides road rail vehicles and associated attachments to Network Rail and its major contractors involved in maintenance, track renewal and infrastructure projects. The company is based in Milton Keynes and operates from nine depots nationwide.
In the period leading up to the MBO, TXM Plant’s IT function was seen as reactive rather than proactive. Intuitus had undertaken IT due diligence, on behalf of LDC, ahead of the MBO and identified several issues that were negatively impacting the business, including a lack of IT strategy and senior leadership. The challenge facing TXM Plant was how to address these shortfalls.
How Intuitus helped
As part of our Managed Interim Services, TXM Plant appointed Intuitus consultant Jeremy Warren as Interim CIO. Jeremy was able to provide the expertise and experience that the IT department was lacking. Furthermore, our integrated service management framework ensured that TXM Plant would also benefit from regular access to broader, strategic advice and guidance from the Intuitus team.
The role had two major functions: to provide IT strategy and leadership to TXM Plant, and to help recruit a permanent IT Manager.
During a 6-month period Jeremy, backed by the wider Intuitus team, led the IT department through a number of significant changes, including the implementation of an IT strategy, a governance framework and penetration testing. There had been significant investment in software systems prior to Intuitus coming on board; these systems were now assessed and adapted to ensure they best supported the business. The organisation’s servers, which were previously housed on premise, were moved offsite and cloud hosting was adopted.
TXM Plant had been experiencing problems with a particular machine maintenance IT system supplier; the Interim CIO was able to find an alternative IT supplier that specialised in railway maintenance. Over the course of the interim engagement all of the IT suppliers were replaced, bringing both cost and efficiency savings to the business.
“The Interim CIO made some big decisions, but in every case he was able to show what the benefit would be, and how investing in efficiency would save us money in the long term,” says Patrick Matthews, Finance Director at TXM Plant. “With determination and focus he was able to introduce a lot of change in a relatively short period of time and, most importantly, get people’s buy in. It was reassuring to have an expert in place, it gave the Board confidence that IT now supported and enabled the strategic view of the business.”
During his tenure as Interim CIO Jeremy assisted with the recruitment of a permanent IT Manager to lead the department and continue the implementation of the IT strategy. In addition to this, he spent time training and mentoring the existing members of the IT team. Jeremy also raised the profile of IT within the company by introducing initiatives such as staff-wide internet training.
Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans
“Jeremy combined IT expertise with a commercial focus. To take an example – the move to cloud hosting will save TXM Plant an estimated £400,000 over next 4 to 5 years,” says Patrick Matthews.
“With regards to what the future holds, we’ve got our IT strategy in place for the next 2 to 3 years, and we’ve just appointed a new IT manager. We’ve also taken on an IT apprentice and there is further recruitment planned for later in the year.”
The response from LDC has also been positive. John Green, Head of Nottingham at LDC, adds that “the agreed IT actions highlighted by Intuitus’ due diligence report have been addressed, and I’m happy with the progress made. The feedback from the board has been very positive, including the hands-on support provided by the Intuitus Interim CIO.”
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