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Established in 2005, CRS Building Supplies sells building materials to trade and retail customers, initially from 12 branches across Somerset.

CRS is an independent builders merchant that has seen massive growth since the start back in 2005. In January 2021 they were acquired by Grant & Stone making them one of the largest independent builders merchants in the South. Grant & Stone Group and Independent Builders Merchant Group (IBMG) then merged, creating a builders merchant group with 123 branches, revenues in excess of £500 million and over 1,700 employees. The new Group extends from Cornwall to Kent and comprises builders merchants, electrical wholesalers, plumbers’ merchants, kitchen and bathroom showrooms, roofing merchants, a timber processing site, and a dedicated commerce business.

CRS Building Supplies have also recently achieved DVSA Earned Recognition as an accredited vehicle operator.

The Objective

CRS were looking to digitise their operations and remove the need for paper-based exercises by integrating a new application to help with their workflow. They were looking to start with around 60 tough Android smartphones. The devices being used needed to be allocated to a vehicle rather than a person, so multiuser log ins were required for the new devices. They also needed to be locked down to protect both the company and the device users. They now have a system that will enable them to see the future going forwards to enable other digital operations like electronic PODs.

CRS Building Supplies

The Solution

Challenger’s wealth of knowledge on MDM products and the requirement for multiuser log ins led us down the path of SOTI MobiControl. We recommended the Samsung XCover Pro devices for CRS due to the environment they were being used in and provided the devices on a flexible solution for CRS with no upfront capital outlay.

  • Multiuser mode: Devices are used by multiple users over different shifts. Each morning, a user picks up the device and logs in using their credentials. Apps and data relevant to that user are then installed.
  • Automation: Every evening at 5pm we automatically log out all users, so if a user has forgotten to log out the device will still be wiped and ready to use the next day.
  • Kiosk mode: Devices reside in a kiosk mode or lockdown; this secures the device and only displays the apps the users need access to. This helps with productivity as well as apps always reside in the same location and are ordered based on the priority of the application.
  • Speed kiosk/lockdown: This capability changes the available apps in the kiosk if the device is moving at a certain speed. This helps with driver safety as applications such as a browser, messaging apps and anything that could distract the driver are removed off screen and cannot be accessed until the vehicle is at a standstill.
  • App deployment: Various business critical applications are automatically deployed and kept up to date to ensure users can perform their day-to-day tasks.
  • Antivirus: Antivirus is automatically deployed to each device to ensure the device is secured from a variety of threats.
  • Secure browser: A secure browser ensures users are blocked from accessing potentially dangerous content that could result in data breaches. It also allows for quick access to specific websites via bookmarks.
Business Mobile App

To ensure that the SOTI device management roll-out was efficiently managed, a nominated person from each party was involved in the build. Chris from CRS Building Supplies and Rob from Challenger’s MDM partner liaised throughout the project to make sure that the deployment was successful. By opting for our fully managed SOTI Solution, CRS have a dedicated email address with direct access to our MDM Support Team to make any configuration changes needed for future requirements.

We have been working closely with Challenger over the last year to get the new systems and phones up and running and can say quite conclusively that they have met all our requirements and have left no stone unturned in setting up our network of devices. The backup is simply a call away, so when we needed to make some adjustments, nothing was too much trouble!

The phones have reduced the need for paperwork processes and ensured that we are always connected with our drivers and has given us the freedom to give them the tools to carry out their daily duties! The time saving has positively impacted all areas of our transport dept. and ultimately reduced our costs!

Paul Gibbard, Transport Manager

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