Whether it’s offering best value for its 900 members or the need to respond quickly to an emergency breakdown during harvesting, Pembrokeshire Machinery Ring (PMR) hasn’t looked back since introducing superfast broadband in Spring 2015.
With 9 staff across a main office in Haverfordwest and two remote locations in Canaston Bridge, Pembrokeshire and Pontypool, Monmouthshire, this 24/7 operation is taking full advantage of the technology to improve its back office function for the benefit of its staff and members.
Connectivity is integral
Connectivity is integral to the cooperative’s productivity. While a modern broadband infrastructure was already in place, the upload speeds available made efficient working difficult. Since the introduction of superfast broadband, PMR has seen its upload speeds jump from 700k to 7mb. The new connections have also eliminated the constant threat of connectivity drop out which commonly took place when more than one person was online!
PMR Ltd was established in 1991 by a group of Pembrokeshire farmers and contractors as a member owned co-operative with the aim of sharing machinery, equipment and services. It is one of 9 similar cooperatives across England and Wales. Matching demanders with suppliers’ equipment and services enables group members to achieve economies of scale and reduces fixed cost investment in machinery.
"It just works!"
As well as these core activities, PMR Ltd source a range of different commodities on behalf of its members. These include - fuel oils, grass and cereal seeds, electricity and fertiliser. Neil Davies, PMR’s General Manager, “It just works! Getting superfast broadband is a no-brainer. It is absolutely critical that IT works effectively at all times. The cost comparisons are marginal, but without it we simply would not be able to function properly. The key advantage is the upload speeds we can now achieve for sharing important information quickly.
“We used to restrict the number of people dialling in, but now we are able to remote access our virtual server anywhere and at any time of the day. Since we are a 24/7 operation our on-call staff need to have a flexible system in place at all times. What superfast broadband has enabled us to do more efficiently is to be able to access data remotely whenever our members need support and act quickly. This could be a call from a retail park for urgent snowploughing or a replacement harvester requested at short notice.
“We also use a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone system. We’d bought the hardware some time ago but the slow connectivity made them impossible to use properly. Superfast broadband has made this now possible and every office is now connected through the same system which makes for a more efficient team, working as one. We are also investigating moving to a cloud based server system over time”.