Background

Birmingham-based M&E Maintenance Solutions have been providing building service maintenance across the West Midlands since 2007. Not only are M&E experts in all the latest heating, ventilation and air conditioning technologies, they also provide electrical, lighting and plumbing services. With M&E, all office needs are taken care of.

Founded by Stuart Butcher and Fred Dixon, the company has grown from humble beginnings as a two-person team to a workforce comprising 11 engineers and six office staff. With their continued growth, M&E have recently moved to new, bigger offices in Aston supported by a relocation grant through the European Regional Development Fund and Birmingham City Council.

The Challenge

As companies move further away from paper-based documentation, more and more are deciding to store information online and are increasingly dependent on the Internet and the Cloud. For M&E, Internet connectivity is crucial. They rely on it for everything from their email, which facilitates most of their quotes and other communications, to searching for components and parts online. They also depend on remote desktop connections for server access to securely access client histories, send jobs out to engineers, dispatch customer invoices and more besides. Everything is facilitated via the Internet with information passed between the server, the office computers and the engineers’ smartphones instantaneously. For it all to work together and for their business to function, the internet is key.

But at their new office location in Aston, poor internet connectivity was limiting productivity and preventing M&E from using their server-based system effectively. Since moving in, the team were forced to cope with ADSL lines, struggling with bandwidths of only 2Mbps; this was a time when they needed their systems to be running more smoothly than ever. After finding out that there were no plans for fibre connections in the area, Stuart Butcher, the company’s Managing Director knew that they quickly needed to look elsewhere to find a long-term solution:

“Our previous connection was like going back to the dark ages. It was either slow or non-existent and left us feeling as if we had no visibility. It was becoming increasingly frustrating for all of the team, so it was vital we found something else.”

The Solution

Through Birmingham City Council, M&E were then introduced to the government’s connection voucher scheme, which offers grants of up to £3,000 towards the installation of superfast broadband. After attending a voucher scheme event and meeting some of the registered suppliers, Stuart was amazed:

“All the small businesses there seemed to have the same problems: slow speeds and no fibre. But there are so many suppliers and so many different Internet services available; it’s opened my eyes to what’s out there besides the big-name providers.”

After meeting with several suppliers, M&E decided that Metronet (UK) offered the right solution for them. They discussed their needs with us and placed their order soon after. It was then only a matter of days before the service was installed and they now enjoy the benefits of a 20Mbps wireless leased line.

“Compared to other Internet service providers, Metronet (UK) offered much faster lead times, higher upload and download speeds, and the on-going monthly costs were cheaper, too. From meeting the Metronet (UK) team and learning about their product to getting up and running, the entire process has been excellent.”

The Benefits

The voucher scheme allowed M&E to have a superfast, uncontended connection installed at minimal cost. Stuart has since seen a dramatic difference in efficiency and business processes:

“We have already noticed that we’re more productive, especially as we no longer have to worry about the service being slow or suddenly dropping off. With our superfast connection, communications with our engineers have improved, it takes us less time to source components online and we really can make the most of our server-based services. That means a much quicker turnaround in terms of taking orders, issuing invoices and having customers signing off jobs; ultimately, these tasks now take minutes to hours instead of days to weeks!”

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