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Interchange Group - Case Study - PST
Why BlackBerry proved the cream of the crop for PST
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With a successful track record of almost 30 years in global inventory management, the Berkshire-based PST Group has more than its fair share of expertise in the IT industry.

Starting in 1973, when the opportunity arose to help photographic retailers dispose of excess and surplus stock, the company has expanded across the IT, telecoms and consumer electronics markets.

Today its clients include major brands such as Compaq, Dell, Hitachi, IBM/Lotus, Olympus, Panasonic and Toshiba and sales in 2001 exceeded the US$300 million mark.

With an HQ in Maidenhead and offices in Paris, PST now employs some 50 staff.

The secret of its success is the ability to help vendors maximise the value of their assets by providing innovative solutions to the issue of non-productive inventory. From co-operative remarketing and refurbishment programmes to e-business platforms and corporate barter.

PST’s reputation as an inventory management specialist has been built on flexibility and speed of response, and technology has played a key role in ensuring the company provides service excellence to its global base of both suppliers and customers.

As part of its reverse logistics service, PST guarantees that it can resell inventory into non-competing secondary and export markets and, with today’s emphasis on recycling, this is more important than ever.

The forthcoming EU directive on waste disposal of electrical products is set to create huge opportunities in the marketplace and PST believes that its growth over the next five years will come directly from increasing demands for reverse logistics from manufacturers and retailers alike.

Using ‘always on’ GPRS technology, the BlackBerry was the perfect answer because it allows users to read, compose, forward, reply, delete or file messages without the need to set up a separate email address or mailbox.

In addition, it would also allow them to synchronise calendars and make sure they were constantly up-to-date with developments and appointments.

Interchange set up a BlackBerry demonstration and trial, which proved a success in what it had set out to achieve, and convinced the PST sales, purchasing, logistics and systems teams that it could bring major benefits to them.

Within a week, a 10-user BlackBerry solution was ordered for the use of key PST employees.

With its reputation for speed and efficiency, PST has always been keen to utilise technologies which can help provide genuine improvements to the level of service on offer. It was apparent that a requirement existed for a mobile solution which would allow PST personnel to be out meeting clients, but would also enable them to stay in constant email touch with the office.

Having spotted the potential of the recently launched BlackBerry wireless email solution they set about gaining more information and met with Interchange, specialists in mobile communications technology.

For all users the benefits were simple – push technology that meant no more dialling in to collect emails and the ability to stay in touch with the office.

In fact the effectiveness of the devices was to be proved almost immediately by the PST purchasing team.  Within just three days, staying in mobile communication enabled the company to clinch a deal which may otherwise have been lost.

Nigel Bussingham, PST’s Director of Purchasing, was travelling back from Wales on a Friday afternoon when he saw on his BlackBerry that an email had come in from a client in Manchester.

“It was clear that they wanted to meet to discuss issues around our proposed contract,” said Mr Bussingham.  “Thanks to the BlackBerry I was able to pick up their email and respond to it immediately by going straight to their office. Once there, I was able to sort out the issues and sign the deal there and then, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had had to wait until I returned to the office to see the email in the first place.”

“Thanks to this one deal, the BlackBerry devices have literally paid for themselves within days and now none of our sales or purchasing teams go anywhere without their BlackBerry stowed safely in their pocket.  They can visit companies secure in the knowledge that there is not a backlog of emails building up for them in the office that will take time simply to sort and catch up with.”

BlackBerry devices had, he said, not only helped PST in its role as an outsourcing company which provides fast and effective solutions to its clients, but had also given the PST team much better control and management of their working day.

PST can be contacted on 01628 782233 or visit the PST corporate web site

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