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The welding of Plumbing & Heating Investments Ltd and Plumbase

Plumbing Heating & Investments Ltd (PHIL) is a UK company engaged in the distribution of plumbing and heating products. It is owned by Marlowe Holdings Investments Ltd, which also owns Edmundson Electrical, (reputedly the largest electrical distributor in the UK and another user of HotH for IT Service Management.) PHIL first used a HotH hosted deployment for ITSM in August 2018.

Plumbase is one of the UKs leading Heating Spares merchants with a portfolio of products covering gas, domestic, commercial and leisure heating spares, controls and associated products and consumables. Plumbase have had their own HotH ITSM system since early 2020, following a takeover by PHIL late 2019.

For about a year HotH was providing independent hosted services for both plumbing service companies, they both entrusted HotH to be their service desk provider to help streamline and automate their process (especially through mail read), to ensure that they can provide a better service to their clients. Ultimately, a project was instigated to merge the 2 systems to reflect the merged businesses.

Since Plumbase was the newer of the two systems, with the most up-to-date styling, and the one that Michael Bebbington (Service Delivery Manager) felt was closer akin to how they envisaged the combined service should be managed; it was decided in essence, to transfer the data from PHIL to Plumbase. This was not without its challenges as the two systems had different Categorisations for Types and Sub-Types, different SLAs and priorities. The biggest challenge for HotH was the organisation of the users; PHIL record its users as contacts at the different PHIL Companies whereas Plumbase being a single company simply loaded its users individually. The data merge required updating the existing Plumbase users to belong to ‘Plumbase’ and then the data extract of the various PHIL companies and users had to be converted to create an import format to match. The data revisions and loads were managed out of hours to prevent any disruption to daily use of the live system. And finally, the system was restyled to reflect the new joint business.

Several different processes have been setup to help cope with the company’s needs. Some of these include Email Read, Asset Management, PO Management, Incident & Change Management, bespoke reports amongst others. The nature of the company meant that the ability to manage Suppliers, Assets & POs was a big factor.

As the merged HotH system has been up and running for a little while now, we thought it would be a great time to ask Michael Bebbington for some feedback!

We asked Michael ‘What was your experience of the merge process?’

He said that his experience was ‘very good, a few glitches but no blockers. Impressed that we did this by the 1st May, as originally planned’. He seemed impressed at the efficiency from HotH and the ability to get his service up and running with not much elapse time.

Furthermore, we asked Michael ‘How has using HotH Service Management Software helped your organisation?’

Michael put forward that ‘it provides us with Incident Management, Change Management etc’.

Additionally, we asked Michael ‘What do you like most about HotH’?

The response that we received was one which we get complimented on quite regularly – ‘the simplicity’.

Finally, we put to Michael ‘What would you say to others considering HotH?’

‘Buy it – the best ITSM toolkit I have ever worked with, including ServiceNow’.

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