Reliance Worldwide Corporation

Procurement services freeing up time for business support at RWC

The IT team at Reliance Worldwide Corporation rely on Compnow’s procurement services to free them up for more strategic work and to secure the best pricing for everything from devices to infrastructure components – all the way through to licence renewals.

The Reliance Worldwide Corporation (RWC) brand portfolio transforms performance and efficiency in plumbing & heating, smart homes and specialist water flow and control sectors.

RWC engineers and integrates sustainable solutions to shape a better world. From a small toolshop in Brisbane in 1949, RWC is now one of the fastest growing industrial companies listed on Australia’s Securities Exchange. It has operations and customers in AsiaPac, Americas & EMEA.

The Challenge

With RWC’s growth putting pressure on its IT team’s available resources, a procurement partner was needed to allow the team to focus on the future, not just what was broken.

The Solution

CompNow procurement services, as well as licencing renewal negotiations and supplementary engineering resources to fulfil specific, short-term project needs.

The Benefits
  • Trusted procurement services
  • CompNow deep industry connections & buying power
  • New technology POC & demo version to test before buying
  • RWC IT team has time freed for strategic and business focused work
  • CompNow resources fill technician gaps across ANZ

I am by nature very cautious with money. I’ve tested Compnow’s quotes and never been able to get a better price. With Compnow doing the purchasing, our IT team can get on with supporting RWC’s global manufacturing business.

Denis Forbes IT Manager APAC
Reliance Worldwide Corporation

The Challenge

Reliance Worldwide Corporation is on an enviable growth trajectory, with a large component of its strategy being by way of acquisitions.

In the local region, Denis Forbes, IT Manager APAC at Reliance Worldwide Corporation, says: “Our organisation is transitioning to the enterprise side of town. Staff growth over the last five years hit 20%.”

And for the IT group, that poses some challenges. He says: “IT is a small group, globally, for RWC’s market capitalisation. My five people look after RWC’s 15 facilities across ANZ – covering manufacturing, administration and communications. My role is largely responsible for maintaining the relationships with RWC’s plant and equipment manufacturers, based mainly in Italy.

“We have less and less time to get our hands dirty. We have to rely more on partners to help evolve the IT in our existing operations as well as integrating each of the new businesses being brought into RWC. It’s the pressure of doing more with the same resources, of having to focus on what’s broken rather than the future,” he says.

RWC looked to reduce the strain, by outsourcing its procurement needs. “We hadn’t even got to the size and stage of being able to create a technology roadmap, or do bulk orders. As each new staff member came on board, we had to do individual orders. Our purchases were ad hoc, which wasn’t very efficient and couldn’t attract discounts. And further complicating the process is that device offerings are largely role based and split across different vendors – HP desktops to engineering, the portable Microsoft Surface for execs and sales staff, and Apple Macs are preferred by IT and marketing,” Denis says.

A procurement partner had to “be on the same page, to get what we’re about straight away. I never had time to explain,” he says.

The Solution

CompNow’s initial brief was to fulfil the procurement needs for RWC’s device fleet in Australia and New Zealand. Its responsibilities quickly grew across a variety of purchasing, including racking & stack hardware, Veeam & VMWare licencing renewals, and APC UPS installations.

“CompNow’s bread and butter is IT procurement. We do manufacturing. It makes sense for CompNow to match our IT specs to fit technologies and price points. They’ve also simplified our ordering process and reduced the number of products,” Denis says.

One of the approaches taken by CompNow, that is very much appreciated by RWC, is its presentation of technologies for purchasing consideration. “When we’re moving into a new area, we’ve found CompNow to be very proactive, which is so helpful. They’ll even provide a proof of concept and demo versions – that’s particularly important if we’re buying outside the accepted internal model. We have the chance to prove new technologies will work, before we go ahead. Recently, CompNow helped us move to SCCM for our Microsoft fleet and with a new security platform,” he says.

As the relationship developed between the two organisations, CompNow’s project services expertise was called upon. CompNow is now RWC’s lead partner for all ANZ projects. In New Zealand, CompNow collaborates with a proven partner on customer projects. RWC has come to rely on CompNow “to bridge gaps for us when we’ve needed specific technology expertise on the ground,” Denis says.

“It’s great having the two providers with similar cultures and expertise. Both have people on the ground, everywhere, to cover our multiple locations in ANZ. We can rely on them to do whatever we need – be it device imaging, a Wi-Fi rollout, onsite server room installations, plugging in network switches, or delivering a laptop. We don’t have to worry about anything. CompNow arranges everything without a hitch,” Denis says.

For the Wi-Fi rollout in New Zealand, the first project RWC outsourced to CompNow, Denis says: “I was very nervous handing over installation work at a site in New Zealand – one that we hadn’t even visited. It all worked so smoothly; it was a very pleasant surprise”.


The Benefits

“RWC is about being a one brand family, one complete solution. That mission is reflected by CompNow in its dealings with us. Like us, CompNow has developed a complementary, problem solving portfolio. As we want to ‘deliver, control, optimise and solve’ for our customers, CompNow brings its expertise to simplify our technology environment,” Denis says.

“Our relationship with CompNow is fantastic. They’re always genuine, there’s never a hard sell. We’re comfortable together.

“CompNow does very nice pricing and they bend over backwards to help. Because of CompNow’s buying power, we keep adding to the number of products we buy from them. Vendor prices tend to go up if purchasers come back without cross checking – and getting multiple quotes takes time. I’m finding more efficiencies in CompNow’s consolidated, single point of contact – as I move from one vendor after another to CompNow.

“But probably the best thing CompNow has given me is precious time – so I can focus on supporting RWC’s operations and our expansion,” Denis says.

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