Pret Creates Integrated Customer Service Function

Leading sandwich retailer reaps benefits of Sostenuto implementation

Chessington - Popular premium food chain Pret, known for introducing natural and tasty ingredients into the world of fast food, is seeing the benefits of a customer service integration project started two years ago, underpinned by service management solution Sostenuto.

With 225 shops, a growing international presence, and a turnover of over 250 million pounds a year, the chain's culture of setting high standards whilst 'doing things differently' has been a recipe for success, which extends to its customer service operations.

IT Director Simon Kerry led the procurement process which resulted in bringing software solution Sostenuto on board two years ago. The process involved a formal tender during which several potential suppliers were evaluated.

Sunrise software's solution Sostenuto was adopted with the aim of consolidating the company's helpdesks across the board, resulting in a better service to the shops, and of course, to the end customer.

"We chose Sostenuto because it was clear from the outset that it would make it easy to manage calls and provide us with the reporting we needed," said Kerry. The product's flexibility was also very much a deciding factor, as we planned to adapt it for different departments moving forward."

In the first instance, the consolidation is bringing together IT, maintenance and customer services with a view to integrate supply chain, payroll and finance queries as the next step.

Sostenuto is being used by Pret to cater for the vast range of query types that come into the support desk, a 'one stop shop' for Pret staff and customers to come to. Queries from the shops can range from 'There's water pouring out of the fridge!' to 'We have an issue with Chip and Pin'.

Pret customers can log onto the chain's website and register their queries via email or a form. Forms including 'I've got a question for you', 'I have an idea for you', 'I'm angry and would like to complain' all invite feedback, and all feed into Sostenuto so that the team can manage them appropriately.

ITIL is a strong influence in the processes followed by Pret's integrated helpdesk, and the team plans to widen the breadth of functionality it uses within Sostenuto moving forward, embracing further ITIL functions such as change, contracts and service level management.

"When you go into a big project like this, you need to know that you will be working with the right people all along," said Kerry. "With Sunrise, everything has been straightforward, from the statement of work all the way through to going live and ongoing support. I have a lot of time for the people I have dealt with throughout the sales and implementation process."

What Pret now has is a single point of entry for all issues and the capability to report across all of its business areas.

"Retail is a fast changing industry," concluded Kerry. "Pret is opening 30 new shops this year and has ambitious growth plans. With Sostenuto, we have a service management solution that will evolve to meet our ambitious business demands, supported by a supplier we can trust."

About Sunrise Software (
Sunrise was founded in 1994 and is a leading independent provider of IT Service Management solutions to internal and external facing customer operations.

Its customer base includes over 1,000 blue chip and public sector organisations, including names such as Anglian Water, Müller, the NHS, Harper Collins, Rugby Football Union and Arts Council England.

Sunrise is widely recognised for excellent service, and product innovation is key to its long-term vision. This is the strategy behind the launch, in 2003, of Sostenuto, a process driven, entirely browser based ITSM solution.

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