Setup in 1939 by Robert Graham in Bridge of Allen, Stirlingshire, Scotland’s largest independent dairy farm—Graham’s the Family Dairy—remains family owned and operated after three generations. The country’s largest independent dairy farm is known for its award-winning range of dairy products with customers both locally and globally.
Ranked #2 as the “Most Chosen Scottish Brand” by a 2022 consumer report (Scottish Brand Footprint 2022 (c) (turtl.co), Graham’s is a household name in Scotland, distributed in supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, and door-step delivery. Their IT department consists of two people who support the technology infrastructure of 200 employees, over 85 partner farms, and a global distribution network.
“Intel vPro was another tool in our toolset and, for us, it turned out to be an invaluable one.”—Daniel Baird, Head of IT, Graham’s the Family Dairy
With continued growth and limited IT resources, Graham’s recognized an opportunity to transform their technology infrastructure to continue to grow, while meeting the demands of hybrid and remote working. Having already standardized its workforce on PCs powered by the Intel vPro® platform, Graham’s was in a strong position to respond to change by activating the technology’s hardware-based remote manageability tools: Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) and Intel® Endpoint Management Assistant (Intel® EMA). The efficiency of these manageability features frees up the IT duo to deliver strategic initiatives while keeping up with employee PC needs. By enabling them to respond to technical issues remotely in real-time, employees can experience reduced downtime allowing the business to keep up with market demands as the brand continues to grow.
Challenge: Growing Business with Limited IT Resources
Today’s global dairy operations face greater challenges than ever. In an interconnected world, supply chains, food safety, and timely delivery depend on real-time coordination of many complex factors. Dairy businesses depend on connected PC infrastructure to control everything from the flow of milk and the printing of shipping labels to the data being sent to handheld devices used by delivery people. Graham’s the Family Dairy partner farms and customers extend across Scotland and beyond, including a global distribution network reaching as far as Hong Kong and Singapore. But with an IT team of just two people, the practical pressures of providing employee tech support to ensure smooth network operations were becoming unsustainable. Especially when all troubleshooting efforts needed to be conducted manually.
Daniel Baird, Group Head of IT at Graham’s, says that PCs play an essential role in nearly all production and distribution aspects of the business. To avoid production impact due to device downtime, providing on-demand, in-person end point management support at its various production facilities has been a critical, and taxing, part of their job. He recalls routinely traveling long distances cross-country, sometimes spending up to eight hours on the road, to help facilities address IT issues.
Baird identified the need for a remote management solution that would be cost effective, easy to manage, and sustainable into the future. Essential to the solution was the ability to manage all devices from a central point, enhance network and system security features, monitor consistency across the PC fleet, as well as handle onboarding and update maintenance.
As hybrid and remote work became more widespread in recent years, Baird became aware of the enormous device manageability potential of the Intel vPro platform-based devices he had already been buying for Graham’s for the exceptional performance and stability. Activating those features is all it took to unlock the flexibility of modern endpoint management for the IT team at Graham’s the Family Dairy.
This created an opportunity for the Intel vPro platform to help a traditional family business achieve increased efficiency while freeing their IT department to pursue technology infrastructure enhancements.
Solution: Activating Intel vPro® Platform Manageability Features to Transform Operations
Due to a decision to standardize workforce PCs on the Intel vPro platform, Graham’s technology infrastructure already featured a mix of Intel vPro platform-powered laptops and desktops. When the need for remote device control became clear, Graham’s decided to make full use of the Intel vPro platform’s hardware-based remote manageability tools: Intel AMT and Intel EMA. The IT team set about realizing the remote manageability potential of the Intel vPro platform-based devices already in use within the dairy’s PC network.
“With the Intel EMA software and Intel AMT, we can jump on and resolve problems a lot quicker than before, from wherever we are.”—Daniel Baird, Head of IT, Graham’s the Family Dairy
Intel AMT is a hardware-based tool that offers persistent out-of-band connectivity operating independently of the OS, allowing fixes to a wider range of system issues, even when the OS is down. Baird learned that Intel vPro platform is one of the only tools with this capability at the hardware level, because its core chipset is designed to remain accessible independent of the software running the PC. Intel EMA software gives IT the added mobile flexibility to manage Intel AMT-activated devices remotely and securely beyond the firewall from the cloud. Remote management tools can be critical for business continuity for companies like Graham’s where there are device accessibility barriers due to dispersed endpoints and limited troubleshooting resources.
The IT team integrated these technologies with their existing systems to provide a critical boost to remote management capabilities, allowing them to access PC endpoints located at production factories hours away from the IT office. It became possible to patch in from anywhere and handle issues remotely at any time of day. Together, Intel AMT and Intel EMA opened up a world of remote management possibilities for Graham’s.
Results: Dairy Farming with Around-the-Clock Remote IT Support
Activating Intel AMT and Intel EMA as part of the Intel vPro platform helped Graham’s to increase workflow productivity and reduce costs. By enabling the IT team to respond to technical issues remotely in real-time, employees experienced reduced downtime and could focus their efforts on the business of meeting demand in a challenging global environment.
Fewer IT team visits to farms and customers translated to significant cost savings, and more streamlined system troubleshooting and repairs. For example, when a PC that controls the flow of milk through a depot went down (which would usually be impossible to fix remotely), Intel AMT and Intel EMA made it possible for engineers to access the device even when it was powered off and resolve the issue. This reduced costly manufacturing and distribution delays and any potential loss of sales. It also saved the IT team a four-hour drive.
Improved remote manageability features freed up the IT team to develop a range of strategic initiatives they couldn’t get to before. “Rather than spending all of our time troubleshooting, we can now be proactive in adding value to the business by focusing on process improvement initiatives and end-user training,” Baird says. This includes projects like developing Robotic Process Automation to make order entry and similar record-keeping tasks less manual and more efficient.
Conclusion: A New Era of Endpoint Management
For Graham’s, the Intel vPro platform was a historic investment whose additional functionality came into its own at a time of change, helping to enable the business to continue thriving. Transforming the remote manageability infrastructure made it possible for an IT team of just two people to support Graham’s global operation.
High performance, stability, and longevity were essential to the effectiveness of the IT team’s transformation plans—all delivered successfully via the Intel vPro platform. For Graham’s, the most important thing was that its machines performed predictably and reliably.
Activating existing Intel vPro features enabled a new era of modern endpoint management for the IT team at Graham’s and helped the whole business adapt to remote and hybrid working.
What is the Intel vPro Platform?
PCs powered by the Intel vPro platform are built for business—with professional grade performance, multilayer security, modern remote management and reliable stability features designed for what IT needs and what end users want. The integrated technology’s hardware-based modern remote management features—Intel Active Management Technology and Intel Endpoint Management Assistant—when activated, enable IT teams to manage and maintain PCs remotely, simplifying the support process and helping reduce disruption for employees.
At a glance
- Today’s global dairy operations face greater challenges than ever. In an interconnected world, supply chains, food safety, and timely delivery depend on real-time coordination of many complex factors.
- Scotland’s Graham’s the Family Dairy relies on PCs to manage nearly all production and distribution aspects of its global operation—from the flow of milk and the printing of shipping labels to the data being sent to handheld devices used by delivery people.
- With continued business growth and limited IT resources, Graham’s activated Intel vPro platform remote manageability features to simplify IT support of dispersed endpoints and help the business achieve increased efficiency.