1,588,465,048 pints. That’s all the beer St Austell Brewery has gifted the world since founded by Walter Hicks back in 1851.
What’s particularly refreshing about this Cornish company (aside from their flagship beer, the Tribute Ale, of course) is that they are still 100% family owned.
Now under the helm of Mr Hicks’ great-great grandson, James Staughton, the St Austell estate spans 179 pubs across the South West, employs 1000 staff, and puts a pint in the hands of thousands of people around the world.
For St Austells, it’s about making visitors feel part of the family when they walk through the pub door. And music is integral to creating this atmosphere.
THE PROBLEM: Multisite Madness!
Getting your background music right in one location can be complicated, but getting music spot-on across multiple sites? That can be a logistical nightmare. Just ask those on the frontline of troubleshooting issues when they arise – the IT team.
“We’re responsible for ensuring the smooth running of all technical equipment across 30 pubs, including music”, explains James Baker, Technician and Customer Service Analyst at St Austell Brewery.
“From rollout and installation, ongoing management, staff training and troubleshooting – we handle it all. As you can imagine, it can quickly becoming a time-suck”.
A time-suck not only for the IT team – but for staff members as well.
“Our previous music supplier required PCs to work. These had a large footprint in each of our sites. We also discovered that staff were using them to surf the web and play Spotify, unitionally downloading viruses in the process.”
This issue was further complicated from a lack of visibility across sites.
“There was no easy way of monitoring, and adjusting, what each of our sites were playing at a given time”, says James.
“We like the music from our previous supplier, but we wanted a service that could be more hands-on with troubleshooting too”.
THE SOLUTION: One dashboard to rule them all
“We moved across to Ambie because their service offered a space, time and cost saving all-in-one”, says James.
The Ambie player is the size of a deck of cards so inconspicuously sits in any venue. Plus, It’s a dedicated music device – meaning no rogue web surfers!
“The rollout of the Ambie players was seamless. We set up most of our sites over the phone”.
The Ambie apps were a huge perk for the St Austell’s team too. Using the Ambie Dashboard, the IT team can now view live playback, music schedules, playlists and more, remotely.
“With the Ambie Dashboard we centrally manage what each of our sites are playing. Plus, our pub managers can still access their playlists and tailor accordingly to each of their sites. We’ve had great feedback from everyone”.
But perhaps the biggest benefit for James and the tech team? Suddenly there’s a support team to assist them.
“Ambie’s in-app chat function is so easy and allows site staff to now reach out directly for help and technical assistance,” says James. “This frees up our time to focus on other pressing tasks”.
“It’s nice to feel that Ambie has given me one less thing to worry about”