On 1st April 2016 we were delighted to be appointed as an official Apple reseller, on the new Supply of Apple Equipment and Services Framework Agreement, by the Higher Education Purchasing Consortium, Wales (HEPCW).
We want to make sure that each and every time you come through to us for all things Apple, your needs are always met.
That’s why we’ve put together a little outline of what you can expect from us and our service.
The Supply of Apple Equipment and Services Framework Agreement is open to all members of APUC, HEPCW, LUPC, NEUPC, NWUPC and SUPC.
We’ve been awarded the contract for an initial period of 2 years, with options to extend further for two 12 month periods.
Our savings of up to 6.28%, compared with the previous agreement pricing, were fully audited as part of the tender process and we’re proud to be working with a large number of universities already – helping them to make their vision for Apple technology a reality.
Under the terms of the framework, universities may – should you wish to do so – buy from us as the number one supplier without having to undertake any further competition processes.
We’ve recruited heavily to ensure that we’re offering the same high levels of customer service that we’re renowned for on other consortia frameworks such as NDNA, NEPA and AV Supply, Delivery & Installation.
Our Apple HE customer support team is now 15 strong and we’re currently bringing in additional resource to support our e-commerce team too.
We have access to the leading Apple trainers in the UK, from both a technical and a teaching and learning perspective, and can help you deploy the technology in ways which transform the education experience for staff and students.
Key account managers
Support comes in the form of 6 dedicated internal account managers and 6 customer service administrators who are here to support you in your Apple journey.
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If you have a query that needs escalating, we have really experienced people you can go to for help:
Antony Mellor, FE & HE Team Leader
Phone: 01785 786808
Ant’s been working with colleges and universities at Stone for 15 years. As well as acting as a dedicated account manager for certain accounts, Ant heads up and leads our FE and HE team.
Simon Pettit – Contract Director
Phone: 01785 786807
Simon’s been with Stone for 18 years and is the board representative working directly on the contract.
Our e-commerce site
We now have our Business-to-Business electronic trading platform available for institutions to use.
It offers specific functionality designed to simplify the procurement process:
- Ability to build, retrieve and convert quotes
- Different access levels for users and approvers
- Live pricing updated via a live catalogue
- Wishlist to allow baskets to be saved and returned to later
- Purchase order and purchase card support
- Buyback functionality giving real time live pricing fair market value rebate values for your unwanted Apple hardware
Development on the portal is continuous and agile in response to the needs of framework members and we welcome any suggestions to enhance your customer experience.
Current areas of development are:
- IP range access
- Workflow development
- E-procurement integration
We’d love to hear from you to help us improve our digital service delivery. If you’d like to get involved, please email email@example.com.
We’re currently experiencing extremely high levels of demand for the service, so to protect the customer experience we’ve been undertaking a phased roll out.
As of 20th June 2016 we had 66 institutions registered on the portal.
If you’d like to register, please visit http://portal.stonegroup.co.uk and we’ll process your request.
A specific staff and student portal is under development and our go live date for this is August 2016.
We’d like to thank all of you for working with us while we scale-up to full operation.
The new delivery model
With the new framework comes a new supply chain model.
Going from an Apple direct model to a distribution model has meant some outcomes that neither Apple, nor resellers such as ourselves, could anticipate.
The lead time for any order placed on an Apple factory is 3 weeks. Apple forecast that stock requirements for their store and our UK distribution partners plan their stock holdings based on demand from us and other resellers.
The change over from the direct model to the distribution model has inevitably placed un-forecast demand on our UK distribution partners.
We have full visibility of stock levels at our UK distribution partners and can guide you on lead times accordingly.
Our commitment to you is that orders placed over the phone, by email or online will be processed into our distribution partners the same day.
Current lead times are longer than we set out in the tender and we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused. We’re working proactively and strategically with Apple and our distribution partners to make changes to improve the customer experience for everyone.
How can we improve our service to you?
There are a few things we can do together to improve the outcomes for your users:
Communications with Apple
The Apple account management team, based in Cork, are still there to provide support and guidance to universities. When you let them know we’re your preferred supplier of Apple technology, we can then collaborate directly with them and utilise their records of your previous purchases to better serve your individual needs. We anticipate this will be very helpful in bringing down lead times by bringing in more of the correct stock to our distribution partners.
As your identified preferred partner we can also work with Apple’s Education support team around the UK to ensure you have the best available support should you need it.
The more detail that’s available about your future plans and roadmap, the better we can service you.
Some customers have found it very useful to have a planning session with us. If you’d like to organise an Apple planning session, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or one of the contacts listed above.
We have a 100,000 sq. ft. warehousing facility in Staffordshire that’s fully insured as a bonded warehouse. This means you can place an order with us and we’ll keep it in our secure facility, free of charge, ready for you to call off for delivery in line with your technology upgrade plans. This allows us to ship any item, including CTO, on a next day basis from call off request and is the most efficient way of receiving your Apple technology from us.
If you’d like to chat through any of this with one of our team then get in touch:
Telephone: 08448 22 11 22