All the Cards
Paperchase – the undisputed retail brand leader in design-led and innovative stationery – have been trading for over 30 years and now have 130 outlets in the UK and an extensive opening programme in the USA. The company trades nationwide from its own stores and also through concessions in Borders Books and Music, selected House of Fraser and Selfridges stores. In its two flagship stores (Tottenham Court Road, London and St. Mary’s Gate, Manchester) they carry an unbeatable range of unusual paper and art materials as well as all the more widely available stationery, greeting cards, gifts and gift packaging found in all outlets.
Mac and DAM
A network of seven Macs constitutes the heart of the company’s design studio. About a year ago, this system was overhauled with the installation of Mac Xserve server with a Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) supporting critical functions such as backup, font management, colour management and Digital Asset Management (DAM).
SupportPlan took the leadership of this important project by installing new high-end Macs and by creating a standardised image of their configuration. They also managed the intervention of external companies for colour calibrating all the workstations and for implementing a DAM solution using Extensis’ Portfolio software for locating, organising, archiving digital media and the MySQL open source database management system. The DAM server is expected to host 60’000 records in the short term and to grow to 100’000+ records in a year. It maintains a precise catalogue of all the designs created by Paperchase allowing the firm to visually organize, sort and preview its library of digital assets and to quickly embed metadata for archiving, protecting and sharing them with partners, clients and vendors.
Neil Plaistowe, Paperchase’s Head of IT, was impressed by the way SupportPlan managed the overall system integration. “They were very good”, he declared, “and managed the whole project very professionally.”
What It Says on the Tin
Asked about serious problems, Neil said he never had to face DAM busters, nor any major IT disaster. For regular support and maintenance, he added that SupportPlan are “quick to respond in cases of issues” and, to qualify his overall degree of satisfaction, he used the famous “does exactly what it says on the tin”, a genuine compliment in an age where more and more suppliers fall short on promises.
Neil also declared that the SupportPlan team members are easy to work with and that their wide industry knowledge proves very valuable, especially in cases where the right partners have to be selected to solve specific problems, such as colour calibration and digital asset management.
This testimonial illustrates how, beyond providing Mac support very professionally on a regular basis, SupportPlan can also act as system integrator to implement complex projects involving external participants.