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Distribution & Transport


Managed Services

May 2021

Shared values drive long-term partnership

Waterstons’ unique partnership approach delivers real value to Henry Colbeck, the UK’s oldest family owned supplier to the fish and chip and takeaway shop market.

Results at a glance

  • Pro-active planning of technology and systems required to accommodate business change
  • Robust procurement, selection and implementation of the new ERP system
  • Strategic support in optimising business processes 
  • High-performance, accurate business analytics delivered using PowerBI
  • Access to Waterstons’ full range of technology, software, cyber security and transformation consultancy services
  • 24-hour proactive support and maintenance of critical systems

A customer for almost 20 years, Henry Colbeck values personal relationships and a partnership working model with its customers; giving customer satisfaction the highest priority. These shared values and total trust between us are the cornerstones of our partnership, which continues to deliver value at both an operational and strategic level.

Henry Colbeck is a diverse business. From warehouse operations for ambient and chilled products, sourcing and packing specialised oils, fleet management of their own trucks, telesales, marketing, administration, and even recycling used cooking oil into biodiesel and aviation fuel, their business is both fascinating, and complex.

Managing these functions naturally requires a huge amount of technology to be provided; with 24/7 operations, IT systems must be high-performance, reliable, and available across both sites at all times.

We have a close relationship with Henry Colbeck, and for good reason. We share similar values – putting customer satisfaction at the forefront of everything we do; building long-term, close relationships with customers, suppliers and partners; always being willing to go ‘the extra mile’ for a customer when they need us; and giving sound, strategic advice and support – both of us would say of our customers that ‘their success is our success’.

"We know that in our hour of need, Waterstons are there when we need them."

Paul Holliday 

Managing Director 

Henry Colbeck have trusted us to look after their operational IT equipment and systems for many years. We’ve provided IT support through our service desk and infrastructure management through our dedicated service managers. Our relationship has grown beyond those core activities though. We work closely with Henry Colbeck’s senior management to chair regular strategy meetings where business opportunities, potential projects, IT estate performance, and forthcoming technology changes are explored. 

Over the last few years, Henry Colbeck has seen what has been described as ‘the biggest change in 125 years of business’; the selection and implementation of a brand new, business wide ERP system. Over a period of more than two years, a robust procurement exercise was carried out, business processes mapped and improved, and the chosen system implemented successfully.

The deep understanding of Henry Colbeck’s business and their trust in us to always put their success first means we work closely with their other technology and systems suppliers to support them in delivering solutions that add real value to their business. From voice-picking in the warehouse, CCTV and access control or the recently implemented data warehouse and PowerBI analytics, our focus is on ensuring Henry Colbeck get the best possible outcomes regardless of the business opportunity presented; and we work on their behalf to engage with their suppliers and partners to do so; in fact it’s often been said that ‘it’s difficult to see where Henry Colbeck ends and Waterstons begins’, so close is our partnership.


Henry Colbeck is a business that’s continuously evolving, developing new products and services for its customers, and always seeking ways to improve efficiency, reduce waste, or add value to its offerings. With us as their partner, technology and systems are always considered alongside any business opportunity, ensuring minimal risk and maximum return on investment.

In 126 years, Henry Colbeck has never failed to dispatch goods from either of its depots – which makes IT all the more important in ensuring they provide their customers with the highest level of service and quality; and partnerships like ours play a part in making that possible. With responsive technical support, appropriate systems, and accurate business insights delivered in real-time, Henry Colbeck’s customers benefit from their ability to respond, to adapt, and to deliver on time, every time.

"I would say it's critical that we share our values. I think we are closely aligned with Waterstons in many respects."