Nicholls & Clarke


Enabling the delivery of world-class building materials across the entire UK

About Nicholls & Clarke

Since 1875, the Nicholls & Clarke group has supplied the highest quality building materials to professionals across the UK. Based in South-East England, the group offers more than 60,000 world-class products, including bricks and mortar, tiling, stone, adhesives, ceramics, decorating products, and high-performance tools, along with an extensive portfolio of living solutions - all available for immediate delivery across the country via a self-owned fleet of 110 commercial vehicles, and supported by expert technical advice.

The Solution

Having already established a strong working relationship with Nicholls & Clarke as their ISP, Exponential-e was subsequently selected as their new technology partner, following a rigorous tender process. A dedicated account team was assigned, who immediately began planning for a seamless transition, with zero service disruption.

With a private WAN as the foundation, the full range of connectivity solutions utilised across Nicholls & Clarke's sites include Wi-Fi 6, a guest network, a public guest access network, and a corporate wireless network - all secured by a robust cyber security ecosystem, with compliance and PCI DSS requirements inherent to the design, and fully integrated with their own, hosted ERP systems.

Furthermore, in order to futureproof the entire infrastructure, measures were put in place to prepare for ISDN and PTSN lines being shut off in 2025, to ensure this would not affect the performance and security of Nicholls & Clarke's network, or the exceptional standard of service delivery their customers have come to expect. This involved consolidating multiple, disparate telephony solutions into a single solution, delivered over the WAN, that would provide an additional level of control and visibility over network performance and day-to-day operations.

This inherent flexibility has allowed for the successful deployment of virtual desktop environments across the entire infrastructure, providing Nicholls & Clarke's teams with a smooth transition to hybrid working, with zero disruption to service delivery, or effect on security and compliance. Recent developments have included the deployment of high-performance HP Aruba WiFi solution at their company headquarters.

Plans for further developments are already in place, with Nicholls & Clarke's account team working proactively to identify new areas for improvement and optimisation, along with providing regular reports on network performance.

Solution benefits

  • Secure, high-performance WAN, connecting 22 locations, six depot sites, and two data centres across the UK
  • Full visibility and control of the entire infrastructure and, in turn, the national supply chain
  • Optimal protection of customer data and full PCI DSS compliance
  • A fully managed service, optimising resilience, security, and performance
  • Integrated telephony and hosted ERP systems across all sites
  • Automated reporting on network performance
  • High-performance WiFi deployed at company headquarters
  • Ample scope for scalability and the deployment of new sites, with hands-on support from a dedicated account team

It's a pleasure for us to work with Exponential-e on the wide area network. It's radically changed our business in terms of how we work. Over the last month alone, just upgrading the network would have been a mammoth task, but the way we've gone about it and the way it's been delivered has been completely seamless across every one of our branches.

Narendra Joshi - Head of IT, Nicholls & Clarke

A traditional internet service provider and, later, wide area network service provider has now grown into a multi-dimensional service that has provided a lot of value throughout many areas of our business.

Narendra Joshi - Head of IT, Nicholls & Clarke

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