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Howdens Joinery. 

Howdens Joinery was established in 1995 as a manufacturer and supplier of kitchens and joinery products to small builders. The firm operates from around 650 depots in the UK.

Experience with distributed IT estate management and support

Track record of several successful hardware rollouts

ISO accreditation and
expertise in managing
security processes

Availability of engineers countrywide

Project Overview.

Howdens undertook a project to review its electronic payment devices that were due for replacement. As part of a compliance programme, Howdens had already selected Ingenico for new point-of-sale (POS) payment devices, but had yet to determine how the new hardware would be installed and integrated into the existing IT estate and linked to backend systems.

To reduce risk and minimise business disruption, the integration would be delivered in stages. The project would achieve an agreed-upon level of payment card industry (PCI) compliance at point-of-sale through secure endpoint management.

The Challenge.

Howdens needed an IT partner that could manage the project across a diverse IT estate – both in terms of technology diversity and geographical spread.

The IT partner would need to be able to satisfy an assessment conducted by a PCI-qualified security assessor (QSA) to demonstrate that the systems delivered met the required security standards.

The project needed to ensure minimal business disruption.

The Solution.

The project was put out to competitive tender, and Howdens selected Kalamazoo IT – a trusted supplier that had provided Howdens with hardware support, PC rollout services and management across all depots for over 10 years.

During the planning stage, the teams worked systematically through processes, procedures and requirements, including building audits, to identify where security breaches and other risks could occur.

The project started with Kalamazoo rolling out a pilot in which the team installed new chip-and-pin units at five depots over one week. Following the successful trial, approximately 1,200-plus chip-and-pin devices were rolled out to Howdens depots nationwide. Kalamazoo also created a regional schedule that ensured a smooth rollout and allowed for pinch points such as period ends.

Throughout the project, all payment devices were stored by Kalamazoo in accordance with ISO standards supported by robust, auditable security processes.

The Kalamazoo IT project was audited by a third-party QSA from end to end, and Kalamazoo also conducted backend testing to ensure that any changes would not cause detrimental effects to existing banking software systems. Knowledge developed during the pilot was fed back into the main project, helping Howdens reach the highest level of PCI endpoint management compliance requirements one month ahead of schedule.

  • Experience with distributed IT estate management and support

  • Track record of several successful hardware rollouts

  • ISO accreditation and expertise in managing security processes

  • Availability of engineers countrywide

ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified


  • Howdens met its compliance objectives for POS payment devices.

  • 1,200+ devices were installed in depots across the country.

  • Project was completed early – within 16 weeks, rolling out to more than eight depots on average per day.

  • Level of hardware and software issues and rate of chip-and-pin device failures have significantly dropped, reducing downtime and increasing business productivity.

  • Cost of replacing and repairing hardware has been reduced significantly.

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“This was teamwork at its best. Kalamazoo IT has already provided distributed IT estate management and support to us for over 10 years, so we felt confident that the team could step up to take on this new project. Our decision was based around Kalamazoo offering the right processes and procedures to underpin the entire project, as we simply did not have the internal resources in place to manage the project ourselves.

The project was delivered in just 16 weeks – nearly one month ahead of schedule – and, despite being completed more quickly than planned, we have already seen a significant drop in the level of hardware and software issues related to front-counter chip-and-pin devices, and an increase in productivity.”

Paul Cornes, End user technology and support manager, Howdens Joinery
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“We continue to work with trusted partners that contribute to the success to our business. Kalamazoo IT have again demonstrated their credentials with great commitment and dedication, ensuring that this project was a complete success.”

Mark Witcomb, Head of IS Infrastructure, Howdens Joinery

Kalamazoo IT

Your trusted IT partner