Delivering acquisition-friendly agility

Greencore is the world’s largest sandwich manufacturer and a leading convenience food producer in the UK and the US. If you’ve ever bought a supermarket BLT or sushi box, it’s likely you’ve enjoyed a Greencore product.

Greencore produces a variety of convenience food in large quantities every year for retailers and food service outlets in the UK and the US, generating £1.3bn annual revenue via its 22 state-of-the art manufacturing facilities. A staggering 650 million sandwiches, 200 million prepared meals and 3 million Christmas cakes are produced by Greencore every year, underpinned by the business’s passion for quality and customer insight.

The challenge

In the food business there are always seasonal peaks and troughs in demand, but it is crucial for producers to deliver right first time, on time and every time.

Greencore was expanding both organically and through a number of acquisitions – and more growth was in the pipeline. The team was planning to continue its expansion into the US market and deepen its ‘food to go’ leadership both in the UK and the US.

Greencore’s IT function was struggling to keep up with this accelerated rate of change and was quickly becoming a growth inhibitor. Diverse, inefficient and Capex-intensive infrastructure was housed on site at manufacturing facilities and becoming more difficult to manage with each acquisition.

Greencore’s vision for its IT function was to create one set of applications, delivered consistently to all business units and users. However, research revealed the cost of refreshing their existing hardware infrastructure to be prohibitive – with a price tag in the tens of millions that could be far more effectively allocated elsewhere in the business.

In short, Greencore needed to reduce both its ongoing data centre costs and the risk entailed in change. This would help the business preserve capital for growth, making it easier to expand and integrate new acquisitions.

The solution

Greencore chose to fully outsource the management and responsibility for its infrastructure to Adapt, based on strong technical and cultural alignment between the two businesses and a clear understanding of Greencore’s IT vision.

Adapt customised an implementation of its dynamic application ecosystem, the Habitat, for Greencore. Greencore’s Habitat delivers both the agility to scale tactically on demand and elastically with the business over time, bringing IT services back in line with commercial priorities.

Working with Adapt, Greencore has transformed its IT into a dynamic, consistent set of services that deliver a range of benefits:

Cost saving - migrating Greencore applications to the Habitat has realised an initial 25% saving on data centre costs, freeing up capital to buy businesses overseas.

Workload portability - Greencore can now promote and demote workloads and applications rapidly and tactically to match seasonal demand.

Agility to support growth - Greencore’s Habitat represents a new service-oriented approach to scale, centralising application delivery to accelerate expansion and integration during M&A activity.

Customise - The Habitat’s flexibility allows Greencore’s niche applications and legacy infrastructure to be brought under a single, consistent service management layer.

Reducing cost & risk to support acquisitive strategy

Before working with Adapt, Greencore’s infrastructure was fragmented, difficult to maintain and expensive to scale.

As a result, Greencore’s IT now runs on a predictable, efficient operational cost model where technology requirements can be specified (and paid for) in line with business outcomes. A consistent global service delivery model is supported by strong management tools to improve ongoing planning and reporting.

Working in partnership, Greencore and Adapt have agreed strong SLAs to make Greencore’s production processes more robust, with enhanced DR features and 24x7 management. Adapt also allows Greencore’s customers to audit services and facilities directly to give them confidence in the strength of the solution.

Greencore's view

Chris Smith, Head of Infrastructure

“We are already seeing benefits such as 25% data centre cost savings, scalability and improved business agility. Our IT architecture is a fully-integrated managed service and has a service-oriented approach. But most importantly, our technology infrastructure is acquisition-friendly, which was one of our main goals.”


We selected Adapt’s software-defined Habitat for its elastic capability and ongoing alignment with our business, however we grow and change in the future. We are already creating cost savings, improving scalability and enabling business agility. This transformation will significantly support our business as we continue to grow.

Christopher Smith
Head of Infrastructure, Greencore

25% reduction in data centre costs; increased security, perfomance & availability


Elastic scale to meet seasonal peaks, creating efficiency & agility


Acquisition-friendly infrastructure, making it easy to onboard new users & services

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  • 25% reduction in data centre costs
  • Consistent model for global service delivery across all business lines
  • Scale & flex to accommodate M&A activity, expansion & spikes readily
  • Reduced business risk with technology partnership
  • Project designed to minimise dual running costs
  • Ability to specify technology (and pay for it) in line with business outcomes


  • Elastic capability
  • Predictable, straightforward operational cost
  • Continuous availability & non-disruptive migration capability
  • Rapid, straightforward scalability to match seasonal demand
  • 24x7 support from Adapt’s UK-based team
  • Strengthened recovery strategy with aligned SLAs and aggressive Recovery Time and Point Objectives


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  • Scale seamlessly
    Scalability aligned with Greencore's expansion & growth
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  • Create advantage
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