Case Studies


BS-8666 Steel Bending Software Requirement


BS-8666 Steel Bending Software Requirement We were contacted by a company who specialised in the supply of steel bar and wire to the construction industry. They currently had software in place and had been using this for many years. Unfortunately the software wasn't compatible with more modern versions of Windows and also they wanted to have something which reflected the company in the modern age.

They needed an up-to-date solution which included a connection to their accounts system in Xero in order to send contact information and invoices. A new system needed to manage all of their current work practices and ensure a smooth transition from their current system.

Following consultations with the company, we set about creating a system which would meet their every brief. We needed to be sure when they moved to the new system, the learning curve was as short as possible as this as a live system and needed to drop into place as seamlessly as possible.

The finished product not only reduced the time previously taken to create and complete a contract, it simplified and reduced the process itself. Reducing the number of 'clicks' to complete a task makes for a smoother system and also means the client can have greater control over the information they see. Where previously they needed to open a new area to search for a contract, this could now be done within the system itself. This also applied to clients. The time-saved was significant!

The system now connects directly into their Xero accounts package and pushes the required information, this has greatly reduced the time taken to manage contracts from an accounts perspective.

Storage Management Software


Storage Management Software We were asked by a company who specialise in short and long-term storage facilities if we could look at what they do and make suggestions based on our findings. Although the business had been running for several years, they felt things could be done in a more efficient way.

On first inspection we could see that whilst they understood their business and were very comfortable with the day-to-day running of it, they still were using an inefficient method for carrying out the everyday tasks. Storage management was done on a chalk board with changes managed manually. This required a good memory at times and every day they had to check the board to see the status of their facility. More importantly, when it came to invoicing, this meant they had to again, manually check the board to see who was still in and to copy the information to a hand written sheet for transfer to a spreadsheet template they had designed. This was for each individual unit rented. Sometimes the same person rented multiple units which required marking on their manual sheet so as to be sure they had covered a unit. As you can imagine, this was a very time-consuming job which took up most of the day. More importantly, when they were doing that the phone still rang, customers still arrived, new enquiries had to be dealt with and normal every day events still went on. Not ideal!

We had created a mini version for storage software which was built-in with the removals software. Although it id the job, it was storage-lite in a sense. They wanted something that dealt purely with a storage business.

We created a system for them (it has been in place since early 2018) which completely manages all storage units. The customer is now the central part of the system. One customer - multiple units.

When you look at the overview on the first screen, you can see all customers, basic contact details and how many units that customer has rented. By clicking a button you can look at the specific customer details which shows unit information and also all invoice details for that customer. From the front screen you can also access their invoices directly too. Generating invoices is now at the push of a button. The system checks to see which customers are due an invoice. It then checks to see how many units they have and from that point it generates all invoices. They can then be printed from here too. What previously took a whole day, now takes less than 30 seconds to generate. The invoices can be posted or sent by email depending on preference. Overdue invoices can also be printed at the push of a button and have a reminder message for 30 days overdue and a different message for more than 60 days. This is all automatic.

We have now installed this system in several storage facilities with great success.

Lincoln City FC

When we first began to work with Lincoln City Football Club, they already had a well-organised and disciplined setup. All paperwork was completed and returned in a timely and orderly fashion, staff had a role and were comfortable within that role, a board of directors who were firmly behind the organisation and a Youth Department who had a place for everything and everything in its place. What use were we in a case like that? An obvious question with a simple answer! We would help them to streamline and manage their data in an orderly way which would allow for multiple users to access at will.

Our first task was to look at the existing data management system and identify how it could be improved. We had, in the past maintained and re-organised the database used to store not only names and addresses, but also relevant dates and squad info. The system was beginning to become a little slow and cumbersome due to the outmoded method of storage. Although working, it would be better served becoming a multi-user, heirarchical system with security and access levels. The system was held on one PC which was operated by a member of staff who had access to the system when they were in the office. This person was very efficient when it came to managing and updating the system and had to this point done a very good job, it just needed to be made available to a wider user-base.

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Sole Trader


Sole Trader We were contacted by this particular company several months ago to see if we could help them get a better grip on the office-based activities. The company consisted of one man, on his own finding the work, doing the work and carrying out all paperwork related to the work. The work load was huge and at times he found he was snowed-under due to catching up on paperwork. Quotes needed to be created, invoices needed sending, customers were notes on a pad or pieces of paper in a filing cabinet under the desk. He was only doing what so many sole traders have done - swim as fast as possible, often against the tide. He knew he needed help but wanted a simple means to get done what he needed to do.

When we first went to see him, it was at the third attempt. Two previous meetings had been rearranged due to heavy workload on his part. He could see it was getting harder but couldn't find the time to meet to see if he could make it easier! Finally, he bit the bullet and decided he couldn't wait any longer. We arranged a date and time and advised us we were to turn up whether he cancelled or not! Unusual but we could see what he meant. His home office was awash with pieces of paper, a paper calendar with so many marks, crosses and names o it you struggled to make any information out. We deliberately asked him to pick a time when he would be in the office doing paperwork so we could see what he did. Luckily for us, the phone rang several times in our meeting so we got an even better idea on what he faced. We could see the solution and could see how we could help.

He would answer a call from a prospective, new or existing client. He wrote on a piece of paper what they wanted and arranged a time to go see them. He wrote the date on the calendar and a brief description on what they needed. In between, he was preparing a quote for a couple of clients he had been to see. Both needed very similar quotes creating but one had additional items. He wrote them out by hand. He had said he set up an Excel spreadsheet and used that for a while but found that too restrictive as he forgot to change the names a couple of times and sent it out. Simple mistake but potentially embarrassing.

Once we had collected our information we said we could create a solution for him that would absolutely save him time and allow him to spend time on actual work, rather than paperwork. He was delighted, but sceptical. He wasn't the first and wouldn't be the last! After a couple more calls to check information, he instructed us to go ahead.

Two weeks later, we went back to his office to install the new system and show him how it worked (that is always part of the service if required). Within 30 minutes he was, to use his own words 'absolutely speechless!'. We had not only reduced the time involved to create a quote so it could now be done within 30 seconds, we had also removed the possibility of any wrong information appearing on it. His quotes were now in the system and could be viewed again, modified, sent again, printed and, best of all.. converted to an invoice on job completion. His customers were all in the system so any work carried out in future could be allocated directly to them. He could see a list of all work carried out for that customer. He could see who his suppliers were and how much he had bought from them. He could see which suppliers he owed money to and which invoices to him were outstanding. At a glance he had a complete picture of his business.

We visited him again after 2 months had elapsed to check how he was doing and to modify anything he may need tweaking. What we found was a relaxed, in control and, most of all happy customer. He said that his work-life balance had improved as he was no longer spending several hours at night in his office catching up. He had a better indication of where he currently was and what he had to do. His turnover had increased a little as a result of being able to manage the invoicing better and being more efficient with suppliers. He had also negotiated a better discount with his main supplier as he agreed to pay in a shorter time which meant he made a little more on jobs.

We are scheduled to go back in a couple of weeks as he now wants us to put graphs into the system and create an output he can pass to his accountant with an overall annual picture of incomings and outgoings. Small enhancements to the system that will add to the value to him as a business-owner.

Removals and Storage Company

A company who specialise in the relocation and storage industry contacted us looking to find a solution to a problem they had. When we arrived, they were still using a clipboard and pen to measure the items and quantity within a property. Whilst this was effective and did what they needed, they knew there was a better way.

After seeing how they carried out their estimating and the subsequent work involved afterwards, we set about creating a solution. From this, StorM was born!

The problem they had was that the offices held a mixture of both Windows-based and Apple computers. They needed a solution which would work on both platforms. We had something similar previously when we created a web-based solution but the company wanted something which would be in-house.

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Construction Company

We were contacted by a construction company who had always managed their data using a mixture of spreadsheets, database and hard copy.  They knew this was a system that needed to be modernised yet retain the simplicity they had become accustomed to.

We were tasked with carrying out a complete analysis of their current work method and building a system around what they did.  This involved us spending time with them and watching how things worked (we were even roped into lifting at one point!) before building an outline construct of what we proposed.  They system itself was easy to understand, it just needed to be built in an electronic way.

The screenshot shown above shows what we built and what it can do. The system is designed to be used by 4 office staff and is managed by one of those users. Data is centralised so that all see the same information, 3 users can update and 1 is view-only.

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