Case Studies

Some examples of projects where our consultants have helped organisations improve productivity, reduce costs and enhance customer satisfaction. 

Rocket D3 Infrastructure upgrade - Major UK High Street Electronics Retailer

A well known UK high-street electronics retailer had a mission critical Rocket D3 system which resided at the core of their IT estate and was referred to my a number of their staff as 'the heartbeat of the business'. The platform was however 20 years old, running an unsupported version of  D3 on IBM hardware for which parts were hard to come by. Most of the staff who were experienced in supporting this platform had long since left the business and confidence amongst the remaining staff to upgrade it themselves was low.
Following our initial assessment it was discovered that the system was critically low on disk space and what was remaining was heavily fragmented causing significant performance issues at a time just before their peak trading period. The first phase of the project was to remedy this immediate issue and this was successfully accomplished in an a carefully planned overnight maintenance window that avoided any noticable operational disruption. Once completed we moved onto the second phase of the project and successfully upgraded the application onto the latest version of D3 and ported the entire platform onto a modern operating system hosted in a virtualised Windows Hyper-V environment.  The benefits of moving to the latest version of D3 can be seen here.

IT Healthcheck Audit - Online Dating Software company

A UK company which hosted over 3000 separate online dating websites required a full healthcheck of its IT platform and its software development practices. The project was conducted over a 10 day period and involved face to face meetings with staff both in the UK and Ukraine where much of their core development was carried out.

A full health check report was produced and presented to its board describing the company's IT capabilities along with a number of recommendations where particular facets of their IT and processes could be improved.

Although it was not disclosed to us at the time, it transpired that the audit was part of a due diligence exercise that was being carried out in preparation for the company's sale which took place some three months later.

Rocket D3 support - Large Plastics Manufacturing Company

In April 2004 one of our consultants was contacted by a large plastics manufacturing company based in Glasgow. They were running Rocket D3 version 7.2.0 on Red Hat 9 and had contacted us as they had problems that they could not resolve following the loss of some key IT staff. The initial problems were resolved and  some 14 years later we are still retained to look after their D3 systems and network infrastructure.

Workflow management - Contract Clinical Pathology Laboratory

A Cambridge based company providing clinical pathology services to veterinary practices required a system to automate the tracking and processing of samples, workflow to manage the production of pathology reports, automated despatch of reports to clients and invoice processing. Their existing system was a mix of home-grown systems, manual process and duplicate entry of data into Sage. We built a custom software solution that logged samples as they arrived into the organisation and tracked them through examination and analysis then automatically emailed the client with the final report. Upon completion the costs for the job were recorded and uploaded automatically to sage for billing. This project significantly reduced manual processes, paper handling and greatly improved the throughput of the organisation.

Order Management System - Ink Cartridge Wholesaler

An ink-cartridge company operating from a 15,000 sq ft warehouse in Peterborough had an existing e-commerce system but fulfillment and despatch was an entirely manual process. It was difficult to track orders and returns and they wanted to reduce their postage costs. We developed custom software which automatically downloaded completed orders from their website every 15 minutes and tracked each order through to final despatch. The system produced delivery notes, printed package labels and was linked to electronic weighscales which advised which postal service to use based on package weight, it handled product returns, part orders, refunds and managed back-orders for out of stock goods. Customer service personnel could see the status of any order at any time and could advise clients accordingly. The system managed stock control and pricing and would automatically send billing and inventory data to their Sage finance system.

Data Collection and Labelling - Plant Importer/Wholesaler

A wholesale importer of plants and trees from europe for supply to major garden centres throughout the UK had a paper based order system for trade customers visiting their premises. Once the order was taken it was manually entered into their back office system. Shipping lists were manually generated and labels hand printed for the plants. We developed a completely automated system whereby the trade customer would select the products he required whist walking round the nursery using a simple hand-held barcode scanning device. When he returned to the office the order would be automatically downloaded to the backoffice system and despatch notes and invoices generated immediately. The system would then print individual labels for each plant consisting of the garden centre name, a plant description, barcode and the retail price. The plants could then be sent straight to the garden centre fully labelled and ready to go on display.

 

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