Case Studies

Case Studies...

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

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 Sandswood 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.

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.

Automating Business Processes - Recruitment Charity

A Lincolnshire based charity specialising in student volunteer recruitment for environmental projects and other charities required a system to track clients, CV's, job advertisements and applications. Much of this work was manual and required job postings to be hand entered onto the website and manual processing of applications by email. Working with an associate we developed an automated tracking system. Job adverts would be entered once into the back-office system and then automatically posted onto the website. Applicants could apply for jobs through the website and upload their CV and these would be automatically downloaded to the back-office systems, recorded and the applicant notified of receipt by email.

E-Commerce - Giftware Company

A company selling giftware needed to have an online E-Commerce presence. Sandswood selected a suitable commecial e-commece platform and working with a third party graphic designer built a customised site to meet the the client's asthetic and functional requirements. The site was then integrated with their chosen card payment provider and a number of custom reports developed

Network Design and Rollout – Chip Designer

A FTSE 100 Cambridge based chip designer needed to refresh its global network to support the business growth.  We worked with the company to gather the requirements for the new network, ran the tender/selection process and then project managed the implementation.

Interim Operations Director – Internet Hosting

A rapidly growing Internet Hosting and Managed Service Provider needed to bring order and process to its Support and Operations teams.  We provided an Interim Operations Director who analysed the issues, restructured and motivated the teams, clarified the product offerings and improved the systems and processes resulting in increased customer satisfaction, reduced time to resolve customer tickets and five 9’s service availability.

Remote data capture - Facilities Management Company

A national company providing outsourced facilities management services such as building and grounds maintenance required a system for their field service personnel. Maintenance crews were issued with a Windows Smartphone which notified them of their tasks for the day. The mobile application would provide the user with details of each job and once completed the task could either be signed off or instructions relayed back to head office of any issues requiring further work. Using the mobile phone network, the system automatically transferred data between head office and and the remote device every 15 minutes and so required minimal user intervention. Additionally as data was stored on the local device it could be used in rural areas where there was a poor phone signal and data updates would automatically resume when the operator was back in a network area. Not only did the system provide a work scheduling facility it additionally replaced manual timesheets and provided automated data for billing.

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.