Workflow management across several ecommerce services

Workflow management across several ecommerce services.

We consulted our client on workflow for a number of services that we built for their busy ecommerce business.

Process mapping & automation

Several complex and codependent tasks comprised our client’s ecommerce business. After a successful project mapping these tasks and dependencies, we designed a digital workflow to improve effectiveness.

Credit control

A key part of the order workflow is credit control. In some cases, money may be due or owed depending on the status of the order, so it was crucial that this was made clear during the order processing process. By integrating multiple payment services into the system, customers can be assured that orders are made safely and securely and the client is assured that they will be paid on time.

Order-specific split payment methods

By listening to the client and taking a holistic view of the entire order process, we were able to identify internal pain points where we could have the most impact. This included replacing some legacy systems that didn’t meet the client’s needs such as the ability to split payments based on the ordering of goods and services.

This work was part of a wider service digitisation project for our client. Read more about it in the following case studies:

The project

Building a full suite of ecommerce features for our client has released their sales potential, improved efficiency and created the opportunity to scale.

Taking the time to truly understand their business was vital to the design of systems that would have maximum impact; intergate front and back-end features in a way that supported the business needs; and to create room to evolve and grow.

The result

  • Faster and more reliable ecommerce front-end
  • Clearer customer journey
  • Split orders and payment methods by goods and services
  • Increased revenue opportunities through add-on sales
  • Order workflow management to improve tracking and speed of order processing
  • Room to grow and add new features as the business evolves

Client testimonial

“The team got to know us, our business and our ways of working. They listened, provided helpful input and automated many of our processes to get us ready for volume, and allow us to focus on growing the business. Whilst custom software is quite a technical undertaking, we felt well informed and in safe hands at each stage and are happy with the outcome of a brilliant series of projects.” John Parker, Director, Black Label Grading

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Sales software for European affiliate partners

Sales software for European affiliate partners.

We developed a feature-packed version of a client’s order management platform to be used by European salespeople.

Bespoke affiliate software

After the success of the original project, our client, a Pokemon card grading business, asked us to develop a version of the software that could be used by field sales people throughout Europe.

User controls & permissions

Whilst the software is fully-featured, allowing affiliates access to essential tools and functions, fully customisable user controls and permissions meant that privacy measures could be taken to ensure that affiliates can only access their own data.

Complex commission calculation

Affiliate commission structures are often complex, and can include several variables such as margins, quantity discounts and in this case, multiple currencies. By developing a bespoke commission calculation process, affiliates are easily able to keep on top of sales, targets and even leaderboards.

This work was part of a wider service digitisation project for our client. Read more about it in the following case studies:

The project

The original project with our client included a number of product features, including packing optimisation, an ecommerce store and customer communications. [Links] Our affiliate software needed to deliver these key services whilst retaining a layer of privacy and permissions to ensure that affiliates only had visibility of their own orders, customers and sales figures. Our client also needed to have full visibility of all affiliates’ data.

For customers, the experience should be of the same level as expected when dealing with the parent company. To achieve this, we ensured all customer communication was accordingly branded, and that key milestones and notifications were emailed to the customer during various stages of the order process.

The same attention to detail was applied to the affiliate user journey too, with salespeople being able to access the same or similar processes to that of the parent company. There were also a number of additional challenges, such as different currencies and languages. By developing applications that can be easily translated for different regions, we were able to provide our client with a future-proofed solution that is fit for expansion.

Extra effort and care needed to be taken during the QA process to ensure that permissions and communications are not only correct back of house, but consistent for the customer too.

The result

  • A fully bespoke sales and CRM platform that delivers a seamless experience to customers and affiliates alike.
  • A robust privacy and permissions structure that ensures affiliates can only see relevant data and that customer data is kept safe.
  • A future-proofed application that can be utilised in different countries and currencies as the business expands.

Client testimonial

“The team got to know us, our business and our ways of working. They listened, provided helpful input and automated many of our processes to get us ready for volume, and allow us to focus on growing the business. Whilst custom software is quite a technical undertaking, we felt well informed and in safe hands at each stage and are happy with the outcome of a brilliant series of projects.” John Parker, Director, Black Label Grading

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Packing optimisation in VBA for Pokemon card grading affiliate

Packing optimisation in VBA for Pokemon card grading affiliate

Packing optimisation in VBA for Pokemon card grading affiliate.

We designed an algorithm to optimise order packing and eliminate crossovers.

Intelligent packing algorithm

Black Label Grading needed a reliable planning and packing solution that eliminated the risk of any similar or identical playing cards from different customers being packed into the same bundle. Automating this process reduced the risk of human error and increased the speed of the process, which had become too onerous to complete manually.

Cost optimisation

International sales meant that multiple VAT schemes, such as VAT margin, needed to be taken into account. Our systems ensure tax is calculated and reported accurately. Bundles contained between 100 and 200 cards, allowing BLG to unlock favourable shipping rates.

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EASY for Excel novices

Being mindful of our client’s initial budget, timelines and to allow easy integration to their current processes, the decision was made to combine a bespoke Excel VBA-based application with several pre-existing frameworks.

This work was part of a wider service digitisation project for our client. Read more about it in the following case studies:

The challenge

Our digitisation work with Black Label Grading covered a number of areas, including their customer database, ecommerce store, workflow management and customer communication. This particular part of the project focused on optimising the physical packing of cards to be sent from the business to a third-party grading partner.

Due to postage requirements, and volume discounts, several limitations are imposed on how boxes are packed and the amount of cards in each box. This not only presented challenges around quantity calculation, but also highlighted the importance of assigning duplicate cards to different boxes to remove the risk of erroneous identification or incorrect grading.

Our approach (the science bit)

Optimisation algorithm design

In order to automate packing list creation that would meet the complex needs, we designed an optimisation algorithm in VBA based on simulated annealing. This is a technique for understanding a global optimum of any given function, and is a method that is well-suited for large quantities of data, particularly when involving high volume search.

Process optimisation

The algorithm processes up to 10,000 packing iterations in a single trial run, and may perform multiple trial runs with adjusted variables if required. In most cases, the optimum bundle set is reached within two trial runs, each of around 3,000-4,000 iterations, but extending the maximum iterations allows the algorithm to explore routes that might initially score lower but ultimately work out better and potentially lower the number of trial runs that need to be completed. The metric throughout this process is a ‘goodness score’, which will ultimately define which combination is the optimal set of bundles.

Expert input

When dealing with such complex variables, we feel it’s important to have confidence in our work. We chose to partner with a mathematician, who became a key part of the project’s overall QA process.

Compatibility

The entire framework was built within Excel, allowing the client to access the tool easily, and run it from any machine within the business. Being a VBA application, the tool can be easily modified, updated and even integrated with other critical business tools.

Excel modelling

By modelling the packing algorithm in Excel with VBA, we kept the timeline short and project overhead low. We created a working tool to solve the client’s immediate need and the model, having demonstrated effectiveness, can be adapted for the client’s other software needs when required.

 

The result

  • Unique bundle sizes now make all packages easily identifiable and traceable throughout their logistical journey
  • No two or more identical playing cards that have different owners will appear in the same bundle, eliminating the risk of customers’ cards being confused or incorrectly graded
  • Bundles and packages are now more cost-efficient, and meet all of the requirements from the third-party grading company
  • Our simple execution of what is otherwise a complex and technical tool means that the process is future-proofed, and can be upgraded or integrated at any time

Client testimonial

“The team got to know us, our business and our ways of working. They listened, provided helpful input and automated many of our processes to get us ready for volume, and allow us to focus on growing the business. Whilst custom software is quite a technical undertaking, we felt well informed and in safe hands at each stage and are happy with the outcome of a brilliant series of projects.” John Parker, Director, Black Label Grading

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Assistive care app development and device management

Application development for pioneering assistive technology company, Enabling Me.

We increased performance and management of SMS-based assistive care devices with privacy and reliability front of mind.

Care sector device management

Enabling Me’s primary requirement was better visibility of device usage, allowing them to understand which users may not be utilising the full benefit of the critical service.

Zendesk Integration

We implemented a service desk to handle tickets generated by users and devices. By integrating Zendesk with the application, the client is able to easily manage and maintain patient and device records.

TextMagic SMS integration

This project wasn’t without its challenges, with the connected devices communicating by SMS through the 2G network, which can be affected by adverse conditions.

The challenge

Enabling Me had demonstrated proof of concept with the Touchbase project and whilst they had developed good working practices, they needed to systemise those practices to keep service provision manageable as they grow.

The Touchbase product is the first of its kind, and is a daily lifeline for many. By putting a reliable system in place, Enabling Me could ensure that the overall service would live up to the standards of wellbeing that they strive for across their assisted living network.  

Desired benefits of an improved system included better reporting and increased visibility of all devices, allowing the organisation to make better decisions. Automating a number of functions could not only save time, but enable future scalability. Data privacy risks could also be reduced by centralising and securing data storage.

Our approach

Planning

By listening to our client’s concerns and understanding the invaluable work they do within the community, we were able to set key areas for improvement that not only advanced the internal performance of the system, but provided a more reliable service to users too.

Development

OnlyExcel’s 12-week development cycle ensured minimal downtime for Enabling Me, and our agile approach to the project enabled us to work in mini-sprints as we completed tasks such as SMS and SIM integration, third-party APIs, and essential reporting features.

Compatibility

As a browser-based application, we were able to utilise the power of OnlyExcel’s standard app framework. This not only gave us the ability to customise the design for our client, but also ensured cross-browser and cross-device compatibility, whether desktop, tablet or mobile.

Quality assurance

UAT (user acceptance testing) was a three-week process during which we thoroughly tested the application, its performance, and its functionality with third-party applications. Once we had confirmed the system was ready for use, we delivered training to the eager Enabling Me team.

The result

Our redesign, redevelopment and redistribution of this entirely new system has allowed Enabling Me’s invaluable service to shine. In a world where care, safety and security are a number one priority, the organisation and its residents are reassured by a robust and reliable system that puts wellbeing first.
  • Confidence around standards of care have been resorted, with devices throughout the community being fully visible with the addition of essential remote access 
  • Staff are able to pull reports dependent on their level within the organisational structure of the business, whilst a dashboard provides clear information and performance indicators
  • On-demand mass messaging can be used for essential service announcements across the network
  • Third-party applications such as Zendesk can now communicate with the application via API, facilitating a quicker and more coordinated response to helpdesk tickets
  • Integration with GetAddress provides instantaneous postcode data so that staff can look up an address when required
  • Privacy, GDPR and safeguarding of data is now a key priority not only on a system level, but across individual devices too
  • Automated functions have drastically reduced administrative tasks within Enabling Me, unlocking time and resources across a number of teams

Client testimonial

“We worked with OnlyExcel to create something bespoke for us. What we found was, quite simply, freedom. We could manage, report and work our own way and not the system’s way. Since that first creation, we have adapted and added, but we retain control over our project management and that has saved time, money and a lot of frustration.”

Elis, Founder

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Custom serialised inventory management system

Smartphone displaying ecommerce page with dashboard on screen behind

Inventory management system (IMS) for a mobile phone ecommerce business.

We transformed our client’s inventory management, facilitating growth, productivity and profitability.

complex inventory management

Properties such as IMEI, condition and history made each item unique, which was a challenge for standard systems. We created a custom IMS to handle these properties.

Advanced VAT reporting

International sales meant that multiple VAT schemes, such as VAT margin, needed to be taken into account. Our systems ensure tax is calculated and reported accurately.

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Driving growth through automation

The web app we created massively reduced admin times and allowed them to scale up business activities with minimal additional administrative burden.

The challenge

Our client is one of the UK’s most trusted used mobile phone suppliers, sourcing stock from individuals and bulk suppliers, before selling them via their own platform (WordPress WooCommerce) and third-party platforms, including Amazon, eBay and OnBuy.

Inventory was being managed in an Excel spreadsheet where data was being updated manually or by CSV, occupying many hours of administration time. Some of these elements had been automated with limited success using a desktop application and the cloud-fulfilment platform, Veeqo.

A new system would utilise automation wherever possible, and enable multiple users to work simultaneously. Key information reporting on individual phones would allow accurate calculation of VAT at a product level. Finally, the solution must provide accurate fulfilment information and work seamlessly with all the relevant ecommerce platforms to ensure customer satisfaction.

Our approach

Planning

We spent some time up-front looking at reasons why their third-party systems and website integration weren’t communicating, and proceeded to prototype suitable algorithms and workflows in a spreadsheet model.

Development

Due to the critical business need for these systems, our work was treated as urgent, and we were able to replace many of the processes with our initial 12-week development cycle. Once this MVP was in place, we were able to integrate more platforms and develop additional features.

Data migration

We oversaw safe data migration from the existing systems to the new platform, and reconciled issues between their existing website and third-party platforms.

Quality assurance

Rigorous testing by our QA team involved manual and automated functional tests, alongside the client’s own user acceptance testing. Data audits ensured that all platforms were synchronised, giving us the opportunity to make code adjustments where necessary.

 

The result

Since our implementation of the new system, our client is feeling the benefit of time and cost savings throughout the business. This efficiency not only accelerates various processes throughout the company, but increases productivity and profitability.
  • Staff no longer locate orders on a spreadsheet manually, and the business has estimated that they are saving an hour of admin every day
  • An additional hour was saved by removing the requirement to list products and set prices manually
  • Automation reduced the risk of human error in the fulfillment of orders, and mitigated the danger of corruption or failed updates
  • The new system enables phones to be processed in super-fast time. The moment they are logged, they are immediately listed for sale
  • Better accessibility to key metrics has taken accounting and reporting above and beyond original requirements
  • Stock data can be accessed in real time, and individual phones can be tracked to examine their repair and usage history

Client testimonial

“We were working in different systems and spreadsheets which was time consuming and data would get mixed up. The custom software OnlyExcel created has made a huge difference. Now I’m more focused on business strategy than daily tasks; I’m delegating more responsibility; things are getting done quicker and I’m even getting more time off and planning in some holidays!”

Elis, Founder

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Water company sales and service software

Water company sales and customer service software

Modelling in Excel helped us to create a highly effective web app, enabling our client to grow from a start-up to £5.0m+ annual turnover.

Web application helped Water and Waste Services company, Brightwater, grow from a start-up to £5.0m+ annual turnover

afflitiates Estimate management

Affiliate sales portal facilitated a controllable and scalable sales model with hundreds of sales partners

Automated and integrated systems

Bringing sales and service processes into a single system improved workflow and reduced administration

Bespoke service desk / ticketing system

Allowed more efficient handling of customer queries and requests

The Client Challange

Competition

Brightwater was created to build on the opportunities created
when Scotland’s commercial water and wastewater supply services were deregulated and opened up to competition. To be successful, suppliers must support consumption efficiencies and offer competitive quotations whilst maintaining profit margins.
 

Flexibility

Initially Brightwater wanted a tool that could integrate the Market Data Set (MDS) for over 200,000 supply points across Scotland. It had to enable a large sales force including both direct employees and an affiliate network, to create competitive, consistent and accurate estimates while delivering a sufficient margin for the company and controlling confidential data. Rules on the margins that could be offered differed for the partners and utilities brokers, who act as sales agents and introducers for Brightwater, and inhouse sales and support teams, who sell directly, so access to the tool needed to be tiered. 
 

Forward-thinking

We also had to allow for anticipated follow-on development. Accelerating
business growth would require Brightwater’s operational processes to be
systemised and digitised in a similar way, to support effective service delivery at scale.

Our Approach

We place great importance on getting the brief right at the outset and we always spend time fully understanding the business and stakeholder needs.
 

Phased approach

We took a phased approach to ensure rapid roll-out and relief of priority pain points. Meanwhile, we spent time considering the organisation’s long term needs so we could future-proof development and keep lifecycle costs down.
 

Complex modelling

By modelling complex cost calculations and margin rule algorithms in Excel, we could help define and agree the parameters that would need to be used in the application. This ensured the tool would perform well in user acceptance testing and that the outputs would match expectations.
 

Testing

With a system involving such complex calculations and workflows, testing is critically important. In addition to our own testing processes, we provided early access to a staging environment so the client could fully test features before deploying the application.

The Outcome

Growth

Supported by the sales application, Brightwater grew from a start-up business in Februrary 2016, to a supplier with 4,750 premises under management and a turnover in excess of £5m by Feb 2021. The results of our professional partnership have led to a long term and ongoing relationship.
 

Improved operations

We went on to develop a coordinated suite of software tools that allowed them to switch from managing their accounts across a series of synchronised spreadsheets to a single, co-ordinated, workflow system. This allowed them to systemise more of their processes, driving up efficiencies and ensuring that they comply fully with the strict regulatory requirements for water and wastewater service operations.
 

Enhanced communications

The system features a bespoke ticketing system that ensures requests are carried out within given timeframes and allows tasks to be completed by any available, authorised, member of the Brightwater team. This ensures that faults are reported quickly and efficiently. Meter reading and reporting is also monitored within the set timescales and the system reconciles these with billing procedures.


Client testimonial

"We were really impressed by the professionalism and thoroughness with which the OnlyExcel team approached our estimating tool, and the web app they built has performed brilliantly in the field. They took their time to fully understand our business model, key drivers and our core principles, so it was only natural that we’d engage them again to further develop the platform - optimise our efficiency and performance by consolidating functionality into a single system. What they have created has helped make us one of the most efficient and competitive independent water services companies operating in Scotland."

Quotation app for national cleaning company

Quotation app for national cleaning company

Sophisticated quotation app for national cleaning company

Creating an efficient quotation tool using Laravel to expedite the sales process and enhance profitability.

BESPOKE CLOUD-BASED APP TO DRIVE CONSISTENCY AND EFFICIENCY ACROSS A NATIONAL SERVICE NETWORK

note

POLISHED QUOTATIONS

We developed a quotation app using Laravel which allowed sales teams to generate highly professional proposals in a fraction of the time it had previously taken.

people

NATIONAL CONSISTENCY

Using a cloud-based app ensured that quotes were consistent across a large national network and delivered maximum competitiveness while protecting margins

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GAME-CHANGING PERFORMANCE

The client described the tool as “a game changer” allowing improved control of the quotation process and standardising sales teams’ approach to profitability.

The Client Challange

Spotless Commercial Cleaning operates a network of commercial cleaning services across the UK. It employs over 1400 people providing professional services to industrial, office, retail, government, education and hospitality and leisure premises. They wanted to develop a single, quotation tool that could provide up-to-date estimates for contracts that would ensure that proposals were consistent, competitive and efficient to deliver.


Margins are tight in this industry and individual requirements are often very specific, so it was important that the tool could handle complexity and deliver the correct margin on every aspect of the services being provided.


The bespoke nature of quotations for specific commercial premises was challenging for salespeople drawing up quotations who found it was occupying a significant proportion of their working day. This was impacting the time they had to prospect for new business and limiting growth.


The client wanted a tool that was user-friendly for sales teams and capable of generating professional, branded estimates in real time . Available SCADA

Our Approach

By working closely with the client to understand the complexities of their current quoting procedures and charging structures, we developed a clear picture of what was required.

We realised that the most efficient way to achieve their goals would be a bespoke, cloud-based, app that would allow sales people to input the information on whatever device they were using at the premises they were quoting on.

The app would prompt them through the quotation process, ensuring details such as numbers of staff working at the premises, its location, areas of the building covered by the contract to ensure that all the key parameters affecting the quote were included. It also allowed for add-on services and supplies to be added to the quote with up-to-date margins automatically built-in.

We developed the new cloud-based app using Laravel with an easy-to-use interface designed in line with the Spotless brand.

This can be accessed on mobile, tablet or computer and allowed sales staff to build quotes as they were surveying the relevant commercial premises.

At every stage of the process, margins were built in and these can be revealed to the client so they could fully understand the charging structure.

The app allowed central sales teams to monitor the process of quotes as they were being created and for professional proposals to be issued directly to clients once all the required procedures had been completed.

The Outcome

The client described the new tool as “a game changer”.


It slashed the amount of time required to assemble a quote and enabled sales teams to improve productivity and provide their clients and prospects with quotations much more quickly.


The tool helped sales teams to produce quotes that were highly competitive without cutting margins to the quick helping to drive up new business while maintaining profitability.


Sales staff reported that the tool was far easier to use than the system they had used in the past and allowed them to work more flexibly and effectively.


It facilitated centralised control of margins, the ability to adjust these at short notice when necessary and clearer visibility and overview of sales activities on the ground.


The tool also prompted estimators to offer a wide range of supply items, such as toilet paper, hand sanitiser etc., within the estimate, which helped improve the profitability of contracts still further.

Event management web app

Custom Events Management App

Event management web app

Giving one of the UK’s premier B2B events companies better visibility across its business.

IMPROVING PROJECT MANAGEMENT, BUDGETING AND REPORTING CAPABILITIES

BESPOKE WEB APP DEVELOPMENT

We developed a web app that addressed shortcomings in the client’s existing management and reporting systems. It allowed real-time tracking if individual projects streamlining the flow of information to the senior management team

Project profitibility reporting

The web app enabled managers to improve the accuracy of financial reporting for each individual project and rationalise existing systems.

integration to Xero Accounts app

We created a fully-integrated platform connecting project operations with the client’s accounting system allowing them to automate invoicing and record keeping.

The Client Challange

The client is a highly creative and successful business events specialist. They deliver innovative business conferences and exhibitions to awards ceremonies and launches both within the UK and internationally. Consequently, every project is bespoke with a wide range of variables across multiple locations. Keeping track of each individual projects was a real challenge.

They did have event management software but it couldn’t do everything they wanted and they were having to operate it in tandem with spreadsheets.

The client wanted to be able to segment projects down fully so they could accurately establish the profitability of each individual event. They wanted a system that would allow them to bring all their activities and reporting onto a single platform to avoid inputting data multiple times.

Accruals are a major factor in the sector as most events are paid for in advance and the client wanted to ensure these were fully managed as part of their new system.

And, finally, they wanted a system that would allow them to have real-time visibility of planned revenue, actual revenues and profit. The industry’s professional body has set standards for margins which differ for in-house time and third party costs so the new system had to take account of this.

Our Approach

To establish exactly where they felt their reporting needed improvement, we engaged with key stakeholders. Over the course of three weeks we worked closely with them, unpicking the existing systems to identify precisely where the problems lay. A key part of this preparation process was recognising the many strengths of the old system.

We were then able to build a web app that delivered all that they liked about the old system but added new reporting functionality and created a single platform that worked seamlessly with their Xero accounting system.

It allowed them to track revenues against specific events and we developed functions that allowed their workforce to record timesheets when they were working in the field (quite literally, at some outdoor events).

Because the app connected directly to their accounting system, time and expenses could be logged as they were incurred and linked to specific events.

To streamline reporting still further, we created a dashboard that could report in real time on planned and actual revenues and gave a clearer picture of profits, taking full account of accruals.

The Outcome

The web app significantly improved reporting, enabling clearer management oversight of KPIs, finances and time at a much more granular level than before. This allowed the leadership team to identify those events where profitability was being compromised and make adjustments to address weaknesses and improve future efficiencies.

Reducing the need to transfer data across systems and spreadsheets greatly reduced admin times and increased the accuracy and speed of reporting, keeping the management team on top of events as they were happening.

By moving from Excel, the system allowed greater control of user permissions so information was only seen by those authorised to do so.

The client was delighted that we succeeded in ironing out their reporting issues and, by working in close partnership with their accountant, we had fully retained the strengths of the system we replaced.

Utilities Brokerage Management App

Utilities brokerage app

Improving reporting and control for leading B2B utilities broker.

REDUCING ADMINISTRATION AND IMPROVING AUTOMATED REPORTING for utilities brokerage

CREATING BESPOKE WEB APP

We created a web app that helped the client improve reporting and forecasting and drastically cut administration times taken up managing spreadsheets.

MAXIMISING CONTROL

The client was able manage their contract information much more effectively, use algorithms to provide more accurate forecasting and integrate this information with their accounting systems.

MINIMISING ADMIN TIMES

As the business had grown more successful, administering all their spreadsheet information had become onerous and this was leading to inefficiencies. The app we developed, helped them to substantially reduce the amount of time required to keep track of all their contracts and analyse their data.

The Client Challange

One of the UK’s fastest-growing commercial utilities consultants – was becoming the victim of its own success. A burgeoning customer base meant increasing numbers of contracts were being managed and monitored using manual process and spreadsheets. This was leading to ever increasing amounts of admin time being spent keeping track of these and transferring data from them into their monitoring and accounting systems.

Forecasts and risk assessments in this sector require nuanced analysis of contract information which the spreadsheets couldn’t readily provide and this was making it increasingly difficult to provide accurate business projections.

The client wanted to find a way of managing contract information that would ensure that information connected seamlessly with their accounting systems. They wanted it to allow selective visibility across their sales, management and finance teams. And they wanted to be able to carry out detailed analysis and risk assessments allowing for complicated contract variables.

Our Approach

Our first tactic was to examine precisely how the spreadsheets were being used. We interviewed the financial director, operations and sales team to determine exactly what would be required to streamline handling of the information and improve the quality of reporting that each stakeholder required. 

By centralising the data and digitising processes we reduced the amount of data being transferred across systems. This reduced the risk of information going astray and ensured that month-end figures, income levels and revenue projections could be viewed more accurately and quickly.

One of the key complexities of the business is that accounts which are cancelled early, incur “clawbacks” on the commissions paid by utilities suppliers. We created an algorithm that could accurately weight clawback liability across the entire portfolio improving the precision of forecasting and further reducing administration times and commercial risk.

With role base user permissions we enabled sales staff to access their own accounts, to check contract status, documentation and commission levels while management could actively track their sales performance.

The Outcome

The automated reporting and analytics functions of the new systems give the client clearer overviews of performance, liabilities and dependable revenue projection. This enables the company’s leadership team to adopt a more dynamic management style and make more aggressive decisions, confident in the underlying assumptions.

The system also gave sales teams enhanced visibility of contract details and ensured that compliance paperwork was monitored more effectively. It eliminates bottlenecks in reporting between sales and operations. The sales consultants benefit from significantly improved access to information and full transparency over their commission structures.

Having proven the effectiveness and future proofed the system design from the outset the client is ready for the next phases of development including compliance management and integration to other applications.

Meal Delivery Web App

Delivery app on mobile phone

Bespoke Meal Delivery Web Application

Back office task automation, customer self service and billing platform

Mobile friendly web app reduced overheads by 80hrs per week

screen-smartphone

Mobile Friendly Web App

Made it easier for customers to buy meals and edit their preferences

pie-chart

Automated Meal Algorithms

Replaced the need for manual meal planning

graph

Planning and Reporting

Reduced prep times and food wastage

grid

Third party software integration by API

Connections to Stripe car payment software, and postcode lookup software by API

Client Needs

A healthy bespoke meal prep company, with a rapidly growing business in London, the team was creaking under the volume of manual administration in spreadsheets, emails, and Word documents. They needed to reduce their administration burden to make the business scalable.

The Challenge

The team had limited availabilty to work on the project due to overwhelm as a result of manual customer management and back office administration processes taking up all their time.

Our objective was to automate as many tasks as possible including customer communications, creating customer eating plans, producing food labels and information sheets and planning ingredient orders, kitchen prep sheets and compiling delivery information.

The Solution

Because of the pressing administrative burden and the complexity of the end requirements we took a two phased approach, to relieve pressure from the team immediately before implementing a long term solution.

We began by automating many of their existing processes using VBA in Microsoft Excel. This reduced administration by about 40 hours per week and freed up the operational team’s time and resources to work on the next phase.

Next we replaced spreadsheets entirely with a mobile friendly web app on our Laravel based framework, that made it easier for customers to pay by card for their services (using Stripe API), reduced administration and kitchen overheads by a further 40-60 hours per week, and reduced food wastage by around 50%.

Streamlined processes put the business in a position to franchise and scale.