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Helping our clients remotely access their business

We've been helping clients move their business online for years. This experience became particularly applicable with the Covid-19 crisis and the sudden need for homeworking. On this page, we'll talk about some of our most relevant projects:

A single system connecting multiple software tools

Improved staff communication with intranet solutions

Putting customers in control (so they do more of the work!)

Migrating online to maintain income during the Covid 19 crisis

Why web-based software has taken over

When we started business in 2001, we had to convince customers that online software was better than its desktop equivalent. Today, almost all software is online in some form. And with our help, our clients have been at the forefront of that migration.

The Covid-19 crisis may have made remote working more urgent in the short term, but there is universal advantage to a system that can be accessed from anywhere. Online software looks like a website and works on any internet browser. So it's instantly familiar to staff and customers, saving time and effort.

A bespoke system built around your business means clear and consistent processes. Not based on an individual staff member's quirks, or lost in a mess of paperwork and spreadsheets. That's why our clients' software solutions are business assets that deliver value over years.

Here are some examples.

Tested

Make sure your website works with multiple testing at the developer, project manager and client level.

A single system connecting multiple software tools

Sales data from customer to accounts

The Oxford Wine Company asked us to provide a bespoke solution to bring their sales process together. Using an API data connection, the new software collects product information including stock from Sage (via third party software Zynk) to instantly update the website.

When orders are taken online, a dispatch note is created with a barcode to be scanned by warehouse staff. Once scanned on dispatch, the order and stock is automatically updated. Even orders on the shop till's EPOS instantly update the central system.

Management staff can see sales data and update product information, while the sales team use a custom dashboard to handle leads and orders for wholesale clients.

During the Covid-19 crisis, the Oxford Wine Company had a surge in online orders. They were able to maintain their business with remote access to their sales and product information, and minimal warehouse staff.

Website 'front end' for a third party customer management tool

In 2012, we developed a website for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL). In 2019, we helped again with a new website connected with the ThankQ customer relationship management (CRM) system. ThankQ provide a customer and product database that BIICL use to manage paid members, event bookings and publication sales.

Customers visit the bespoke BIICL website to place orders and manage their details through a secure user login. The website collects events and publications from ThankQ via their API data feed. Customer registrations and purchases are then sent back from the website to ThankQ's customer database.

Improved staff communication with intranet solutions

A custom intranet for Ubico waste management services

As many employees went home during the Covid-19 crisis, they needed remote access to documents and processes. Public sector provider Ubico had a head start with their bespoke staff intranet. An intranet is a private version of the internet that sits behind a login so only key users like staff can view it.

Ubico was formed by a partnership of local councils to deliver waste management, landscaping and other public services to residents in Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire. With depots and offices across the region, their staff were already spread apart. They needed a secure, centralised system for HR documents, policy guidance, and internal news.

Staff can login with any internet-connected device. So there is no need for additional equipment or software installation, and the system is instantly familiar to anyone who's used a website.

Further intranet features for Cirencester auction house

Moore, Allen & Innocent are auctioneers and property specialists with sites throughout the Cotswolds. They wanted to provide a central resource for staff in different locations for better HR information and a sense of community.

Initially the intranet was focussed on holiday and sick leave, allowing staff to manage their leave while the HR department could easily review requests and view overall data. In common with many of our projects, the intranet has grown as Moore, Allen & Innocent have seen its benefits. This now includes a social media area for staff.

Putting customers in control (so they do more of the work!)

Login features that give members extra tools

As a membership organisation, British Powerlifting wanted to reduce the time they were spending managing their database, while giving members a better experience. For any business with regular customers or members, users can benefit from a private login area. Just as importantly, these users can complete much of the process that was previously being handled in-house, saving considerable time.

British Powerlifting provide an affiliation for powerlifters to enter competitions via a number of regional divisions. They were handling member data with spreadsheets, and sending member cards by post. We worked with the team to develop an online tool with consistent processes for membership and competitions. Members can register online, enter competitions, and receive their membership card by email.

Instant quotes for owners selling their old car

Abbey Metal Recycling were managing their car scrapping service with spreadsheets and paperwork, with a disjointed process across staff members. We created a dedicated website to let customers handle more of the process, increase sales and save time internally.

Customers enter a postcode and number plate for an instant tailored quote for their vehicle. Behind the form, our bespoke system checks a third party database of all car models for elements like gross weight to provide a basic calculation. This price then runs through a number of factors controlled by Abbey through the management system - including distance from the site and engine value - to offer the customer their price.

Once they've accepted the price, the customer's details form a new job that can be processed by Abbey staff. This includes allocation to drivers for collection, storing customer IDs, and text and email updates to the customer. Finally, the system automatically produces the legally required "Certificate of Destruction" by data connection with the DVLA.

Migrating online to maintain income during the Covid 19 crisis

Instantly moving to online training to maintain sales

We've worked behind the scenes with Prospect Training over many years to provide online learning for their clients. This includes a learning management system (LMS) for sports professionals. End customers can register, buy courses and even complete much of their training online.

While some of the training was also carried out offline, the Covid-19 crisis put an instant stop to this area of the business. Prospect's customer was able to react by scaling up their online courses to provide more options for customers, something they could put into action immediately through their bespoke management area. As a result they were able to not just maintain, but even increase their sales.

Keeping events running - online

Our website for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law includes events that are added to their ThankQ CRM system and then automatically posted on their bespoke website. As their physical events couldn't take place during the Covid-19 lockdown, BIICL transferred many of them to online events with video. With their bespoke website, they were able to instantly update the event details so that members and other potential attendees were up to date. This helped keep the events side of their organisation running.

Bespoke Online Software

Bespoke software lets you create a system that fits your business, rather than forcing you to work around an off-the-shelf product.

Online software means staff and customers are instantly familiar with how things work.

We've worked with customers across countless industries since 2001, and have a framework for rapid development that means you get what you need for less than you think.

Benefits

Remove the chaos of paperwork and spreadsheets

Create a process that isn't dependent on individual staff

Costs less than you might think, and will save money for years to come

Make life easier for your staff, saving time and training

Keep your business data secure

"Our bespoke software projects are as unique as our clients. Everyone needs something different but the common factor is communication, working hard to understand not just what the business needs, but what individual users want. Ultimately our goal is always to make life easier for users, because we believe that will make your business better."

Ben Jeffery, Bluelinemedia Project Manager.

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Fancy something more bitesize?

Take a quick look through some of the specific features we've built for clients