Late Bird Deals is a iPhone app that gives users the ability to find local deals and special offers, in a 3 mile radius, within the London area. This deals would be short term deals that would only be available for a short period; in most cases only a couple of hours.
For the Late Bird Deals app to provide a good user experience for both customers and sellers it was important to develop a well designed and easy to use app and a reliable database backend.
The Late Bird Deals app has been developed to be simple and hassle free to use. The app uses the phones GPS local to search for deals within a 3 mile radius.
The app integrates with Apple Maps to give the user directions to the local of the store where the deal is located.
The app also connects with Facebook to allow users to login and not only favourite deals for later viewing but also rate and comment on deals.
This portal provides stores owners to add there deals onto our database which is an exclusive to only preapproved sellers. Sellers are vetted to insure they will be able to meet the deal submission guidelines of app and prevent scammers from using the app.
SNAP-Reception is a user friendly tablet application that replaces your paper visitor book and helps you to manage your visitors' arrival and departure with a click of a button.
Give your visitors a easy to use, modern, touch screen sign in system. No more paperwork required, everything is stored and can be easily exported to the desired location.
Custom To Individual Needs
• Customise the welcome screen, set up your background image and add a logo
• Add as many companies renting your office, so that visitors can easily select the companies they are planning to visit
• Setup meeting rooms available for booking, all bookings are automatically saved to the user's default calendar
Cater For Every Type of Arrival
• Let your visitors to sign in and out with a tap on the button
• Courier can log their delivery details, and will notify the host if the receiver have signed for the package on the iPad
User Friendly Interface
• View every detail of a visitor's arrival including the ability to export reports
This is a system that can be used with a monthly subscription.
It consists of the following tools, which can be subscribed to separately, or as a whole.
If your requirements are relatively simple then the system might do what you need, without having to pay for a bespoke system.
If it doesn't we find its a very useful set of screens to help visualise exactly what you want for your bespoke system.
Like many companies of similar size we were struggling to resolve the paradox of reducing purchasing cost whilst building our product range and our vendor base to ensure future growth. Operating with a far-East vendor base and using 4 distribution companies based on different continents (UK, Mainland Europe, USA and Australia) meant stock could not be centralised and each business subsidiary had to place purchase orders satisfying each vendor minimum order requirements.
With primary objectives to respond to shorter product life cycles, shorter customer tolerance times, increased product customization and pressure for leaner inventory we considered the options available to us to implement a global sourcing strategy allowing us to share globally our MOQ and increase stock turnover. We first implemented a Demand Driven Management Resource Planning in all Business Units/Regions and then needed to be able to merge stock, sales and forecasting data and generate pos centrally, which would share MOQs while trying to balance out stock coverage in all regions. Most of the off-the-shelf solutions that were presented to us were either not cost effective for our mid size business or, while allowing to allocate inventory to forward locations based on the comparative available stock positions they did not represent a satisfactory multi-echelon solution for us, as they merged all local stock and sales data into 1 global stock coverage position but ignored the fact that transferring stock between continents was not a realistic option for us (due to the low material unit cost, high distance and low volume involved) , therefore while we wanted the execution to be centralised the DDMRP synchronization alert and resupply signals had to be based on regional stock positions only.
We therefore considered an Access custom built solution to be the most appropriate for our business and our budget and approached Fruitful with our specific requirements for designing a global DDMRP that allowed centralized supply planning and optimised global stocks, while offering the flexibility to set globally managed parameters(production lead times, MOQs, primary skus) and some regionally managed parameters (decentralised forecast/S&OP process, regional skus and buffer stocks, transportation Lead Times etc).
The implementation of this kind of projects is always the hardest part and our requirements were complex but the collaborative work, responsiveness and attention to details that Fruitful offered to design the right Access software for us was exemplary and we moved swiftly, effectively and on cost the project to completion. Our new software has been designed specifically to our needs and is now expecting to be bringing significant benefits to the Business in the long term. Many thanks to Claire and Tim for your help on this project in the last few months.
Mickael Hegesippe, Master Planner at DKB Household-manual appliances
Working in a secure and highly dynamic environment at some of the world’s busiest airports Sword Services are required to produce a significant volume of mandatory records and documentation supporting the supply, installation, commissioning and locations of equipment installed over several million square meters of site. Multiple data entries, checks and repeat configurations and the need for embedded photographic data made this largely manual task slow and laborious.
Seeking to improve the process the work flow was completely reviewed and a new work method mapped. Centred around a database the revised system captured a full range of cost, technical specification, specialist codes and even PDF details and was able to compile the required documentation with a speed accuracy and repeatability far beyond the highest expectations of the company.
Subsequently Fruitful was commissioned to automate the quotation process. The previous method involved a mixture of Excel and Word and was very time consuming. Working closely with Sword Services, Fruitful developed a new spreadsheet that allowed groups of parts and single parts to be priced quickly. Many locations can be priced at the same time and at the click of a button a Word document with the completed quote produced.
Keith Dymond, Commercial Director at Sword Services commented;
"We believed we could automate the process; however our unique operating environment meant that many proprietary solutions fell short. We were not prepared to set up a entirely bespoke system and were delighted when we approached Fruitful to find that they were not only commercially aware but offered an outstanding solution based around Microsoft product. That gave us the confidence in the resilience of the system and Fruitful's common sense approach ensured we got exactly what we asked for. An added bonus was the system's resilience - the system has remained stable and resilient under all of the loads and inputs we have placed upon it. Any on line support needed although limited anyway has always been fast and efficiently handled."
Pentagon stored information on its quotations and sales on spreadsheets but had not been able to extract the reporting information it required, for example across marketing channels or customer types. After analyzing the spreadsheets Fruitful made the changes to the structure of the data and added the reporting formula and code. Pentagon can now quickly analyze its sales and marketing performance.
A second project commissioned after the success of the first was to build a spreadsheet to create bill of materials. Pentagon play areas can be built bespoke and / or made up of a group of existing assemblies. Naturally there are many common parts which need to be added together before a purchase order is created for the appropriate supplier. Working closely with Pentagon as they built their assembly lists Fruitful automated the creation of bills of materials by suppliers based on the customer’s order. The parts list and supplier’s detail are then added to a newly created PO form for emailing to the supplier. Fruitful worked quickly and responsively to enable Pentagon to get its new system in place in time for its new assemblies.
Michael Bischof commented;
"Fruitful went through our requirements and because Tim understood what we were trying to do he made an additional suggestion that has enabled us to get more from the sheet than we originally thought possible.
The work was done quickly and delivered what we specified. It’s brilliant to have Fruitful who can work so quickly and remotely."
The Darent Wax Company Ltd are speciality wax blenders, based near Dartford in Kent, manufacturing and distributing a huge variety of products into a huge variety of industries - both here in the UK and across the globe.
Their product lines include depilatory waxes, polishes, wood-stains, greases, adhesives, casting waxes and lots more. They sell into hundreds of industries, e.g. Beauty, textiles, packaging, agricultural, healthcare, leisure, TV & Film etc, and as because of this diversity it’s very rare that they sell the same product to more than one customer.
Tom Ward from Darent Wax found Fruitful after a web search and commented
"As a result of the growth of the sales over the last 5 years, we’ve had to expand our operations. Most of our time had been spent doing things computers should be doing, and this is why we started looking at various database options. After a brief look at off-the-shelf products we realised we needed a bespoke system, so we found a company and gave them a go. They promised a lot but couldn’t deliver.
After quickly realising what we DIDN’T want, we changed IT companies and after two years we got somewhere close to what we needed. However the system still wasn’t as flexible as we needed and there were serious problems which required us to become more rigid in our production methods. As our flexibility is a major contributor to keeping us above our competition, we had no option but to go back to our original stone-age system.
After lots of discussion on suitable database platforms we found Fruitful’s website. Our first meeting with Tim gave us confidence that Fruitful would be able to deliver in the way that others had not because of their experience in the manufacturing sector (Tim having owned a sheet metal business meant he understood the pressures and constraints we operate under). Instead of indulging in techie-speak they talked in plain English about our business and way of operating. It was refreshing having a conversation about IT systems with someone who knew how important it was for us to retain flexibility and make the system flex for us - not us flex for the system.
Throughout the build process the Fruitful team have been excellent at communication and helping solve problems. I don’t think we’ve encountered an issue that they’ve said "No” to! We now have a system that has reduced our admin time and giving us better control on the business.
I am happy to recommend Fruitful, and I’m sure we’ll be using them whenever we need added functionality in the future."
Diespeker suppliers marble, granite, slate, limestone and other associated products. It uses a select team of craftsmen / tradesmen to install its products which are cut using modern Italian machinery at its location in London.
Diespeker had an existing Access database that was no longer supported by its developer. This stored quotation information and allowed a degree of management reporting. However, the database had some bugs which needed to be fixed. Additionally the company was not capturing all its quotations, nor was it producing information on those as quickly and efficiently as it wanted.
• Were manual processes and therefore slow and error prone.
• Could not easily make use of similar phrases in previous quotations.
• Had to be re-entered into the database system.
Fruitful was recommended to Diespeker. Tim came in and discussed these issues. Having experience of quotations in many different companies, Tim knew there are as many different ways of quoting as there are people quoting, even if the product is identical. Therefore it was important to get the best of all methods to produce a system all would be happy to move over to.
It was important that the system linked to the existing database and removed any double typing so Fruitful proposed a system that;
• Used Excel for the quotation building. Stock phrases are selectable in this, as is the type of quotation.
• Linked to the database to get the address details of existing customers.
• Saved data back to the database if the user wanted.
The benefit of this system was that it used the existing database system and kept development costs low.
The system was then developed and installed.
MD Ewart Krause commented;
"Fruitful offered the perfect expertise for this project – Excel and Access as well as knowledge of how quotations work for different people in different companies. They came in and interpreted correctly the complex requirements, and immediately gave us the confidence they could provide the solution. Which they did – we are very happy with. It has made quotations simpler and quicker and given us more reporting information. We were pleased not to be pushed down one route as they built a system that fitted our existing systems and the way we work."
Netstar provide IT support, consultancy exclusively for the Small Business sector and, as a result, are able to offer expert advice and solutions designed specifically for small businesses at a competitive rate.
One of Netstar’s tenets is that it is offers the complete IT package – a one stop shop for its clients and by using Fruitful it has been able to provide this.
When one of Netstar’s customers approached them with an Excel problem which they knew was outside their skill set, Netstar searched the web for an appropriate company to help them. After researching Fruitful, they were given the customer’s details and asked to get in contact. The customer had some bugs in a business critical spreadsheet. Fruitful was able to identify the cause and sort it out very quickly.
The next customer to contact Netstar had an issue with a shared spreadsheet. Again Fruitful were passed their details. After assessing the problem Fruitful advised replacing the spreadsheet with an Access database and in the interim making some changes to the current set up. In this case no work from Fruitful was commissioned but the client was so pleased with the advice they received that they used Fruitful for a subsequent Excel project.
The third customer to contact Netstar wanted to improve their view of their stock across various MS SQL systems. Fruitful met the client and has completed an Access project for them.
Mit of Netstar commented
"We service our customers to a high standard and we expect our specialist suppliers to match that standard. Fruitful fulfilled this expectation."
As an international company with divisions across the globe, Dürr Dental wanted to consolidate accounts information into one system in Germany. This involved extracting data from Sage Accounts in the UK and producing pipe delimited rather than comma delimited files. The task needed to be run every month and unless automated would be very time consuming and prone to error. Fruitful produced a spreadsheet that extracted the required information from Sage via ODBC, made some business specific changes to the data, produced the pipe delimited files and appended these to an email with the press of one button.
Ian Pope commented;
"We made some attempts ourselves and even the accounts program company tried and failed!
In exasperation I looked on Google and found Fruitful. I e-mailed and spoke to Tim to discuss our requirements he made some suggestions and came up with a solution that achieved what we needed. Tim then visited us twice to install, tweak and train on the solution which automated the whole process down to two mouse clicks from extraction of data to a sent e-mail. It left me looking for other things to get them to automate!
The work was done quickly, when we wanted and how we wanted."
The chamber had seven different logs split across each month of the year for one of their products. The updating, controlling and reporting across these was time consuming and prone to error. Tim from Fruitful came in and analyzed the data and processes and proposed a solution that greatly simplified the way the data was held, reducing the complexity and improving the availability of the data for reporting. The new solution has enabled the Chamber to reduce its administration time, reduce errors and achieve end of period reporting in seconds rather than hours or days as had previously been the case. It has been so successful for the Watford Chamber that they have started to sell it to other chambers.
Fay Thomson, Office Manager, commented;
"Tim visited our office and after establishing our needs has created 1 log that undertakes the work of the 7 original logs. Hiding some field and entering formulas that make our accounting procedure a much smoother less time consuming process."
Although the sales and payment information provided by the ecommerce solution used by NeedUndies is detailed it does not give it in a form that is easy to report on in, and certainly not in the way that NeedUndies wanted to see. Creating an Excel add-in Fruitful automated the processing of parsing and converting the data into a format that NeedUndies wanted to see.
Andrew Needham commented;
"I have to say how impressed I am with the add on. I tested it using the last 20 days worth of order data and it worked an absolute treat, exactly the report format we need!
Looking to consolidate their sales and marketing data to give them a quick and easy view of the results of their efforts, Lime Interiors approached Fruitful. Lime Interiors were keen for a solution that would match their requirements, be easy to use and not be overloaded with unwanted functionality and therefore cost. Fruitful produced a spreadsheet solution that allows Lime Interiors to get this information and to track when they need to make follow up calls.
Gary Grant, director, commented;
"Tim visited our offices and spent time listening to us rather than prescribing a ready-made generic program that could have been for anyone. He took time to understand the real needs and underlying needs of our business and then returned to us with a software solution that helped me to be able to accurately assess what was working for us regarding our sales and marketing, whilst at the same time capturing useful sales info.
The benefit to us now we know what works and what doesn’t. Rather than bits of paper everywhere containing the information we need, it’s all on 1 simple to use spreadsheet. The back-up provided also by Fruitful is responsive and polite. We are looking at other ways Fruitful can help us as our business moves forward."
CFP Solutions needed an Excel dashboard for one of their clients. It had to be visually appealing, tying in with CFP Solutions high design standards, flexible, simple to use and reliable. It would use data from a mySQL database and it had to be done by a week on Friday.
Colin Fitzpatrick, MD, commented;
"After researching the web and reviewing different organisations Fruitful was awarded the contract. Tim from Fruitful was at their office the next morning. The various ways to extract and hold the data was discussed and Tim was able to call on Fruitful’s experience of dashboard reporting to propose two options.
Fruitful produced the quotations the next morning (Thursday), one option was selected, the project was signed off and work commenced immediately.
Fruitful and CFP Solutions developers worked together closely over the next week to produce the Excel dashboard system the customer wanted. It allowed the user to view the data across dates and other sub-divisions and showed it in a visually appealing and understandable way. The project was delivered on the Friday as promised and the customer was happy.
We were impressed that Fruitful had done similar work, quickly understood what we wanted, promised to deliver in the tight time frame and did...without fuss and according to the terms of the contract. We now view Fruitful as an extension of our core services."
Dan Pryboda of Kirncroft Engineering commented;
"We had a manual process for scheduling the factory but because it was so complex and time consuming it became difficult to complete quickly and change when required. Often it would take one man a whole day to complete.
As our customers’ requests became more bespoke we needed to adapt to fulfil them. We wanted to be able to respond quickly to customer requests for lead times which was difficult under the manual system. We decided to automate the scheduling.
It was important that the new system could load in new orders from our accounting system – we did not want to type anything in twice and work the way we wanted to work. We looked at off-the-shelf systems but these would not have given the flexibility and control required. They were very expensive and required a great deal of effort and training to keep running. Some were based on keeping machinery and staff operating at top efficiency –at the expense of customer due dates. As we build to order rather than to stock this was very unsuitable.
We found Fruitful on the web, and sent through a set of requirements. We honed these over the space a few weeks and then Tim came to meet us. We were pleased that having had his own engineering company he understood our requirements and the pressures we face. Fruitful then developed the system at a fraction of the cost of an off the shelf system, incorporating the functionality that was important to us. During this build process Fruitful were willing to take on board our suggestions and preferences – not pushing a one-size-fits-all approach. We have features that are unique to the way we work and this has given us a system that reflects the company’s operations."
We now have a system that will plan the factory’s schedule in a few minutes, allowing us to;
• Predict possible late deliveries and therefore deal with them so they are not.
• Quickly re-schedule when there are staff changes.
• Put in customer potential orders and give an accurate due date while the customer is still on the phone (something we had simply not been able to do accurately before).
Additionally we can now plan ahead with other jobs, such as packing and booking carriage knowing that the products will be coming out of the factory at the predicted time".
After implementing the scheduling system we decided to improve our stock control and stock forecasting. Some parts have lead times of up to four months so we needed a clear view on what previous order quantities were. That had to be used to forecast our stock including outstanding purchase orders.
The system had to allow us to
• See where stock will drop below set warning levels.
• Auto-generate the orders required to fill these shortages.
• Generate purchase orders at the click of a button based on forecast stock.
• Round order automatically to the correct batch quantity.
• Move stock around the company locations.
• Use it as the purchase order system, managing and printing off PO’s.
Again off-the-shelf systems would have been too inflexible to operate the way we wanted to, so we turned to Fruitful.
The benefit for us at this stage was that Fruitful understood our business and were able to build the system based on our unique requirements.
It has saved a great deal of management time and allows to easily forecast our stock – which is vital.
Forza needed a web-based system that would give its staff a simple visual representation of their products, suppliers and countries of origin, down to individual slaughter sites. The representation had to include the relationships and flow of product, and allow the user to control how much information they see. Additionally, documents had to be stored against individual suppliers.
Fruitful had already worked with Forza on other projects so was asked to assist. Based on the rough requirements Fruitful produced a detailed quotation that showed and demonstrated the graphical representation, detailed the functionality and gave a fixed price.
As soon as Forza had approved the project, Fruitful spent time confirming the flow and structure of the data and then developing the prototype screens. This required a close working relationship with the Forza team to ensure they got what they needed.
For the interface, the design was developed to make sure that there was no ‘information overload’. This was done by allowing the users to hide and show certain data groups, at the click of a button. Once the interface was signed off Fruitful completed the remaining functionality and put it on one of their servers for Forza to test.
The solution was tested, signed off and installed on one of Forza’s servers.
The system is now used every day to help Forza and its customers see the necessary detail regarding their products, all the way through the supply chain.
IT Manager at Forza, Gareth Papworth, commented :
“We have always had the supply chain data we needed, but the data was a mixture of spreadsheets and folders. We could always get the information we needed but it could be very time consuming and hard to track down. With the Supply Chain system it is much easier to find the information. With little effort, we can now get the information we need in seconds. It is also very logical how it is presented within the system. Not only can we use the system on our Laptops/Desktops, but we can also use it on our iPads.“
Originally they had an MS Access database that had evolved over time. When they first contacted Fruitful it was for Fruitful to update and maintain this system. It was used to list properties, suppliers, jobs done and calls made by customers. It then created quotations and invoices and allowed management to keep a track on all of this.
However, the company has been expanding and needed to replace this old system with something that was more resilient, could have many users and also be used outside of the office. They also wanted to make the system easier to use so that new staff could pick it up quickly, rather than requiring substantial amounts of training and support.
After discussing the requirements, Fruitful recommended an online database solution. Additionally, rather than do all the work in one hit it was also agreed to split the work into two phases, to reduce the initial management time and funding required.
Working closely with the client and the developer who updated the old Access database the Fruitful development team implemented a solution that fulfilled UK Nationwides’ requirements. This was done using ASP.NET and MS SQL. The system was built in a short time frame, the original data was uploaded and UK Nationwide have been seeing the benefits of the new system. The simple and intuitive interface has made it easy for new staff to start contributing quickly to the company. Additionally the system can be used outside of the office and its robustness has reduced system downtimes.
Managing Director Ken Varndell commented :
“What an amazing difference it has made to our productivity and efficiency both internally and to our clients. We process an average of 150 new work requests every week and with the new system in place we have reduced the initial admin time by 25%. We are able to provide our clients with a daily progress update at the touch of a button and again, providing work authorisations to our contractor data base is fully automated and saves a tremendous amount of time and virtually eliminates user error. The search facility throughout the data base has been improved massively and allows our operatives to be both quicker and more accurate when answering queries for our clients. The team at Fruitful have been incredible with the speed in which they got the database operational and the on-going support with the additional functions we seemed to throw at them on a daily basis. With no hesitation I can recommend and endorse Fruitful for all your IT solutions!!“
SNAP-Timesheets is an online Software as a Service (SaaS) product that allows staff to clock on and off jobs, putting in the client, the task and any additional notes. After building the online system, there was a requirement to allow users to clock on and off the jobs on iPhones and iPads.
Fruitful built an app that allowed the user to login to their employer, select a client and task and start the timer. Once the timer started the screen changed colour to indicate it was running. When the job is complete they click ‘Stop’, which then calculates the times and posts it back to the online system.
Users can also review their jobs and times
Subscribers to the system can now book onto jobs when the don’t have a desk, and managers can keep a real-time track of what have been worked on when they are out of the office.
For more information on the whole system please see www.quikflw.com.
It is important for Nielsen analysts to use the sales + consumer data to help their clients answer their business questions. The ranges of questions are broad, but in most cases insights and recommendations are sought via data analysis using internal tools, reports and MS Excel. There are a number of key analyses which are regularly used, but in some cases they are created from scratch each time and differ from one analyst to another
In order to help meet client demands for speed, consistency and efficiency Nielsen set out to create a tool to help their analysts quickly populate a set of key analysis templates. Nielsen approached over 20 different companies with this challenge, and ran a 2 day Hackathon-style event in which a shortlist of teams were in competition to design the best solution and working prototype. Nielsen felt that the proposed solution from Fruitful was both simple, effective and importantly worked well with Nielsen’s internal systems. Fruitful was awarded the contract at the start of March 2015 with the first development phase starting immediately.
Fruitful’s developers worked closely with the Nielsen project team to develop the tool and build the sets of analysis templates provided. This involved understanding the purpose of each template and how the analysts wanted to use the tool. Frequent online meetings were held to ensure the users had a high level of input. The first phase tool was delivered at the end of April, with Fruitful’s developers going through several ‘sprints’ to ensure that issues and bugs were resolved quickly. The tool was then rolled out across Europe in the first week of May.
Following launch 2 weeks ago the tool is used by over 200 analysts in 5 countries, but user adoption is growing rapidly and there are plans to launch to more countries imminently.
Andy Morton, Commercial Director, commented :
“Fruitful have demonstrated a commitment to understanding our business needs, systems and data. As a result, we have a new tool which offers our analysts an intuitive user experience, and importantly enables our teams to share best practice from one country to another.”
At the start of 2012 SJA searched for a company who could support and improve their Excel-based course planning system. Fruitful was found to be the only company with the experience and expertise with Excel as well as a general business and process knowledge.
After meeting with Frutiful, SJA commissioned them to report on the system.
This consultancy included meeting the developer and some of the users, resulting in a report detailing various approaches. Each option was laid out, with approximate prices given and detailed reasons for favouring one solution over another. Unlike many companies Fruitful is aware that sometimes an existing system that does the job is a better solution than a complete re-write.
The next stage was to implement some changes to the system using our technical knowledge of macros to vastly simplify the system from a technical and user perspective.
After its release the internal SJA developer continued to work on the system with Fruitful as the 3rd line support and technical assistance.
When the SJA developer left, Fruitful took over the year-to-year maintenance of the system and continues to do so.
David Glanville, Project Manager / Business Analyst at SJA commented;
“Working with the team at Fruitful over the last few years has always resulted in a good product for SJA. What really worked well for us was their ability understand our business requirements so quickly and outline the options available to us. Since the initial project we have made a number of updates and the team are always happy to help in a fast and efficient manner, delivering exactly what need.”
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