Saeker

Background

Saeker are health and safety consultants whose clients include major hotel groups and restaurant brands. Around ten years ago Saeker developed a system in-house which allowed them to create custom health and safety solutions for clients, to keep on top of all the risk assessments, checks, maintenance and record-keeping.
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The challenge

Although the system was popular with customers it required substantial time and effort by Saeker’s staff to setup and administer. Over the years it became increasingly difficult to maintain the software and the technologies that it ran on and when the original developer left the company, it became almost impossible to maintain and support.

The directors at Saeker decided to invest in a replacement system, to bring all the functionality onto an up-to-date platform, with additional capabilities and a more intuitive user interface.

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The solution

The project team at Make IT Simple identified several ways of reducing the complexity of the system, while delivering the same capabilities. They proposed agile development as a way of rapidly creating, testing and demonstrating new functionality to the client.

To meet the client’s objective, of embedding more of their health and safety expertise in the system, Make IT Simple developed a powerful system of customisable templates, which allowed Saeker’s consultants to design-in best practice for risk assessments, reviews, incident response and more.

The new system was also optimised for working on mobile devices, including sites with patchy network coverage.

Finding a technical partner

The directors of Saeker started looking for recommendations of companies who could carry out a custom software development project for them. They recognised that they did not have the expertise or the time to develop a detailed requirements specification, so sought a partner who could collaborate with them to understand and interpret their business needs.

Make IT Simple were recommended to Saeker by an IT specialist who was aware of their reputation and track record. They discussed the project and proposed approaches, before committing to working together.

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Results

Typically for an agile project, the development delivered results faster and with less client input than traditional methods. Managing Director, John Biles, commented, “With agile development we saw results faster than we would otherwise have expected, but it did put pressure on everyone. James [the project manager] was always available; he worked with us to find appropriate management, reporting and feedback processes and resolved issues well.”

The system was initially released to a small number of clients, who helped with final testing and fine-tuning. It was later opened up to new and existing customers, who provided very positive feedback. One of their longest-standing clients has started to adopt the new system and commented that it delivers a great first impression and is easy for new staff to learn.

For Saeker’s staff, the new system allows them to sign-up new customers, usually without extra input from a health and safety consultant. Not only does this make it quicker and more cost-effective, but it will also allow them to sign-up many more customers than ever before.