- Process Review
In order to design a solution for Brandconnect, the first step for Fortix was to identify its existing business processes and the information transfer between the multiple databases. Once mapped out, the Fortix team identified challenges and gaps which were further discussed with the client. Following this, Fortix drafted and recommended the new business system design for client approval.
- Modular Development
By identifying the main processes that were connected to the whole business’ workflow, Fortix focused on significant areas of data capture; client details, quoting, job management and invoicing. The underlying factor for the system design was to remove duplication of data input effort by staff. Each process was translated visually into modules within the business system and tested with clients prior to a business-wide rollout.
- Focus on Details
Brandconnect’s success over the years has been due to their dedication to ensuring their clients received the right orders at the right time. We were placed with the responsibility of ensuring this remained at the core of the system. Fortix concentrated on the design and development of its integrated stock, quoting, and job management modules to ensure that it could cater for the thousands of products and combinations that Brandconnect offered to the market. The most outstanding result for us is knowing that Brandconnect staff now take five minutes to quote (which previously took an hour) for their clients.
Our procedures are complicated and for a long time we felt that there were many areas that we needed to automate. At one stage we had about 4 different systems that we wanted to integrate. We knew we needed to increase workflow and cut down on the double handling that was occurring at many levels.
Fortix analysed our operations and looked for ways to make improvements. We sat down together and mapped out where we wanted to go and looked at the details of a plan to get there. It was a real joint effort – it wasn’t only about us understanding what an integrated system could do for us, the Fortix crew needed to understand the complexities of our processes too in order to help us. It took time to work out all of the details but the Fortix team were very determined to launch an efficient system that suited our needs.
Things are far better now operationally. By having one system our efficiency has increased hugely. Now are staff can spend much more time with our customers instead of being caught up doing administration tasks. It has also freed me up to look at new possibilities and business opportunities.
There were just too many steps before – jumping from system to system with no integration. This was okay when we were still quite small, but as we grew, we couldn’t keep going like that. Now we have one system that also allows for ongoing growth. Crucially, Fortix succeeded where others had failed – we had tried to integrate our systems before through other companies, but none of them were able to deliver.
- Products Range
With thousands of products and services offered to the market, management needed a way to display its availability to staff when quoting. The interface had to be simple enough to use, but also had to contain the intricacies of multiple combinations for use on the selected products. Moreover, identifying the markups and margins from these quotes was essential for the purpose of reporting on performance measurement.
- Job Management
Another important aspect of the business for all staff is the capability to see all the jobs that are in progress and to know the status of each job. Although their job management procedures worked well there were instances of misplacements due to human error. Expanding the business beyond this point would cause strain on the existing administration, which led to management identifying technology as a leverage.
- Decentralised Databases
Brandconnect’s healthy business growth had been accompanied by visionary management implementing innovative methods of expanding. However, they recognised the major hurdle hindering efficiency and further transformation into a national business was the disconnected databases. This was key to their selection of a strategic digital partner that could offer customised solutions for their complex business.