Enable — Blog — Page 10

Develop your own App Store with Enable

Filed as Product NewsPosted August 20, 2011

With the continuously growing need to access applications and data on the move, consumer products such as iPhone and Android powered devices are increasingly being used to meet business requirements.

The benefits of consumer apps apply to the business world. Benefits such as being able to optimise the user experience for the device screen size and being able to work with intermittent Internet connectivity.

One of the major challenges is deciding which devices to support. Do you support Android, Blackberry, iOS, or a combination of those? Perhaps you need to support all three, which involves a rewrite of the application. Also, if you are developing a business app it is surely important to be able to access it on a desktop computer and/or web browser? If you do develop multiple versions of your app then you will need to integrate with each of the App Stores.

There is another approach to this challenge, using Enable. We can provide you with your own company App Store, and develop applications once that work across Android, Blackberry and iOS as well as desktop computers and web browsers without having to be written multiple times.

This is achieved by delivering each application over the web but using the latest technology to cache important information locally on the device, therefore allowing you to work with intermittent connectivity to the Internet. The applications look and feel like locally installed applications.

DCS Europe: from clipboard to iPhone

Filed as Case StudyPosted June 21, 2011

Enable has delivered an iPhone application to allow merchandising teams to capture real-time data during site visits.

With annual sales in excess of £130 million, DCS is one of Europe’s largest distributors of health and beauty products. Under the direction of founder Denys Shortt, the company has witnessed unprecedented growth over a period of seventeen years since it was established in 1994.

DCS supplies over 30,000 retailers and 500 wholesalers in the United Kingdom and exports to 70 countries worldwide. In addition to handling the distribution into selected markets of brands such as Gillette, Colgate, P&G, Unilever, L’Oreal and Cussons, the company has launched its own Enliven range of budget-priced toiletries.

The importance of accurate customer compliance data

Providing accurate, up-to-date data to their renowned range of suppliers is vital to DCS. Deals that are agreed between suppliers and customers determine which products are to be displayed by the customer, at specific prices and positions. Short-term promotional deals are offered and core range products are identified.

Video: Maximising revenue from complex rebate agreements

Filed as VideosPosted April 11, 2011

Video: Enable’s Denys Shortt hosts Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister

Filed as VideosPosted March 8, 2011

Enable exhibiting at eWorld Purchasing & Supply

Filed as EventsPosted February 7, 2011

As a leader in developing retrospective rebate and overrider management systems, Enable is delighted to be exhibiting at eWorld Purchasing & Supply.

The event focuses on leading-edge technologies and techniques within the procurement and supply chain functions. Come and join us on 2 March at Stand 3 where we can discuss how we design, develop and implement finely tuned solutions for customers across many industries.

You will also have the opportunity to hear how Andrew Butt, Managing Director, has overseen the requirements analysis and implementation of supplier contract management systems to a range of companies and buying groups, offering benefits such as revenue optimisation, cost reduction, risk management and cash release.

Our efficient systems have made the difference between just "making do" and making profit!

NEC Group: staff scheduling solution

Filed as Case StudyPosted November 25, 2010

The NEC Group is the Birmingham-based venue management company that operates four world-class venues: The National Exhibition Centre, The International Convention Centre, the LG Arena and The National Indoor Arena. The Group also operates national ticketing agency The Ticket Factory and award-winning, prestige caterer Amadeus.

Together, the venues stage more than 800 events a year, from world-renowned consumer and trade exhibitions like Clothes Show Live and Crufts, to concerts by international artists including Pink, Elton John and Michael Buble.

A substantial part of NEC Group business involves the provision of Catering Services, both in a retail context at NEC exhibitions and as a contracted service to an end client via its own premium event catering company—Amadeus.

What was the issue?

The staffing of Catering Services is a substantial exercise, involving hundreds of staff and a mixture of full-time employees, annualised and non-annualised part-time employees, casual workers, students and agency staff.

The NEC Group spends £12m annually on catering labour, with each individual event having particular staffing requirements, and where last minute changes to plan are common. The Government’s Working Time Directive rules add further complexity where legal restrictions exist on the working schedule for staff.

Video: Welcome to Enable

Filed as VideosPosted October 12, 2010

Enable featured in Parking Review

Filed as Client NewsPosted September 1, 2010

Need, the mother of invention

Whether through business acquisition, merger or demerger, significant restructuring of any organisation presents opportunities to reinvigorate process and champion best practice. What’s more, if implemented correctly, considerable time and cost efficiencies can be achieved.

Here, Bruce Gardner for NSL recalls how need really was the mother of invention for the business. In addition, he explains how the system that was developed has gone on to provide a platform for continued cost-savings across new NSL contracts.

Business critical situation

NSL is one of the biggest transport services businesses in the UK. The company is the largest provider of on-street parking management services in the country, working with over 40 local authorities and two government agencies as customers. The business also provides a range of transport and related services to public and private clients, such as debt recovery, CCTV monitoring, coach and patient transfer operations, notice processing and street design consultancy.

Although launched as a brand in 2009, NSL‘s history goes back more than 75 years, originally as part of National Car Parks (NCP). Rapid growth and significant change in the new decade saw it demerge from NCP to NSL Services in 2007.

At that time, the company faced one of its biggest challenges to date. The solution to which ultimately led to its back office processes being revolutionised, providing immediate cost savings.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions

Filed as Company NewsPosted August 26, 2010

So, feeling as hungry as ever and to mark our 10th anniversary we recently carried out a survey of our many clients, old and new, to gauge their thoughts on all aspects of our business.

We sought their views as to the standard of service we set in the following areas:

  • Business Analysis
  • Project Delivery
  • Quality
  • System’s Fit for Purpose
  • System Reliability
  • Support Service

Enable attending Richmond Events FD Networking Forum

Filed as EventsPosted July 15, 2010

Enable are pleased to announce that we will, once again, be attending the highly successful FD Networking Forum organised by UK based events company, Richmond Events. The three day forum will take place later this year (13 -16 October) aboard the P&O flagship vessel, Arcadia.

Having attended previous events organised by Richmond, we look forward to three continuous days of valuable networking and pre-arranged business meetings with Finance Directors and CFO’s from some of Europe’s leading companies.

We have previously attended both IT Director and Finance Director-focussed events and found that the one-to-one networking / speed meeting format to be a highly effective platform for conveying the Enable message. It would take a great deal of time to generate such an audience through ‘cold calling’ and more conventional lead generation means.

Enable specialises in the development of browser based business systems, often to replace legacy applications, Excel spreadsheets and Access databases that have become business critical. The c. 40 meetings over the course of three days not only gives us plenty of opportunity to perfect our pitch but also provides valuable insight into the problems that our prospective clients are currently facing in their day to day business.

XLVets: best practice made better for veterinary group

Filed as Case StudyPosted May 6, 2010

XLVets, one of the UK’s leading veterinary groups, has created improved purchasing insight and business process efficiencies, thanks to a new, bespoke purchasing information system. Whilst tailored to meet XLVets’ specific needs the underlying efficiencies would apply for a spectrum of sectors from pharmacies to agro-chemical suppliers.

The solution, which was devised and implemented by software specialist Enable, was part of an initiative to provide accurate and timely purchasing, pricing and rebate earnings information to member practices, eliminating the need for each practice to calculate the same information.

"The new system has revolutionised the way we operate in this area as a Group," explains Andrew Curwen, CEO of XLVets. "Operating at the heart of our organisation, members will now have all the information they need to make better, more informed, business critical decisions."

Configured using Enable’s technology platform, the system calculates and publishes net and net net prices, purchase volumes and values, invoice transaction information from wholesalers, manufacturer rebate deals and incorporates a margin analysis tool.

"It is an incredibly comprehensive system," continues Curwen. "As such it enables us to deliver against our mandate, both as a Group and to our individual members. Enable has not only delivered against our brief but, by understanding our business model, our aims and objectives, the team has provided a system that truly delivers value at every level."

Business process efficiencies can provide competitive edge to UK industry

Filed as ArticlesPosted March 31, 2010

IT consultants have to shape up or ship out warns software developer Enable if clients are to realise the potential of solutions to their bottom line.

Software developers and consultants who are unable to meet client deadlines and budgets are destined to go out of business and give the industry a black mark, says the MD of Enable Software.

The warning from Andrew Butt, an entrepreneur who co-founded Enable when he was only 16, comes in the month that Enable marks its 10th anniversary. Butt also points to evidence from a recent survey by top law firm Eversheds which astonishingly reports that 80 per cent of IT projects are delivered late or not at all and that 75 per cent of UK businesses have had a legal dispute over IT contracts in the last four years.

"In some respects these figures are not surprising," explains Andrew Butt, Founder and Managing Director of Enable. "Often over complicated, convoluted systems are developed that ultimately either struggle to meet the brief, the budget and/or indeed timeframe. Smart consultants work to enhance process, not bog it down in technology. It is time that IT professionals clued up on the requirements of clients businesses and not just their own!"

According to Butt, clients may miss out on the competitive edge that intelligent IT strategies can bring to businesses while some will become entangled in intractable implementation programmes which are delayed and over budget at best and abandoned at worst.

Many forget that the biggest reason why IT exists is to automate processes and save time, says Butt. "An average office worker spends seven hours a day on their computer and can spend much of that time doing manual tasks that could be automated completely.

"Based on our experience it is possible to save a minimum of one hour per day and usually up to 2.5 hours daily by implementing systems to automate business processes.

"For a company of 500 office workers, that represents a saving of 500 hours per day, or the capacity to do the jobs of 71 people without the need to employ additional staff."

Using its technology platform, Enable has delivered made-to-measure solutions to many blue-chip clients across a variety of sectors, nationwide—Laing O’Rourke, Bupa Care Homes, Wolseley, NEC to name a few.

Since April 2008 Enable has delivered 75 projects, all of which have either been delivered to clients on or before the agreed delivery date.

"We don’t rely upon mega systems which are not necessarily fit for purpose. What clients require is a consultancy which understands their business model and processes and where it can provide efficiencies. Increasingly clients require strategic level input and on the ground implementation. This may well be in tandem with much larger Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems which can take several years to migrate roll-out across an organisation and take effect at the ’business end’.

The result has been significant cost savings to the customer, process efficiency and, in many cases, providing competitive advantage—all thanks to Enable’s solutions delivering greater productivity and significant return on investment.

About Enable

Enable Software is part of the £110 million award-winning DCS Europe group of companies and was founded in 2000 on the principle of achieving customer delight by delivering high quality software systems. Today, Enable’s vision remains the same—to be recognised by its clients as their number one partner for operational system development.

Enable’s team of over 30 service professionals, design, build and deploy business software solutions based on proven ready-made but uniquely tailored technology for more than 100 clients globally.

A dynamic, award-winning entrepreneurial organisation, Enable has a fresh approach and extensive experience.

DCS Europe: supplier rebate system ensures multi-million pound success

Filed as Case StudyPosted February 23, 2010

With sales in excess of £118 million, DCS is one of Europe’s largest distributors of Health and Beauty products. Since the company was established in 1994 DCS has witnessed, under the direction of founder Denys Shortt, unprecedented growth. Not only handling sales and distribution for brands such as Gillette, Colgate, P&G, Unilever, L’Oreal, Cussons into selected markets, DCS has launched its own Enliven range of budget priced toiletries. In addition, the company supplies over 30,000 retailers through 500 wholesalers in the United Kingdom as well as exporting to 70 countries worldwide.

What was the issue?

As the UK’s largest distributor of toiletries and household products, DCS negotiates high volumes of rebate deals with hundreds of suppliers.

Complex retrospective payment deals are applicable across all product lines, varying from supplier to supplier. As a result, tracking and realising the revenue from such deals can be a difficult task, yet crucial to the profitable running of this highly successful and innovative business.

"Managing rebates is very important," explains Harry Fellowes, Financial Systems Controller at DCS. "Without the right system in place there is the potential for the true value of deals, which have been skilfully negotiated, to never be realised."

Previously managing all contracts using spreadsheets, which detailed various calculations including trading terms, special prices and promotions, DCS believed that automating the procedure would enhance its business model and ensure the maximum possible income could be generated from each supplier deal.

"With a central, automated system we would be able to reduce risk, manage contracts more effectively and invoice more quickly. In many ways it was a no-brainer.

What was Enable’s solution?

With a considerable track record in rebates and overriders across a range of supplier sectors, Enable has developed a system to manage, track and report on large volumes of complex retrospective payment deals.

In particular the system has provided DCS with two crucial functions that have improved administrative efficiency, reduced the scope for error and inaccuracy and thereby improved the company’s bottom line in terms of claiming rebate generated revenue. The system provides:

  • Verification and approval of profit margins across all sales order lines based on the agreed rebate payments
  • Automated billing of all rebate claims.

Integrated with existing back office processes the re-keying of data has been eliminated, with the new system capable of dealing with the vast range of clients and rebates.

"The system is incredibly intuitive," explains Harry. "Having researched the market we knew that to develop a system that could deal with such a complex matrix of information was a particularly niche offering. Enable has not only delivered what we were looking for but, given their understanding of the market, they have further enhanced our original brief."

What was the impact?

The system continues to demonstrate return on investment. In 2009 alone, just one person was able to raise almost 5,000 invoices with an eight figure total order value.

"The entire process has significantly reduced administration time—in fact, by two weeks out of every month—which in turn means we’re effectively two weeks ahead of our competition at any given time," continues Harry.

Automation of the system has certainly catapulted DCS into a league of its own when it comes to rebates. The new system provides profitability reporting to ensure complete transparency across the company and, with a warning model; any deals sold below cost are flagged up immediately. Everything is checked by the system eliminating risk and, as it updates overnight, invoices are automatically generated and ready to email out to suppliers the following morning."

In fact, time saved in data extraction and swifter invoice creation has provided well over £1 million in accelerated cash flow saving tens of thousands of pounds in bank interest each year. Needless to say, the additional cash flow creates further opportunities for DCS to buy and turnover stock much more quickly—as much as 10 times each year.

"The beauty of this solution is that it has been designed to fit our business which means we can enter into even more complex deals if needs be.

"What’s more, the flexibility of the system is such that it can continue to grow with the company as numerous variables can be added over time. Our suppliers can be restricted in the way they operate but our system allows us to accommodate their processes making it easier for them in the long run.

"Given the complexity of our business, Enable has not only understood our requirements but has rationalised our processes, helping us become more effective.

"But, by far the greatest benefit of all, is knowing that all deals negotiated will be entered into the system and will result in an accurate, fully supported invoice being issued promptly and not missed or forgotten with staff changes or human error. Unfortunately, before this system was introduced, bitter experience tells us that even missing 1% of deals could cost the company a six figure sum each year."

An industry pioneer, DCS recognises that efficient rebates and overriders processes make the difference between just ’making do’ and making profit.

Mobile Doctors: complaints system

Filed as Case StudyPosted January 14, 2010

The UKs leading provider of medical evidence, Mobile Doctors, has completely revolutionised its ‘Complaints and Escalated Chase’ system ensuring the company deals more effectively with the 70,000 reports it processes annually.

Previously using a single Excel spread sheet system that struggled to cope with the rigours of complaints processing, tracking and providing a clear audit trail, the AIM listed company approached software specialist Enable to see if a more robust system could be developed.

Usually, the medical evidence compiled by Mobile Doctors is in relation to a claim for an accident or injury and is provided by a national panel of medical experts and therapists who work in association the company.

"Queries are raised continuously in relation to the evidence reports that we source for our clients," explained Steve Hawes, IT Director for Mobile Doctors. "These are classed as either complaints or escalations and can vary from a query regarding a report’s accuracy to the demands of a report’s whereabouts in the event that it has yet to be returned to the party in question. Prior to enlisting the services of Enable, the spreadsheet was crashing on a regular basis requiring wasted man-time to repair and risking the loss of key data."

With over 200 year’s collective software development and industry experience across a broad spectrum of sectors, Enable’s analyst team worked to design, configure and developed a web-based replacement for the spreadsheet in just 12 weeks.

Providing multi-user remote access and ad hoc reporting functions for the various chase/escalation teams, the new system transformed the process. What’s more, roll-out of the solution was achieved following a single Enable training session at Mobile Doctors Head Office.

"The end-result has been phenomenal," continues Steve. "Incidents have been reduced by a staggering 78% and the time taken to process data has dropped dramatically. We now have a system fit for purpose thanks to Enable."

About Enable

Enable Software is part of the £110 million award winning DCS Europe group of companies and was founded in 2000 on the principle of achieving customer delight by delivering high quality software systems. Today, Enable’s vision remains the same as ever—to be recognised by all its clients as their number one partner for operational system development.

Enable’s team of over 30 service professionals, design, build and deploy business software solutions based on proven ready-made but uniquely tailored technology for more than 100 clients globally.

A dynamic, award-winning entrepreneurial organisation, Enable has a fresh approach and extensive experience.

About Mobile Doctors

Mobile Doctors, established in 1989, has grown organically to become one of the leading suppliers of medico-legal reports for personal injury claims in the UK. It provides independent and objective medical evidence via a national panel of medical experts and therapists.

Mobile Doctors has a database of approximately 2,500 medical experts covering many areas of the UK and currently provides approximately 70,000 reports out of approximately 600,000 reports required annually.

In addition to its core medical report service, Mobile Doctors has also successfully developed a comprehensive medical investigation, diagnostic and rehabilitation service. Provided in partnership with Nuffield Health, the clinically governed services include physiotherapy treatment for claimants’ musculo-skeletal disorders.

Mobile Doctors Plc listed on AIM 18th July 2007.

Bupa: data management for care homes

Filed as Case StudyPosted November 16, 2009

The UK’s largest owner/operator of care homes, Bupa, has implemented a new web-based solution that will enable greater control in maintaining consistency of care and quality service levels across over 300 care homes nationwide.

The system, developed and implemented by leading software specialist Enable, provides a common protocol for critical data to be shared between individual care homes and Bupa central support office on a monthly and quarterly basis.

"Prior to implementing the Enable system, data management was a cumbersome process," explains Andrew Lowe, Management Information Manager for Bupa Care Services. "Information was received on a piecemeal basis using a variety of formats. Consolidating and interrogating that information was therefore a timely and costly process."

Today, each care home, all operating as their own profit and loss centres, can now log into the system and complete the information. The data is then validated by the system and is immediately available for analysis and central reporting purposes.

"From the outset Enable understood exactly what we needed to achieve and has, in just two months, delivered a solution so easy to use that we were able to roll it out across all our care homes without any requirement for training whatsoever."

The highly intuitive system was configured using Enable’s standard technology. Totally flexible it is able to capture all manner of data including:

  • Accident statistics
  • Audits
  • Compliments
  • Customer feedback
  • HR procedures
  • Vacancies

In addition, the system now provides a platform to facilitate two-way communication and interaction between Bupa central support office and the individual care homes.

"When I first met the Enable team my brief was for an electronic forms solution," continues Andrew. "Interestingly Enable has been able to get completely ’under the skin’ of our organisation, understand what we do, how we work and our processes and deliver a solution that goes far beyond our expectations but not our budget."

The initial rollout of the system was for 20 care homes, the success of which led Lowe to sanction its use across all of its care homes.

"It has been one of the smoothest projects we have ever implemented and that is, in no small part, down to Enable. As a business our back office processes are operating much more effectively particularly as we can now act on the information in a more timely fashion.

About Enable

Enable Software was founded in 2000 on the principle of achieving customer delight by delivering high quality software systems. Today, now part of the £110 million award winning DCS Europe group of companies, Enable’s vision remains the same—to be recognised by all its clients as their number one partner for operational system development.

Enable’s team of over 30 service professionals, design, build and deploy business software solutions based on proven ready-made but uniquely tailored technology for more than 100 clients globally.

A dynamic, award-winning entrepreneurial organisation, Enable has a fresh approach and extensive experience.