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Build It Better

The home for everything we write about tech, software development and product management.

UX design: improving productivity, brand loyalty and satisfaction

Build It BetterJanuary 5, 2018

Users often decide in just a few seconds whether or not your site or app is worth their time. If your software is unusable or confusing, it can result in user mistakes, reduced productivity or even the total failure of the project. This is why user experience (UX), whilst often neglected, is one of the most important features of your software. What is user experience design?

UX design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the compatibility, usability, appearance and performance provided in the interaction between the end user and the software. In simpler terms, this means that good UX design works to ensure the user’s experience of your software is as enjoyable, intuitive and satisfying as possible. What is Enable’s approach to user experience design?

Enable is passionate about UX design. Our goal is that our applications genuinely enhance people’s day to day tasks and are a pleasure to use. To meet the high standards we set ourselves, we conduct a UX planning exercise for each area of work. The key point of this exercise is that, before any code is written, the team has considered the different possibilities for the look of what is to be created and how the user will interact with it. Planning is one part of the UX process but reviews are required to help consolidate it. During the build phase, UX reviews are held periodically to consider what has been developed and if it is the best that it can be for the client.

So let’s dive in and explore how user experience design can benefit your business.

5 min read

Support: keeping your software up and resolution times down

Build It BetterDecember 15, 2017

Enable’s dedicated Client Services team are on hand to provide our clients with an ongoing helpdesk support service, covering general questions, diagnosing problems, fixing bugs and discussing possible changes to existing software systems.

Once a client raises an issue, Enable records a detailed ticket to keep track of the request, and stay organised as the team’s work progresses. Rather than passing responsibility to third-party providers, our team takes direct ownership in resolving issues. This leaves our clients safe in the knowledge that requests will be resolved efficiently and speedily.

Our helpdesk support services are available during the UK working hours of 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. By being easily contactable by telephone and email, we ensure there are efficient communication channels available for clients to report incidents and receive feedback.

We appreciate the vital role our software plays within our clients’ businesses and the disruption that can be caused when a problem occurs. We take great pride in our response times, with our in-house helpdesk software system ensuring our clients receive an initial communication from our team within 30 minutes of raising a request. We manage expectations by publishing a set of target resolution times, as follows:

4 min read

Application testing: setting a new quality benchmark with every project

Build It BetterNovember 24, 2017

In today’s business landscape, software applications play an integral role. By getting the requirements for an application right first time, Enable’s clients are free to focus on what matters: profitable growth, business transformation, and achieving their company’s vision.

The approach for any software design and build lifecycle should focus on ensuring that all of your requirements have been fully understood and delivered. The fact that software testing plays a vital role in this process is well understood, but the variety of topics that need to be considered can often be overlooked.

This article draws attention to six types of application testing that Enable recommends. By being attentive to testing of this kind as early as possible in the implementation process, an application is a lot more likely to be secure, reliable, efficient, maintainable and provide a high standard of usability.

7 min read

How to keep your software infrastructure secure and your customers protected

Build It BetterNovember 3, 2017

Keeping software secure has become increasingly important for businesses over the years. Software security is no longer optional; it has become an absolute necessity. Security breaches and attacks could potentially result in a significant loss to your company’s revenue, reputation and even your customer base. With this in mind, it’s important to have procedures and processes in place to minimise the chances of any sensitive customer data getting into the hands of the wrong people.

Let’s dive in to the five key security steps Enable recommends your company should take to keep your software secure and your customers protected.

1. Preventive Measures

Being part of a connected world provides a significant number of both benefits and risks. Any computer that is connected to the internet is at a potential risk from various security breaches and attacks, such as viruses, Trojans, and spyware. Firewalls should be used to protect your company network by only allowing internet traffic that is defined in your firewall policy. Antivirus software should be used to prevent, detect and remove any malicious software and other threats. All software should be properly patched and kept up to date.

4 min read

Sales record for Enable — for 17th year in a row!

Build It BetterFebruary 1, 2017

Stratford-upon-Avon based software developer Enable has closed another record year in 2016 by sustaining double digit growth.

Sales for 2016 increased to more than £3.15m, up from £2.65m the previous year which represents an increase of 18.6% — more than £500,000. Licensing and implementing Enable’s new DealTrack software product was responsible for a significant portion of the growth.

During the year the company also welcomed 7 new starters on-board, taking the total headcount to 44 staff.

Co-founder and MD Andrew Butt comments:

“In 2017 with DealTrack and Enable iD we hope to pass through the £4m milestone.”

“We are receiving significant interest in our products and services from both UK and USA and are investing heavily in product development to make sure we are providing innovative software to our existing clients as well as attracting more new business.”

“We are also continuing to work closely with University of Warwick and plan to recruit many more graduates this year to help meet current and expected future demand.”

sales-i and Enable form strategic partnership

Build It BetterAugust 30, 2016

West Midlands, UK — sales-i and Enable, two West Midlands based enterprises, have partnered to provide a suite of software to improve profit margin and increase sales across manufacturing, distribution and wholesale industries.

Founded in 2008, and with offices in both the UK and North America, sales-i provides market-leading sales performance software designed to help manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. Its award-winning software helps companies to improve their bottom line, identify new business opportunities, and strengthen their customer relationships.

Enable provides DealTrack — a rebate management solution that helps organisations manage complex trading agreements involving retrospective payments, such as rebates, retrospective discounts, royalties, purchase income and other forms of back margin.

The partnership will combine sales-i and Enable’s vast experience and expertise in wholesale and distribution to provide a suite of software to improve profit margin and increase sales.

4 min read

Our 16th year of growth

Build It BetterMay 10, 2016

Stratford-based software development firm Enable has achieved a record 16th year of growth with sales of £2.65m last year, up more than 25% compared to 2014.

During 2015, 12 new local jobs were created, taking the current headcount up to 42. The company builds software for some of the UK’s most recognised companies including BBC, BUPA Care Services, Mitsubishi Electric and Wolseley.

The firm, who recently purchased three freehold office units on The Courtyard, Timothy’s Bridge Road, was started by Denys C. Shortt OBE and Andrew Butt in 2000. From humble beginnings in a stable block with 2 employees, Enable has achieved sales growth every year and been profitable since inception.

1 min read

Support responsiveness reaches all time high

Build It BetterOctober 6, 2015

Enable provides clients with ongoing application management and support services for most of the software it develops. When combined with the ongoing management of application hosting it means that Enable is solely responsible for the efficient running and availability of software, making it easy for the client by ensuring they are not being passed back and forth between service providers. Indeed, one of our clients in the US kindly reminded us that we are ‘one throat to choke!’

For most clients we provide support during UK working hours which tend to be from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays. Our dedicated support team are contactable by telephone and email, and our efficient helpdesk software system ensures that clients receive an acknowledgement by email within 30 minutes of raising a request. We know how important it is to be responsive and how frustrating it can be when someone has a problem with a software system.

In order to maximise client satisfaction we manage expectations by publishing a set of target resolution times, typically as follows:

3 min read

Enable iD and Centro working together

Build It BetterJune 17, 2015

Enable iD and Centro have signed a formal agreement to jointly develop MyJrny, a unique application that allows people to combine personal data with travel network information. The application aims to deliver tailored journey planning information more efficiently than existing mapping services, which typically lack real-time awareness.

Instead of prioritising information based on historic data or commercially-driven offers that ignore personal context, MyJrny prioritises personal data, giving individuals full control of what information they use to plan their journey. The service will comprise an online dashboard for transport operating companies and commercial partners alongside a consumer-focused mobile application, initially for Apple iOS and Android phones.

Enable iD are also creating a software development kit (SDK) that will enable developers to easily plug the MyJrny functionality into third party applications.

2 min read

Oasis Dental Care: building a bespoke audit tool

Build It BetterMarch 5, 2015

Oasis Dental Care audit tool

Oasis Dental Care is required to satisfy Care Quality Commission (CQC) criteria that it is meeting national standards of care and service. One of the ways it does this is by carrying out regular audits at each of its dental practices. Oasis had been using a standard off-the-shelf audit tool to support this process.

The existing tool was costly and no longer fit for purpose. It was complicated to use, partly because it had functionality that wasn’t needed and this had resulted in Oasis having to change their processes and use work-arounds to fit the tool. Any changes that were required were costly to implement and took a considerable amount of time to achieve.

Oasis therefore commissioned Enable to build an Audit Tool to meet their specific current and anticipated future needs.

What did Enable do?

Enable undertook a business analysis exercise to understand the Oasis business and specifically the audit processes. Definition work was then carried out to reach an optimum solution design. The specific requirements were gathered and developed into a configurable, web-based, Microsoft .NET solution.

3 min read

Entrepreneurs supporting the next generation of business talent

Build It BetterFebruary 26, 2015

The Maserati 100 — a definitive list of Britain’s most successful business leaders actively supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs — has been announced by Maserati and the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) and published in the Sunday Times.

A diverse and vibrant array of established entrepreneurs feature in the inaugural 100 list, highlighting the strength and tenacity of modern British entrepreneurialism. Those featured in the list included:

Julie Deane creator of The Cambridge Satchel Company who is committed to preserving British manufacturing by taking on apprentices and encouraging young people to embrace craftsmanship.

Sir Charles Dunstone, founder of The Carphone Warehouse and chairman of TalkTalk Group who is also Chairman of The Princes’ Trust Enterprise Fellowship.

And, one of the West Midlands leading entrepreneurs Denys C. Shortt OBE — founder of health & beauty company DCS Group and technology companies Enable, DealTrack and Enable iD.

5 min read

Enable wins ‘Team of the Year’ at Pride of Stratford Awards 2015

Build It BetterFebruary 16, 2015

On Friday 13th February 2015, Stratford upon Avon District and local businesses came together at the Holiday Inn, Stratford, to celebrate the best achievements in business and the community on one truly glittering night - the fourth annual Pride of Stratford Awards.

In the presence of the “who’s who” of Stratford-upon-Avon, they awarded their prestigious “Swan” Awards to the best businesses, individuals and organisations in the local area.

Enable’s DealTrack team was nominated for “Team of the Year” where the judges were looking for “teams that have made a significant contribution to the business, showing commitment to team working and mutual support and respect.”

Facing some very stiff competition from other local businesses, Enable was a winner in the award for the “Team of the Year” category.

2 min read

Ready for business on G-Cloud 6

Build It BetterFebruary 5, 2015

Enable has once again been confirmed as an approved Software as a Service (SaaS) and Specialist Cloud Services supplier as part of the UK Government’s latest CloudStore catalogue – G Cloud 6. Enable continues to offer public sector organisations the opportunity to subscribe to and use services from G-Cloud, a straightforward and cost-effective way to access cloud-based services.

Andrew Butt, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Enable commented: “As part of our commitment to the Public Sector, we began the process of becoming ISO Accredited two years ago. We have now completed two ISO 9001 & 27001 audits with zero non-conformances. I am delighted the Public Sector can now access DealTrack – Enable’s off-the-shelf solution for managing & tracking complex supplier trading agreements, as well our bespoke software development services via G-Cloud 6”.

G-Cloud 6 provides a single store for buyers to purchase IT commodities and services and makes it clearer, simpler and faster for the whole of the public sector to buy digital products and services when it needs to, it is a vast improvement for both supplier and customer,” said minister for the cabinet office Francis Maude. “This will ultimately lead to the delivery of better services for the public, and means that we can continue to work with a range of quality suppliers of all sizes.”

2 min read

Enable finalist in 2015 Pride of Stratford awards

Build It BetterFebruary 4, 2015

On Friday 13th February 2015, Stratford-upon-Avon District will come together at the Holiday Inn, Stratford, to celebrate the best achievements in business and the community on one truly glittering night - the fourth annual Pride of Stratford Awards. In the presence of the ’who’s who’ of Stratford upon Avon, Touch FM will be awarding their prestigious swan awards to the best businesses, individuals and organisations in the area.

Enable is proud to have been selected as a finalist in the Team of the Year category. Andrew Butt, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Enable commented: "We have had a good year of growth in 2014 and it is great to be recognised in awards like Pride of Stratford. The business climate remains challenging and this is an excellent team building opportunity to celebrate success."

Enable has previously been ranked in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100. Enable’s mission is to build the best cloud-delivered business software using Microsoft technologies. The company achieved record sales in 2014 and has ambitious expansion plans for 2015.

Enable achieves 14th consecutive year of growth

Build It BetterJanuary 15, 2015

Enable is delighted to announced that revenue grew by 10% in 2014, making it the 14th consecutive year of growth. Headcount and profit are also up compared to the previous year.

During the year demand for Enable’s services increased across the board, with Enable carrying out more software design, development, hosting and support work than any previous year.

1 min read

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