At the beginning of 2013 we began a strategic review process with the goal of enabling us to grow our revenues significantly and create a more risk-free operation. We chose to work with an external consultant, Bob Brown of CMC Partners to ensure the process was robust and thorough. Our two key objectives were to build value in the company and to ensure we would be able to provide directors and staff with a safe and reliable income for many more years to come. We knew we needed to grow the business but, more importantly, we realised the business needed to be ready to grow.
We identified early on that a key part of our success – and central to our competitive advantage – is the unique way we manage the operation based on a company-wide database and a sophisticated IT solution. Every member of staff, every part of the operation and every customer contributes to and also relies on the output from this system every day – it is how we manage everything. It is a system that we built entirely for ourselves over many years. Bob thought our solution was wonderful but was nervous about how much time would be required to maintain the software going forward.
Moving to an off the shelf business solution was never an option. Apart from all the cost and many months of upheaval, we knew the solution would not do what we needed it to do – it is why we built it for ourselves in the first place! All approaches to software development companies concluded in us having to start afresh, using software beyond our understanding, which took away our flexibility to give bespoke detail to our clients. This is when Bob introduced us to Mandy and Catherine of Nepeta.
From the offset we recognised that Nepeta were willing to work with us, rather than for us, in taking things forward. At no point did they criticise our system or pass comment on our self-taught IT skills. They understood the journey we had been on and were willing to discuss how to take it forward.
To that end we appointed Nepeta and now have a more secure and better documented platform that allows us the flexibility to continue to develop the solution the meet the changing needs of the business. In addition, we have moved hosting to a cloud based system, completed a complete hardware refresh and significantly enhanced the functionality for our field based staff.
Words I would use to describe Nepeta:
- Complete understanding of the requirement
- Apply corporate standards to a small business application
Partnership is a term that is too often abused in the IT world but what we have with Nepeta is a true partnership, based on trust and mutual benefit.
Mark Parsons – Managing Director, Industrial Refrigeration Services Limited