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Efficient new system for Woods Waste

Woods Waste are a long established, family run waste management company, delivering a unique blend of waste management solutions in and around the Fylde Coast in Lancashire. From provision of licenced tipping, and skip hire, through to recycling, site excavations and production of recycled aggregates and soils, Woods Waste have all their clients needs covered, and pride themselves on a highly personal service and fantastic client retention.

The challenge

Like the majority of forward-looking businesses, Woods Waste has always appreciated the value that well deployed IT can deliver, and operating in a highly regulated industry, particularly understand how automation can significantly increase efficiency and productivity.

They have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with String Systems, working with the company since its inception over 20 years ago. At critical points in their own business development, they have always sought advice from Tom and Steve, String’s Co-Directors as to how best to tackle an issue or embrace an opportunity. Such a conversation took place in the latter part of 2018, as their core infrastructure was reaching the end of its useful life, coinciding with their separate weighbridge and skip hire software, both reaching the end of their supported lives at the same time. Whenever a decision to replace and renew is faced by a client, String adopt the position that this is the ideal time to pause and think holistically. It’s not just about how best to take out the old and put in new. Instead, consider how new technologies and solutions might add significantly more value and deliver a solution that really takes the client forward. On this basis, a ground up review of how Woods Waste needed their IT to support their business was undertaken and a series of recommendations made. The focus was absolutely on putting the right scalable platform and applications in place and the proposals put forward were warmly received by the Woods Waste

The proposed solution

String identified the optimal solution, delivering the platform best suited to their requirements as follows;-

  1. Introduce a dedicated new server running latest Windows Server Operating System to support the new skip hire and waste management solution WasteLogic from Interactive Systems Ltd.
  2. Wholesale replacement of the end user devices taking them from Windows 7 to Windows 10, incorporating high levels of security and encryption, with latest AV and Threat Protection
  3. Implement Office 365 with all the associated benefits for email and productivity tool access and undertake full migration from previous on premise solution.
  4. Enhanced professional image conveyed in communications through centralised signatures and branding.

Deployment

  • Office 365 Business Premium and Essentials
  • Fujitsu 2550 M4 Server running multiple Virtual Machines
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017
  • Windows 10 based PC’s

Methodology

The project execution comprised:

  • initial core infrastructure deployment to run in parallel with existing system across 2 sites serviced by virtual private network and hosted portal technology
  • encompassed deployment of new application environment and migration to latest version of Desktop Operating Systems and Office
  • Dual running of legacy and updated environments for 2 week period for staff familiarisation and ‘proof of concept
  • Mail migration
  • Go live

The outcomes

  • Significant stability improvements due to single centralised database and finance application integration so enhanced productivity
  • Smaller technology footprint replacing 2 physical with one virtual host reducing running costs
  • Much better user mobility
  • Tablet integration delivering real time updates on driver activity delivering increased efficiency
  • Paperless across ticket management and invoicing now all managed electronically and environmentally friendly so green and reduced costs
  • The most secure the system has ever been, so peace of mind at the heart of the system

“We like to think we do the best job possible for our clients when it comes to waste management and that’s what we want to focus on. We don’t profess to be IT experts, but recognise that we need to work with a company that is. Our business has been advised and supported by String Systems for the best part of 20 years and they never blind me with science, they just offer straightforward and understandable advice. This is what you need to take your business forward. I like the people and I trust them, and that’s everything you look for in a relationship.”

Shirley Rayner-porter Managing Director