Case study Distribution and transport,Manufacturing

Working in Partnership

Delivering performance in logistics requires long term thinking

The Reed Boardall Group, one of the UK’s largest temperature-controlled food storage and distribution groups, are in a very competitive industry that is ever-changing. The nature of their business means that they are always looking for a competitive edge and since 2006 Waterstons have worked with them as their digital partner to enhance and support their operations through bespoke business solutions.

During the 14 years we have worked with the Reed Boardall Group, we have gained an in-depth understanding of the business that they run, and have ensured that this knowledge is maintained and shared by our colleagues. We have run a number of initiatives to do this, including arranging site tours for our people, and internal knowledge sharing sessions covering Reed Boardall’s business and the work that we do for them.

The partnership between Waterstons and the Reed Boardall Group is extensive; spending time with employees from the Group and gaining an understanding of how they use the solutions we have developed together allows us to suggest enhancements that can be made to further improve productivity, solve business challenges, and deliver further benefits to Reed Boardall and their customers.

Our relationship has always been based on working with Reed Boardall in a collaborative manner. Regular meetings are held to demonstrate new developments and gather feedback, which helps shape the software to meet the users’ needs. With a number of different digital solutions already developed, working together continues to deliver new benefits by adding new features as the need arises and Reed Boardall Group’s business evolves.

One of the key drivers behind the project has been the input of Marcus Boardall, Chief Executive at the Reed Boardall Group. His passion to drive the business forward through the use of technology has driven the development of exciting and innovative solutions to address challenges, improve business processes, and deliver information and insight into the Group’s operations. The involvement of a key senior stakeholder throughout the software development process ensures the solutions developed add real value to the business, are fit for purpose, and drive the adoption of and appetite for new technology across the organisation.

With delivery of a significant new system underway, which promises to further increase efficiency at the company’s Boroughbridge headquarters, resource levels have increased, aided by the flexibility that partnership working provides allowing Waterstons to scale resources to meet demand.

To manage the new project, Waterstons’ agile project management philosophy is employed and further enhances the collaborative nature of the working relationship. Through an online portal, frequent demonstrations and regular communication between everyone involved, visibility of the development progress allows stakeholders to be fully engaged with the project and ensures that value is always being delivered. An agile methodology also allows us to be more fluid in development, ensuring inclusion of the most important features and responding quickly to changing priorities, whilst maintaining control on the cost of the project to ensure Reed Boardall Group realises maximum value from us, their digital partner.

Working with Waterstons is like having an in-house team of software developers who really understand our business while having access to a greater range of skills and a flexibility of approach that would otherwise be very difficult for us to achieve from such a team.
Marcus Boardall Group Finance Director

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