Case study Distribution and transport,Manufacturing

Working in Partnership

Delivering performance in logistics requires long term thinking

The Reed Boardall Group 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 we have been working with them to help improve their operations through bespoke software. However the partnership does not stop there.

During the 8 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 the knowledge is maintained and shared by our staff. We have run a number of initiatives to do this, including arranging a site tour for a number of our people, and an internal knowledge sharing session to explain the Reed Boardall Group, the business they run, and the work that we have performed for them.

The partnership between us and the Reed Boardall Group has also provided us the ability to offer further services to them. We recently spent time with employees from the Reed Boardall group, gaining an understanding of how they use the software we have developed, producing a report detailing this, and potential improvements that can be made to further improve productivity, provide more features to help solve business problems, and deliver further benefits.

Throughout this relationship, we have also been producing software for the Reed Boardall group in a collaborative manner. Regular meetings with the Reed Boardall Group to demo new developments and gather feedback helps shape the software to meet their needs. We have produced a number of different applications, and continued by adding new features as the need for them becomes apparent.

One of the key drivers behind the project has been the input of Marcus Boardall at the Reed Boardall Group. His passion to drive the business forward through the use of technology has allowed for innovative and interesting solutions to solve business problems. The involvement of a key stakeholder throughout the software development process has helped to mould the software to ensure it is fit for purpose, and provides real business benefit to them.

We have also recently increased the level of resource for the Reed Boardall Group to start delivery of a new large system, which promises to deliver increased efficiency at the company’s Boroughbridge headquarters. The flexibility that partnership working provides allows us to scale resources to meet the demand like this. To manage the new project, we are applying an agile project management philosophy, further enhancing the collaborative nature of the working relationship. Through an online portal, frequent demos and regular communication between everyone involved, visibility of the development progress allows the Reed Boardall Group to fully engage throughout the system development and check that value is always being delivered. An agile methodology also allows us to be more fluid in development, making sure we include the most important features, account for changing priorities, whilst maintaining control on the cost of the project.

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