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Plant Parts – Collaborative Software Development Case Study

With expensive construction teams on site, Plant Parts clients rely on a rapid service to get their heavy equipment back up and running. The Ipswich-based firm depends on a reliable back office system and an extensive and easy-to-use public facing catalogue of parts to service their customers and maintain inventory.

Collaborative software development projects yields tangible business benefits

With expensive construction teams on site, Plant Parts clients rely on a rapid service to get their heavy equipment back up and running. The Ipswich-based firm depends on a reliable back office system and an extensive and easy-to-use public facing catalogue of parts to service their customers and maintain inventory.

Background

Plant Parts is one of Europe’s leading independent parts specialists. Delivering
an expert service for final drive gearboxes
and travel motors, Plant Parts offers new,
aftermarket, reconditioned and used
parts for a range of construction and
industrial machinery.

The story so far

IJYI and Plant Parts have been working
together for over six years. A partnership
built on trust, IJYI have established a close
working relationship with the Plant Parts
team to ensure effective collaboration.
Sitting at the heart of the Plant Parts
business operations is their business
critical “Final Drives System”. This system
is used for two separate sales streams; the
Partner Website and the Public Offering.

The Partner Website is used as a sales tool
which includes access for internal sales
teams. The Public Offering allows end users to enquire about availability and to
request quotes. End-users and partners
have the ability to search the Plant Parts extensive database to discover
availability of specific parts, both new
and reconditioned.

In the initial engagement IJYI performed
a migration of a legacy Microsoft Access
Database to provide flexibility, resiliency
and disaster recovery capability. After
the success of this piece of work, Plant
Parts asked IJYI to begin adding
additional products to the Final Drives
System. This involved IJYI working
closely with the Plant Parts team to
establish an understanding of each
other’s working processes.
As part of the strategic roadmap, IJYI
rewrote and redesigned the Public
Offering to improve ease of use and
customer experience. This was a major
piece of work which had a direct impact,
allowing Plant Parts to continue growing
that side of the business.

“Instead of pinning everything on a defined scope or even a
technology-set, IJYI and Plant Parts continually asked two questions:
What is the main goal for the business this year? Does this work-item
help to achieve that?
This focus ensured that we all moved in the same direction at
significant pace.”
ALAN JACKSON, COO, IJYI

“IJYI’s collaborative approach has meant that we have been fully engaged in the
project at each stage. Their team are highly competent and bring a level of
creativity and flair which has meant that we’ve not only achieved the results we
hoped for but the process has been an enjoyable experience.

IJYI are now providing Plant Parts with ongoing support services which has meant that we are able to keep our business critical systems running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.”

Richard Finch, Managing Director, Plant Parts

Ongoing Support

IJYI have continued to provide Plant Parts with ongoing support services.
This has involved out of hours support to ensure that critical business systems are kept running and optimised. IJYI are currently providing regular patch, fix and upgrade support and have been commissioned to structurally improve Plant Parts’ Access database.

Why IJYI

A key consideration when deciding on who to work with on a longterm basis was a combination of technical expertise and trust. IJYI have a highly
skilled team with a wide range of technical capabilities.

Recognised as Microsoft Gold Partners for DevOps and Application Development, IJYI were able to satisfy Plant Parts’ need for technical expertise. This, combined with IJYI’s fresh approach to bespoke software
development meant that Plant Parts found a partner who could work with them to deliver tangible benefits to the business.

Using Agile methodologies IJYI worked collaboratively with Plant Parts and adopted a continuous integration process. Daily update calls and ongoing dialogue throughout enabled continuous progress tracking.

Collaboration is key to any project success and IJYI clients are always
invited to work closely with the team as they work on customer projects. Clients are encouraged to be ‘hands on’, making changes and asking questions as the project progresses. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, one of the
most successful is when clients join IJYI’s daily 15 minute scrum sessions
and planning sessions. Clients are given access to and are able to create work items and indicate sign-off in project tracking tools, really making clients a part of the development team rather than sitting on the outside. Working this way enables customers to be part of the journey and ensures a successful outcome.

Results
  • Doubled number of quotes requested
  • Doubled conversion rate of quotes
  • More users are requesting multiple quotes
Technologies
  • ASP .Net MVC. SQL Server 2014
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • SQL Server Integration Services
  • Entity Framework
  • NFeature
  • AngularJS

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