Expedient Training Services Ltd

Services Provided: Project Management, Bespoke Development, Outsourced IT, Hardware and Software Support

Expedient are a rapidly growing business who over the past 13 years have developed from a 3 man company working out of a garage to a multi-million pound training organisation covering the entire UK from their head office in the North East. Whilst initially managing their IT in-house, the acquisition of Minster Training Services in 2006 was the catalyst for them to look for additional professional IT support.

Webtree IT were initially asked to help Expedient set up their IT systems to allow the new acquisition to access the existing business systems from their offsite premises. From this beginning grew a relationship that has seen Webtree IT and Expedient work closely together for the past 10 years to ensure the IT provision within Expedient is able to support the exponential growth of the business.

As well as managing the entire IT infrastructure of servers, PC’s, laptops, training rooms and associated connectivity Webtree IT was asked to look at the software systems that were being used to manage the business. At that time a lot of the planning was recorded on combinations of paper planners, diaries and a rudimentary certificate tracking database. Whilst fit for purpose initially this combination of systems was unable to keep pace with the rapid growth of the business.

Having been asked to look at the available options for replacing the current system there was nothing on the market at that time that would provide for the needs of the business. So in consultation with the business, Webtree IT designed and produced a new bespoke in-house candidate tracking system capable of managing all the training planning, candidate tracking and resource management for the company.

Webtree IT undertook a full review of all the processes in use in the business and consulted with the staff members to ensure that the design of the new system would support them in their jobs and enhance both their productivity and capability.

By mid 2007 the new system, christened CASCADE, had been written and implemented within the business. Comprising a basic CRM system, a course quoting tool, scheduling assistant and resource management suite the core of the CASCADE system allowed the business to centralise and make visible to all staff the day to day activities of the training team and to manage the bookings and billing of the clients. In addition to the management functions the system also tracked training materials, (presentations, handouts, exams, course notes etc), candidates, (personal details, courses attended, assessment results, certifications issued), awarding bodies applications and certification received and a number of other systems to support the business.

Over the past 10 years this system has evolved and been continually developed by Webtree IT to ensure it continues to meet the changing needs of the business and to add extra functionality when needed.

To date this system also includes invoicing functionality, purchase ledger, candidate feedback tracking and reporting, management reporting including cashflow forecasting, resource utilisation, course profitability and other reports), batch communication with awarding bodies and government portals, integrated document management, live links to the website for course bookings and enquiries, custom trainer portals for course delivery and automatically updated trainer calendars on their phones giving their upcoming training schedules.

Expedient has recently moved into custom built new premises to support their continued growth and drive for excellence. To support this next phase of growth Webtree IT and Expedient are about to engage on another major review process of the CASCADE system to ensure that it is fit to help drive the business forward for the next 10 years.

Malcolm Atkinson, Managing Director of Expedient, said

“CASCADE has given Expedient a significant edge over our rivals by allowing us to focus on ensuring our customers receive the level of service they deserve and are happy with the high standard of training we provide rather than spending on unnecessary administration or worrying about managing multiple systems. Using CASCADE we are able to access all of the information about a client, candidate or course at the touch of a button, including pulling up scanned historical records with ease. This means we can answer customer queries at point of contact, reducing time taken and improving customer satisfaction.

The integrated nature of CASCADE means that I can see at all times how the business is performing, ensuring I can focus my attention where we can achieve the best return on effort. I don’t know how we would have managed to adapt to the growth of the business and continue to react to the changes in the market without the flexibility and customisable nature of the CASCADE system, expertly supported by the team at Webtree IT.”

Hepscott Water Systems Ltd

Services Provided: Bespoke Development, Hardware and Software Support
Webtree Authoring was initially hired by Hepscott Water Systems to oversee the companies move to new offices in 2004. At that time they had a basic peer to peer network with a few computers and no server.

After successfully overseeing the move, Webtree Authoring were asked to do an IT use audit of the business to identify any improvements that could be made to their use of technology. The main concerns were over accessibility to information for the staff, the generation of management reporting and the security of data, including backups. This identified options with both their hardware and software, leading to the installation and setup of a new server and additional PCs.

Having set up their hardware, attention turned to their software. They were using a basic database system setup by a local student, as part of his degree studies. This system was unwieldy and cumbersome and so the decision was taken to replace it. Over the next 12 months progressive development was undertaken to develop an upgraded office management system called Rocky. The system encompassed all areas of the business including:-

  • Creating contracts

  • Managing accounts

  • Taking orders

  • Stock control

  • Job allocation

  • Fault tracking and

  • Management reporting

  • Ongoing development over the next 3 years resulted in the Rocky system becoming the cornerstone of the business, performing end to end management of their customers.

    Over the four years that Webtree Authoring has supported Hepscott they have grown from a small regional business to one supplying services across the UK from several depots, with turnover well in excess of a million pounds a year.