Exeter based superyacht supplier Global Services has seen productivity and sales increase thanks to a bespoke internal IT system designed by Bristol software firm Spark Data Systems. Global Services and Spark first worked together around five years ago, when Spark provided support for Global Services’ legacy application, as Peter Marshall, director at Spark explains: “We originally started working with Global Services back in 2006, and at that time, they had a fairly unstable system. When we first came on board, we stabilised the system and then worked with Global Services to identify areas that required implementing or upgrading to help gain control of the company operations.”
But as Global Services continued to grow, it became clear that the shelf-life of its system was limited, and they needed something that could provide more flexibility and better management information. “We realised that we needed something that offered real scalability,” says IT manager Doug Grover. “We needed a system that would allow us to manage all company operations from one place, that could be accessed from any machine and that was not reliant on a desktop application.”
Spark specified and developed a new browser based application and re-designed the SQL Server database to create a system that could efficiently handle Global Services’ ever-expanding internal processes. Doug continues, “the new implementation has made a big difference to the way the business runs, from accounts and sales right through to warehousing. We have increased capacity and increased efficiency – the productivity of our sales people has soared which has resulted in increased sales and in turn, an increase in our net profit, so we are very pleased with the results so far.”
But, says Doug, the fact the company has gone online internally does not mean they will be changing the way they run their business externally. “We are very much a service focussed company, and we are not interested in running an e-commerce site. We have one to one relationships with our customers and like to do things on a bespoke basis, so you won’t see us offering an online one stop super yacht shop".
“But that is not to say that we will not be continuing to work with Spark to develop our system and offer our customers something a bit more interactive. For example, Spark will be developing the system further so we will be able to offer a customer portal, accessible online, where our customers will be able to look at previous orders, track current orders and even raise a new order.” Doug says Global Services are very happy with what the system has done for the business so far, and looks forward to further improvements as it continues to develop.
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