BUTA-Nugentways Group

Helping a property management company reduce costs and speed up processes
BUTA-Nugentways Group

About the client

The BUTA-Nugentways Group

BUTA Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiary Nugentways Ltd., were incorporated in 1976 for the purpose of acquiring and managing a portfolio of several hundred properties in the Belsize Park area of London. The acquisition was made form the Church Commissioners of England.

The Challenge

When the Group approached Lesterius, they had already been using FileMaker for over 20 years as the basis of a custom built property management programme. This platform had grown and developed over time; but what had not been reviewed for several years was the underlying structure of the platform. Having identified the need for a redesign of the system’s infrastructure and the updating to include the latest FM features, the Group engaged Lesterius UK to undertake this work and to re-define their solution.

The Path to Success

BUTA, most importantly, wanted to further develop and integrate their existing property administration and accounting systems.

Lesterius UK began the project with a series of workshops designed to fully understand the Group’s structure and requirements. Once the scope of work and technical specifications had been identified and agreed, Lesterius began to develop new solutions using the FileMaker platform. One of the most critical requirements of the project was ensuring that all historical data remained available and synchronised during the development of and within the new solutions.

For the first phase of the project, Lesterius delivered a host of additional features to the desktop property administration system, as well as solutions to the accounts integration challenge.

In the second phase of the project, Lesterius delivered an Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosted solution that was faster, easier to use and had more functionality than BUTA’s previous method and an iOS version of the platform to support BUTA staff with their processes whilst out of the office and on site.

The Outcome

Since Lesterius rolled out the new solution, BUTA have been able to report back the following benefits:

The processes for annual budgeting, service charge demand creation and cost allocation and certification, which previously took weeks to complete, can now be finalised much faster and more accurately;
The property administration system is more fully featured and functional;
Since the updated solution was implemented, the standing charge payment process has been improved, with BUTA receiving payments significantly faster;
Individual account information is more readily available and overdue accounts are highlighted quickly and easily;
The bookkeeping and management accounting processes have been simplified, resulting in improved accuracy and time saving during annual audits.

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TOT Shirts

Vendor engagement has improved with the addition of new features
TOT Shirts

About TOT Shirts

TOT Shirts is one of the UK’s leading T-shirt printing and garment decorators. Starting small and building on quality, TOT Shirts has grown to be the favoured choice for fashion designers, sports clubs, merchandisers and brands.

The Challenge

TOT Shirts have been using FileMaker for a number of years and this works very well to manage their operations and accounting processes, ensuring everything runs smoothly and that the company can handle high volumes and time sensitive production runs.
They already had a web interface that was available to their vendors and allowed those vendors to place, review and renew orders for various types of stock, print and embroidery.

The problem came when the number of vendors who were using the web platform at the same time started to increase, this lead to the system becoming slow or unresponsive and having a knock on effect with the internal system whilst putting a large load on the hardware.

TOT Shirts decided that a rebuild of the web platform was required using the latest web technology whilst still utilising their existing FileMaker Platform., They needed to improve the speed and stability of both solutions whilst also adding more functionality to their vendor website.

Ronan O’Shea
Project Manager, TOT Shirts
“The re-engineering of our customer web portal was a significant undertaking which Lesterius achieved within agreed project timelines and budget. Reaction from both internal and external users to the new portal has been overwhelmingly positive and we are looking forward to work with Lesterius in the near future to further enhance functionality.”

The Path to Success

During an initial scoping calls, TOT Shirts expressed their desire to achieve the following:

  • Their internal system to be less affected by web traffic;
  • Improved user experience on the website;
  • Latest cross browser support including a responsive (mobile friendly) design;
  • Guest access to the web platform for certain activities;
  • Offline messages during maintenance.

Through consultation with TOT Shirts, we agreed to build a native web application that would use the FileMaker DataAPI to interact with the data stored in the internal solution.

The web server would be hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure allowing easy changes to the machine capabilities if required at a later stage.

Data would not need to be synced as we would be using a single source of data for both vendor activities and internal operations.

The first phase of the project involved building the DataAPI components on their internal solution whilst the web team created the whole new website based on TOT Shirts technical and functional specifications as well as their previous solution as a guide.

The second phase of this project added more features and improvements to the way processes were handled and offered the users more customisable options relating to some of their tasks within the website, such as design sign off and 3rd party access for ordering.

The Outcome

Since the new website went live, TOT Shirts are benefitting from the following:

  • A much faster, more responsive vendor website;
  • A significant drop in hardware utilisation and no knock on effect of higher web users;
  • Vendor engagement has improved with the addition of new features.

TOT Shirts are very happy with the outcome of Phase 1 and Phase 2 and are looking to improve other parts of their solution with the help of Lesterius.

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A much more accurate recording of data and easier way to report on site activity

About the client

Based in South Manchester, Urbanise is a principal contractor and full-service partner founded in 2007 to provide tailored, turnkey solutions for clients. Since then, it has built a formidable body of work across the North of England.

The Challenge

Many people from different companies can be walking in and out of a construction site. As Urbanise manage and supervise construction sites, one of the responsibilities of the Urbanise Project Manager is to know who is in and out of a construction site at any given time for safety reasons.

Keeping track of movements on a construction site was a challenge for Urbanise, as they relied on paper forms to capture the data. That’s when they contacted Lesterius UK.

The Path to Success

During initial scoping workshop, Urbanise expressed their desire for an app that would allow contractors at the various construction sites to do the following:

Sign in and out onsite
Take first-time visitors of the site through a Health and Safety induction
Allow the site manager to fill in the daily diary
Simplicity and the ability to export the information was important to Urbanise.

Lesterius suggested to develop an iPad App running on FileMaker Go, which would be able to work offline.

At the same time, Lesterius would build a hosted FileMaker Server database solution to synchronise the data that is captured in the daily Sign-in/Sign-out logs, the daily Project Manager’s reports and site manager’s diary entries as well as the Weekly Inspection reports.

A backup of all data entries would be created on the server, and data between the app and the server would be synchronised every time the app was open and there was an internet connection.

The first phase of the project involved a basic, low-cost solution for the purpose of allowing Urbanise to test the app on-site for a few weeks to make sure it would suit their needs.

Later phases involved the addition of more complex features and completing the design for the app.

The Outcome

Since the new app went live, Urbanise could benefit from the following:

  • A much more accurate recording of data;
  • An easier way to report on site activity, especially once the dictation feature was introduced to the app;
  • Much better data security thanks to regular back-ups.

Urbanise are thrilled with the outcomes and are already looking to improve their new app by adding more functionality to it.

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Global Travel Brand

A solution which included SMS and email notifications, as well as functionality to track and report on project issues
Global Travel Brand

About the client

Lesterius has had the pleasure to work with one of the world’s largest travel brands. Unfortunately we are not allowed to disclose the client’s name, but we can say that this vertically integrated enterprise offers packaged and tailor-made holidays, flights and cruises to over 30 countries. It counts over six million customers in the UK and Ireland, and over 30 million customers worldwide.

The Challenge

The client runs a fleet of more than 60 aircraft on lease. Behind each aircraft lease is an End-of-Lease project consisting in a plan about aircraft issues that need to be completed before the end-of-lease date. The client gets fined heavily if the planes are not returned on time on the end-of-lease date.

With the client relying on emails, Excel spreadsheets and paper forms to manage their end-of-lease programme, issues were often flagged late and projects didn’t get completed on time.

The client approached Lesterius with a request to replace their existing processes with a web-only solution.

As the client had extensive work experience with FileMaker, they were keen to use this platform to solve their latest challenge.

It was important for the client that the solution fulfilled two requirements: first of all, as the project was operationally critical, it had to be delivered in a very timely manner; second, the solution had to be scalable, adapting to the changes the enterprise would go through over time. In other words, the new platform had to allow for regular, incremental updates to improve its functionality and technical capabilities.

Project Owner
Department Lead
“Lesterius delivered a great, high quality solution that exactly fits our needs and - crucially - is scalable, giving us the option to update and change its features as the business evolves.”

The Path to Success

Lesterius used a day-long workshop to review the specifications and the medium to long-term vision together with the client, after which the scope of the project and its key deliverables were finalised.

FileMaker WebDirect was chosen as the best platform for this project, as it’s a web-based solution that allows for speedy building and easy regular updates.

In record time, Lesterius delivered a FileMaker solution which included SMS and email notifications, as well as functionality to track and report on project issues. The various project management teams were now able to easily identify project risks and flag them to management or to the relevant team members.

The Outcome

Lesterius’ web-based solution has proven to be be robust and meeting the client’s expectations. It currently handles more than 20 concurrent projects, with up to 50 users accessing the platform at the same time across multiple browsers and devices.

Since the rollout of the new web solution, the client has been enjoying a number of major benefits:

23% more projects are now completed on time, resulting in a savings of hundreds of thousands of Euros (€) annually;
The time it takes to report an issue with a project has been reduced from a few days to a few minutes;
It is now possible to attribute delays in any project directly to the root cause, leading to further process improvements;

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Exped Adventure

Huge reduction in time needed to manage each client or activity
Exped Adventure

About Exped Adventure

Exped Adventure is a guide-owned expedition company that specialises in adventures at high altitude and in the polar regions. It was started 6 years ago by its original owner and lead guide, Jamie Annetts. Its extremely experienced certified guides form a close-knit team, always excited to learn new things and driven by the idea of overcoming fresh challenges.

The Challenge

Exped Adventure identified an additional potential revenue stream above and beyond the expeditions they were offering, consisting of training programmes to physically and mentally prepare their customers for the extreme conditions they would encounter on their adventures.

To track their customers’ fitness throughout the training programme, Exped Adventure used a number of different platforms, such as Google Sheets and Asana for task tracking; Suunto Movescount for fitness tracking; as well as emails, WhatsApp and face-to-face meetings.

This convoluted data stream frequently led to information being misplaced or forgotten, so Exped Adventure decided to appoint Lesterius UK to streamline this data flow, improving the overall training experience for both the customer and Exped Adventure.

Jamie Annetts
Managing Director
"Lesterius were able to take our vague but exciting concept and turn it into user-friendly software and apps that our clients love to use."

The Path to Success

After a thorough two-day workshop, Lesterius UK and Exped Adventure identified a number of key deliverables, which were split into various phases based on importance and impact on Exped Adventure’s revenue.

To start with, Lesterius developed a web application which served two purposes: first of all to be the central place from which Exped Adventure’s staff can manage all their customers’ activities; and second to act as central data collection point, allowing Exped Adventure’s customers to review tasks, submit forms, download information about expeditions or other activities.

Once the website was completed, Lesterius UK built Exped Adventure’s native Android and iOS mobile apps, allowing clients to access all their fitness and expedition related data in one click.

The Outcome

Since the new web portal (using the FileMaker Workplace Innovation Platform) and mobile app went live, Exped Adventure enjoyed the following benefits:

Huge reduction in time needed to manage each client or activity. No more manual merging of separate strings of information was required;
Major cost reduction due to information now available centrally for all staff and clients, in real-time;
Improved reporting on activities, commercial aspects and completion of tasks thanks to streamlined processing of information;
The website and mobile app allowed Exped Adventure to scale its training programme, thus supporting the company’s growth for years to come.

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Digitization at the core of sponsoring

Admical’s mission is to encourage and support companies and business people in establishing a practical role in society through sponsoring. The organisation compiles statistics and looks at the trends of sponsoring across all sectors in order to put its members in touch with the right people. Thanks to the expertise of Lesterius, Admical has transformed all its paperwork into a website.

Charlotte Dekoker
Déléguée générale adjointe
"We asked Lesterius to find a way to turn our accumulated paper work about all those involved with sponsoring into a website."

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Mirto – Nevelland

A simplified interface for printing
Mirto (Nevelland)

Mirto is made up of two studios and a modern print-shop. It is equally committed to a social and an environmental policy. Thanks to the expertise of Lesterius, Mirto has a simple visual interface for printing.

Johan Strumane
Project Manager
A straightforward and flexible partnership. Lesterius was very attentive to our needs (...) and also encouraged us to take an active role in the planning process. The people at Lesterius are friendly and know what they're talking about. They're highly motivated and strive do the best job possible.

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An essential tool for a commercial laundry

BTM is a commercial laundry servicing hotels, restaurants, industry and the health sector. It takes care of all types of textiles and in doing so helps their clients’ day-to-day stock management. Thanks to the expertise of Lesterius, BTM has peace of mind knowing that it has software which responds to its needs.

Jean-Eude Renou
Directeur Commercial
FileMaker was recommended to me because of its stability and consistency. On meeting with Lesterius, the rapport created as well as the sense of after-care and responsiveness tipped the balance. One of the biggest changes that came with the software was peace of mind.

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Hogeschool van Amsterdam

An iPad application to measure the motor skills of children
Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Hogeschool van Amsterdam high school is the largest in the Netherlands. Thanks to the expertise of Lesterius and a simple iPad, it is possible for the department of motor skills, sport and diet to measure the motor skills in children aged from 6 to 12 years old.

Ilse Kat
Projectleider MAMBO
"The user interface and the user experience devised by Lesterius are key factors in the product's success. The challenge was keeping the visible part simple, that's to say, smooth, clear and easy to use, whilst having a complex database under the bonnet."

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Film Fest Gent

A thoroughly well organised international cinema event
Film Fest Gent

Established in 1974, Film Fest Gent has become Belgium’s most prominent film festival. Each year 130,000 people come to a wide variety of films and concerts. Thanks to the expertise of Lesterius, Film Fest Gent can organise an international cinema event without compromise.

Wim De Witte
Programme Director
"We've greatly benefited from the input and know-how of Lesterius in setting up the central database, which is composed of a CRM and a sponsorship module."

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