Nodding Panda

App and Database Case Studies

Could your business be more efficient by using an app?

These are just some of the case studies of applications Nodding Panda have created for their customers. Each app has to meet a customers needs perfectly to prove efficient in the day to day running of their business. By reading the case studies, you will see the process and steps taken by Nodding Panda in producing original apps and databases.

Parkers Cheese

Parkers Cheese

Background

Parkers Cheese are a small, family run business specialising in supplying local produce from East Sussex and Kent including a wide range of cheese, meats and other foods. They also provide a delivery service to businesses such as local farm shops to deliver a customer's order as well as any special offers they may have.

Parkers Cheese approached Nodding Panda to design an application that would simplify their distribution, particularly to supply invoices to the customer when the items are delivered. Because each item is priced according to weight and the customer often bought adhoc items while the delivery was being made, Parkers Cheese were finding that their delivery times were unnecessarily long in providing and completing their paperwork.

The Panda's Solution

Nodding Panda proposed a Visual Basic application to be supplied on a Windows based tablet. The program would include a database of prices per weight for each item sold, with the flexibility of adding individual and adhoc items. The delivery driver would be able to simply select the items, the weight of the item and the application would work out the total cost.

Each customer's individual account details were also to be held on the tablet, including any discounts that had been prearranged. Using a mobile printer, the delivery driver could then print out an invoice for the customer. The application would also provide backup and administration utilities, including adding and changing products and customers account details.

It was also important for this information to be available beyond the delivery itself. Parkers Cheese were keen to see if the delivery information, as it had already been entered, would be able to uploaded to their Sage Accounts package. Nodding Panda designed an upload file that takes the information from the application and provides details of every transaction to their accounts package. A job that took most of a day re-entering the deliveries that have taken place, now takes seconds to complete.

During the three months of implementation, we asked Parkers Cheese to test the application and provide feedback on its use, any errors that had arisen and any improvements that could be applied. One example was that the tablet's own number keypad was not user friendly. Nodding Panda designed a number keypad within the application.

Parkers Cheese estimate that the application is saving them 1 to 1.5 hours per day and now view the application as essential to the business' needs.

Andy Grant, Director at Parkers Cheese says: "When we approached Nodding Panda we had specific ideas and needs for the application. They understood our vision and what we needed, and produced the product. During the process of designing and testing the application, we asked for various changes and some add-ons to the application. Nodding Panda happily made the adjustments needed. Overall, we were very happy with the professional service provided by Nodding Panda."


Traditional Roof Lanterns

Traditional Roof Lanterns

Background

Traditional Roof Lanterns supply glass and timber roof lanterns, very much like a miniature conservatory, usually incorporated into a flat roof. They are only a few companies in the UK who supply bespoke lanterns, depending on the size and design desired by the customer. Since 1982, it became apparent that there was a need for a more standard design and efficient production, which eventually led to the company working full time on these products.

Their current quoting system was based on calculations in an Excel spreadsheet and using that information to produce an invoice in Word. Any additional details of the roof lantern such as sidelights, finials and the type of glass to be used were manually changed in the spreadsheet. Most quotes needed to be checked before being sent out.

Nodding Panda approached Traditional Roof Lanterns and proposed a Visual Basic application that would simplify their current quoting system and combine these processes in one form. The application would be designed in such a way that the lanterns' size and details could be entered and it would work out the price that should be quoted. The application would also be flexible in providing any additional elements as well as delivery and installation fees – all of which could be manually adjusted in the application.

The user would then be able to produce a quote, on headed paper, highlighting the quote and any extras the customer may wish to add to the lantern.

The Panda's Solution

Nodding Panda designed the application, checking with the customer on calculation methods and needs during their quoting process. Within a couple of weeks of testing and adjustments, the application was ready for main stream use.

During this time, Traditional Roof Lanterns saw the benefits of the application and approached us with a much bigger project. They were now looking to look beyond the quoting process and expand the application to control the whole job life cycle.

This application would need to include a construction specification sheet for the workshop based on the quote. It would need to keep track of the delivery of materials, stock amounts and invoicing of each job. It would also need to be made available to multiple users, possibly within different offices, so that each user was getting the same up-to-date information.

Nodding Panda expanded the system to include a job control screen where any job could be listed and the ability to access its current status. The construction specification sheet included many trigonometric equations that the application automatically works out so that the workshop can source the correct measurements for the lantern. To enable multiple user access, we moved the database to our MySQL database server, providing daily backups of the data held.

The application now means that the time spent in providing quotes and controlling jobs can be spent in pursuing new business.