The last twelve months have seen Trade Window and Door Manufacturer, Lister Trade Frames of Stoke on Trent, make some serious investments in their IT infrastructure across the business. Now, they have just launched a fully customised financial and business management system set to revolutionise their operations well into the future.
“Our business has become ever more complicated over the last few years as we manufacture many more window systems, variants, materials and options for our trade customers.” Says Mark Warren, Listers Managing Director. “Our IT systems have to be able to control all of this information across the whole business operation so that we can meet and exceed the needs of our clients.”
Listers have taken the ‘Business Intelligence’ challenge seriously in several ways. Some 30 months ago they identified potential cracks in their IT systems and partnered with Staffordshire University on a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) to bring into the business an IT Graduate to assess their position and to plan how best to deliver the latest technology to meet their future needs. That plan focused on reducing some 13 software applications to just 2 by this May 2017.
“This was an ambitious plan,” says Mark, “and we knew it was going to cost us a lot in time, planning and cost around £200,000, but we were determined not just to improve our systems, but to future proof them in support of our business expansion.”
Staffordshire University and the IT Graduate have worked closely with Listers IT Team so that the final phase of the scheme was launched in May, integrating all their previous systems into just two customised packages, making their operations streamlined and simpler to use. Listers also now have greater visibility of information and a platform to control and accelerate their planned growth.
“We’re all really excited about the capabilities that our new IT platform will deliver” says Mark, “and we’ve also gained a new fully skilled employee to help run it all; Dayan Fernando B.Sc, M.Sc, MBCS, CISA, our Graduate Partner liked working with us so much he decided to stay!”
Listers’ news shows just how important investment in IT systems have now become for gathering and controlling business intelligence when manufacturing diverse products for the Trade Installer.