MRH (GB) Ltd – Secure Extranet Solution
About MRH (GB) Ltd.
MRH (GB) Ltd is the parent organization of Pace Petroleum Ltd and the Malthurst group of companies. Combined, they are the largest independent fuel retailer in the UK.
MRH (GB) Ltd operate more than 290 company owned petrol forecourts as well as being a wholesale supplier to over 140 independent fuel retailers. The entire group is responsible for supplying some 4% of the retail motor fuel sold in the UK
The Business Process Challenge
As a fast growing retail organization that operates on a franchise model, MRH (GB) Ltd faced the challenge of distributing operational information to store managers, Area Managers and a dedicated merchandising team. Prior to working with Flat Rock to develop an automated system, the various departments used local solutions and manual documentation distributed through regular post to exchange information and documentation.
The system developed by Flat Rock Technology is an intranet/extranet secure web database application designed for the company to support the distribution and flow of information, documentation and communication to their retail sites using the web as platform.
The system is a web based solution with secure area that will allow the different users to view and edit content based on their respective roles and responsibilities in the supply chain.
The following modules have been developed:
· User Management: Allows the administrator to manage users and user permissions;
· Document Processing: Process of updating and distribution of Health & Safety information and documents, legally required documents and licences, planograms and other information to the stores. Once the document is created (as PDF/image file outside of the system) and uploaded to the system, it can be assigned to multiple stores with certain attributes, or to a particular store;
· Stores management: With different fascias operating across the multiple sites and subsequent differing supplier, the range and layout of each store is unique to that site;
· Equipment warranties/maintenance: In addition to attributes used for product arrangement each piece of display equipment can also have date of manufacture or installation, warranty period and maintenance contract. This will be used for tracking of equipment warranties/maintenance;
· News: Each news article can be post to all stores, to set of stores according to some attributes, or to a particular store;
· FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions section will be developed to help managers to use the system in a better way;
· Reporting Issues: Ticketing system that enables the stores managers to report certain issues;
· Reports: The system generates certain reports for management needs such as Log of reported issues, Confirmation documents, Usage of documents, Stores equipment etc.
Technology – ASP.NET 3.5, LINQ, MS SQL 2008, AJAX, HTML, CSS
Technical Solution – the solution is hosted (windows server) and managed by Flat Rock Technology and distributed via the web with secure access to the client.
Lee Barnes, Area Manager and Project Manager, MRH(GB) Ltd said ” Following a detailed tendering process, and an introductory meeting we chose Flat Rock Technology to design and build our bespoke system. We found Flat Rock to be the most suitable for their business expertise, understanding our objectives and also for their clear, concise communications. We also looked at other websites the company had built to gain an insight into their capabilities.
The initial workshop with the project manager was an excellent exercise. We described exactly what we wanted the website to be capable of, and the project manager interpreted what we wanted, and prescribed what information they would need from us to make the bespoke system a reality. This forum allowed a free exchange of ideas, and was an extremely worthwhile task in bringing our product to fruition.
The project management was second to none. We utilised Flat Rock Technologys’ “Mantis Reporting System” to feed back any issues or design tweaks we wanted about the website, with an almost immediate response. For anything more serious, requiring discussion with the Project Manager, it was always possible to contact him and speak with him directly. This level of communication between ourselves and Flat Rock Technology has proved extremely valuable in producing a system which perform exactly as we had hoped for. We knew from the outset that we would require a bespoke IT solution, and Flat Rock weren’t afraid of the challenge, and weren’t happy with “work-arounds” or quick fixes. They knew the system they had created well enough to provide the exact solutions to make the system work.
We are extremely pleased that we chose Flat Rock. The excellent system they have created for us has been extremely well received by all levels of the company, which is a credit for Flat Rock. Our ideas were perfectly interpreted and implemented, and we hope to continue to work with them as our requirements, and the needs of our company, change in the future.”