EPS Water chooses Novacura Flow to revolutionise processes, empower employees and leverage mobile working.

EPS wanted a process improvement tool that was easy to use, reliable and mobile-friendly. Vanilla Solutions helped them get started with Novacura Flow and they never looked back.

EPS Water is an innovative provider of products and services to the water, wastewater and clean technology sectors. The firm serves municipal, industrial, commercial, agricultural and domestic clients, and currently exports in more than 25 countries worldwide.

The challenge
EPS use IFS Applications to manage their project-driven business. They’d previously invested in a process improvement tool for IFS, but were finding it too inflexible. So they went back to the market to look for a technology platform that could deliver in three key areas: process improvement, mobility and reliability.
Improving processes was seen as an urgent priority. The EPS team needed to drastically reduce the number of manual processes and also get the flexibility to develop their own processes, without being restricted to pre-canned vendor solutions.
The second goal was mobility. EPS wanted to develop mobile applications and then roll them out across handheld devices quickly and cheaply.
Finally, EPS’ current system for managing work orders had proven unreliable and lacked critical offline capabilities. So they needed a solution that would also let them work offline.

The solution
Having seen Novacura Flow at an IFS user group event, EPS contacted Vanilla Solutions, Novacura’s UK Partner and reseller, to discuss their requirements. Vanilla provided EPS with a fully functioning trial edition so they could evaluate it against their own requirements.
EPS quickly realised that Novacura Flow did everything they needed. Before long, the internal team were creating powerful applications around the way the business wanted to work. The one-flow architecture, regardless of user interface, meant applications were easily published to both desktop and mobile users. Using a mobile device, Flow seamlessly integrated with device cameras, maps, scanners or GPS coordinates to create mobile workflows. It also supported offline working whenever needed.

The result
Using Flow has unlocked endless possibilities for EPS. Having already automated many business processes, they’re now implementing 25 touchscreen interfaces, giving their less tech-fluent team members a simple, intuitive way to interact with their ERP system. “Giving our people an easy-to-use interface with the latest technology is essential,” says Gareth Reynolds, IT Systems Manager. “They are our business and we can’t evolve without them.”

Although EPS are completely independent in their use of Flow, the relationship with Vanilla continues, with both sides sharing information and best practices for using the software. “EPS care about giving their people the right tools for the job,” says Jason Belcher of Vanilla. “Their ideas and expectations are realistic, which is great, but we’ve been able to show them how they can go a few steps further than they thought.”

“Working with Vanilla Solutions has been a pleasure,” says Gareth. “They stand by their values of simplicity, quality and customer focus. With Flow, they’ve helped us create something quite remarkable, with a really simple user interface.”
Now Gareth and his team are in the process of rolling Flow out across as many operations as possible, to take their systems and processes to the next level.

About EPS
EPS was founded in rural Ireland in 1968 to support local agriculture with a focus on water abstraction and pumping, and later diversified to become an important partner to the Irish water sector. Today, it is a specialist infrastructure support services company that provides design-and-build solutions and mission-critical mechanical products. The firm operates across the Republic of Ireland, UK, Middle East and West Africa.

For more information on how NovaCura Flow could benefit your business, please contact Sultan.amin@vanillasolutions.com

Novacura Flow 6 Release

Vanilla Solutions are excited to announce the release of the next major version of Novacura Flow.  Flow 6 brings a host of new functionality to the already flexible and powerful mobility, workflow and process execution platform.  Foremost among these is the ability to design and publish multi-user workflows, allowing seamless and efficient transactional collaboration.  The powerful new Flow Studio allows you to design your own workflows and mobile applications even more easily than ever.  Why have a software company build a mobile application to suit your business processes, when you can just do it for yourself!

Key features and improvements to Novacura Flow 6 include:

Flow Studio: The new user interface is much more than a facelift. It brings a new level of simplicity and user-friendliness to designing, validating, reviewing and managing workflows. The UI makes it easier than ever for non-developers to achieve insight in processes and try out ideas.

Swimlanes: Multi-user support for constructing and managing applications, with different tasks easily assigned to the right stakeholder.

New workflow options: Support different use cases, including enabling publishing fully automated workflows as a structured web service, or reusing common workflow parts easily.

Sub-workflows: Enable users to create smarter applications in shorter time. Features have been specifically designed from customer feedback requesting shortcuts for common tasks, such as creating pick-lists, or reporting.

Offline capabilities: Enhanced autonomy of the platform to ensure full functionality and access when working without an internet connection.

Performance: the new design provides significant improvements in access and response time, further enhancing user-friendliness.

Flow 6 is available to all of our existing Flow customers and we’d be delighted to demonstrate it to anyone who doesn’t yet have a mobility solution, or is stuck with a rigid ‘fixed code’ solution.  If you’d like to know more about Flow, please get in touch!

Flow Portal allows web users to access specific streamlined views of your business data and to execute context-specific workflows!

The next shiny software upgrade will make it all better – right?

The developed world is gloriously full of sparkly new things to tempt us.  On balance, that’s probably a good thing as we need consumer demand to keep our factories, shops and service businesses open and, in turn, keep us all in work and able to buy the sparkly new things.  I think you need to take care though.

A few weeks ago I was driving up the M5 motorway from one customer in Somerset to another in Lancashire.  I stopped off in the midlands to get something to eat and (somehow!) found myself outside the dealer of my favourite motorcycle manufacturer checking out the latest models.

One had active suspension with automatic anti-dive and a stability control system that detected how far over the bike was leaning and adjusted the braking accordingly.  Amazing stuff.  After a few minutes, a friendly chap in an orange polo shirt came out and asked me what I was currently riding.  When I told him, he was quick to inform me that the newer model had more advanced fuel management and a bigger petrol tank and that I’d be able to go about 20% further between fills.  For motorcycle touring, this is a fairly persuasive point!

As I stood there wondering whether to blow a big chunk of disposable income on being able to ride 20% further and have less, umm, ‘dive’ I got to wondering about all of the other technology we buy and specifically the Enterprise Resource Planning products that my company works with.

Our customers are under constant pressure, much of it self-inflicted I have to say, to upgrade to the latest versions and exploit the latest new features.  Of course, some of these new features can deliver enormous business benefit if used appropriately but the same is also true of the many unused features that reside in the older versions of software our customers already have.

In my working life, I would estimate that around 75% of my customers tell me that they’ve invested in complex and highly capable software but they aren’t really using it to its full potential.  The studies we do of their business processes generally bear this out.  These are often the same people and businesses who pressure themselves to upgrade.  After all, if you’re only using 5% of ERP 1.0 then it makes perfect sense to upgrade to the ‘20% more functional’ ERP 2.0 and only use 4% of that, right?!

I’m not saying for a second that we shouldn’t ever change our motorcycles or ERP applications.  Things like supportability, regulatory factors and those new features that really are perfect for your needs all play a part.  But I’d argue that the decision to upgrade shouldn’t be close to being your first recourse.

For less than the cost of an upgrade, you could retrain whole sections of your staff, carry out a process overhaul and identify those most in need of your attention. You could even add on some sparkly complimentary products to manage specialist tasks and deliver some change. Just think how happy the board would be at the savings!

Back at the motorcycle dealer, I eventually wandered off, driven by the distraction of hunger and a slight feeling of melancholy.  That night, after a bit of hotel-room internet searching I discovered an auxiliary fuel tank system for my bike that will increase its range by 25% and cost an awful lot less than a new bike.  It even came with a fun afternoon in the garage pretending to be a proper mechanic while I fitted it.

I’m going to use the money I saved to actually go to some exciting places on my bike.  There’s only so much time you can spend on the M5…

andy-blog

 

Andy Bell

Director

Andy started Vanilla, along with Jason in 2009 . Despite being something of an ERP ‘geek’ he is passionate about not complicating things and delivering what the client needs.

Andy likes to split his time between working with his customers on projects, running the business and supporting Abigail with new business development.

If you need Andy’s assistance,  click here to contact him today

Babcock chooses NovaCura Flow as their business-wide mobile platform

Vanilla Solutions are pleased to announce that Babcock, the UK’s leading engineering support services organisation, have selected NovaCura Flow as their business-wide mobile solution for their Marine & Technology Division.

Flow will be used across Babcock’s Rosyth and Devonport sites to provide mobile work order management, manufacturing execution and logistics capabilities.  The choice of Flow will allow Babcock to create their own hardware-independent workflows and mobile applications using a simple drawing interface.  Internal testing of Flow on Babcock’s chosen hardware platforms is already nearing completion, with the intention of launching Flow to coincide with a major business applications upgrade planned for later in the year.

How can my business benefit from NovaCura Flow?

NovaCura Flow connects your people to your business systems. It is an innovative platform that acts as a layer on top of your existing business systems, allowing you to create your own mobile applications and workflows which will then run on both desktop and mobile devices without further configuration.  With NovaCura Flow you get one platform for all your business apps. Apps that are perfectly aligned with your business processes.

The NovaCura Flow concept is simple, powerful and can provide a very rapid return on investment. To find out more about Flow, visit our website today or contact Abigail today to schedule a demo or a trial.

Click here to find out more about NovaCura Flow

Contact:

Abigail Ridgway

Head of Sales & Marketing

abigail.ridgway@vanillasolutions.com