A successful and growing supplier of high-quality products for the fire protection industry, Firequip is a family business about to celebrate 30 years in the industry. They focus on sourcing and selling the best products from around the world, and pride themselves on a dedication to customer service that differentiates them from their competitors.
To maintain the growth and level of service that has come to be expected of them, Firequip has always been on the lookout for ways to improve their system, their service and their business.
It was this drive that 20 years ago led them to Micronet, and away from a cumbersome paper-based system.
Micronet revolutionised Firequip’s systems in its day. Periodic updates to each new version kept it ticking along. However, flash forward 20 years, and Firequip’s needs had evolved considerably. The legacy software that had served well in the past had in-built limitations that were increasingly hampering operations.
Cumbersome and time-consuming site navigation
Lack of process transparency across the business
Long training times for new staff on a less than-intuitive system
Limited flexibility to support business growth
TIME FOR A LEAP FORWARD
Firequip knew that their latest version of Micronet soon wouldn’t be able to keep up with their business growth. And having heard of the development of HARMONiQ a few years earlier, they decided it was time to progress to this new generation software:
- A cloud-based system instead of one hosted on an inhouse server
- A user-friendly system that was easy to navigate
- A transparent system that provided instant access to essential business information
- A modern system that didn’t require constant updates
“Micronet had started to become a little bit clunky… but what we saw (of HARMONiQ) was there was a lot more transparency, it was a lot more user friendly”
– Wayne Collins, Firequip General Manager
On the back of a positive 20-year relationship with Micronet, Firequip also had confidence that the HARMONiQ software, and the transition to it, would be positive for the business.
ENSURING A SMOOTH TRANSITION
Firequip’s transition between systems began in late 2017 with a Discovery phase. A Micronet expert spent a week onsite to:
- Learn Firequip’s business inside and out
- Uncover their requirements and parameters
- Discover how HARMONiQ could best serve their needs
This was followed by a testing phase, in which every aspect of the new system was given a thorough run-through.
Firequip allocated a significant period of time for staff training and communication, to thoroughly address a natural apprehension among employees about the upcoming changeover.
Any employee concerns were alleviated through:
- Constant communication
- Involving all employees in the process with updates at every step
- Comprehensive training
- Comprehensive internal testing of HARMONiQ
After that came the critical training phase.
GOING LIVE WITHOUT A HITCH
With everything in place, a go-live date was set.
Backups and data conversion were completed over the prior weekend to ensure everything rolled seamlessly into the new system on Monday morning.
“I thought that the transition was a lot easier than I was probably expecting.” – Wayne Collins
During the first month after implementation, the HARMONiQ team made multiple visits onsite to support Firequip through the transition, and to resolve any operational issues which arose. An approach that proved integral to establishing a successful migration.
THE BENEFIT OF IMMEDIATE RESULTS
While they’ve only been using HARMONiQ for a short time, Firequip has already seen significant positive results in three key areas.
1. Continuity in customer service
With their singular focus on customer service, Firequip could not afford to have a systems change cause any fallout with their customers. In fact, it was crucial that customers simply didn’t notice the transition at all. And that’s exactly what happened.
“Potentially going to a new system can cause you a lot of headaches – you can often drop your customer service levels a great deal. I think from that perspective that’s quite positive, that our customers haven’t seen any change.” – Greg Hamilton, Finance Manager
2. Clearer, easier-to-manage workflow
Management – as well as the team as a whole – are benefiting from a clearer view of all internal procedures and processes. Having full visibility of the progression of tasks is giving managers more control, and everyone a better understanding of their job and how it fits into the broader business.
3. Dramatically improved ease of use
No more screen hopping! The Firequip team have found HARMONiQ a lot easier to navigate from one place to another, serviced with great links and instant access to information through the dashboard.
They’ve also found the system a lot more intuitive – making it easier for new staff to understand and master quickly.
Within a couple of short months, Firequip already say that HARMONiQ has produced a positive return on their software investment.
Looking back on the whole experience, Firequip cites one critical factor that made the transition successful: getting involved in the process.
“I think it’s a real investment. The more time you spend involved in the process I think the better results that will come out of that”
– Greg Hamilton, Finance Manager
If it’s time for your business to transition to the next generation of more user-friendly, intuitive, transparent and transformative systems — It’s time for us to talk