As part of iGAS’ continued internal management improvement, we have recently introduced a new internal supplier, project and admin resource control system, named SPARCS.
We had noticed that our tools and methods that we used on a daily basis were cumbersome and could be greatly improved if they could be brought together under one central tool. After reviewing what was available on the market, it was concluded that nothing would meet our requirements exactly.
SPARCS is therefore completely bespoke and has been developed in house to meet all of our requirements. It has been designed and developed from the ground up, improving on the previous systems that were being utilized within iGAS, bringing them all together under one roof, streamlining the day-to-day operations.
Although being internally developed, the system is designed on well established industry standard frameworks: PHP/HTML and Microsoft SQL Server. These frameworks offer a basis that has allowed us to future proof SPARCS.
Developing on these frameworks allows for future additional controls to be added with ease, meaning the lead time from identifying a potential improvement to implementation is as little as a week. Being internal there’s no long wait for additions to be included.
The decision was made to use a web interface, as this would make it available to us regardless of location (assuming we have an internet connection), whilst offering an interface that we’re all familiar with in today’s I.T. world. Additionally, SPARCS is currently undergoing small changes to make it even easier to manage our projects direct from our BlackBerry mobile phones.
As previously mentioned the system controls a number of facets of our day to day business, allowing us to monitor carefully what is happening on each project individually, giving a clear picture of where each project is.
The system processes our purchase orders, ensuring that approval is granted for all orders, significantly reducing incorrect orders, and matches our suppliers’ invoices to each order, allowing us to monitor any discrepancies, and take appropriate action.
Along with the aforementioned, SPARCS allows us to have a central database of clients, client sites, client contacts, suppliers and reps which we can access from any where we need to, any time we need to.
“We’re all very impressed with the new system; it’s significantly improved the management of our internal systems. Having the internal resources available to improve on SPARCS is also an added benefit, we no longer have to wait for specialist teams of people to come in, sit down and discuss what we want, and then wait for months until it gets implemented. A quick phone call or email is generally enough for a new improvement to be implemented,” explains Robert Lee.
Since its introduction two months ago, we have already seen huge improvements in the way we manage our projects and internal resources, and hope to develop the system further to include other areas of our business management; development is already under way for several new additions to the system.