Enabling A-SAFE to scale, at speed

Access to Mobica’s software team accelerated digital transformation, enabling A-SAFE to manage rapid growth

a-safe

A-Safe

A-SAFE is a family-run manufacturer of industrial-strength safety products based in Yorkshire, UK. Having invented the world’s first advanced polymer safety barrier, the business has garnered a reputation over the past 20 years as innovators in this field. Clients range from warehouses and manufacturing facilities to car parks and airports, working with major brands including Coca-Cola, BMW, and Nestlé. The business has offices in 15 counties across five continents and partners in over 30 countries. With a revenue of circa £100m, the business has seen 30% - 40% YoY growth over the past 5 years and employs 200 people.

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The Challenge_

In 2019, recognising the potential to increase market share, the business launched a design and engineering subsidiary Fathom3. Technical Innovation Director at Fathom3, Chris Tickle, was tasked with developing a 10-year innovation roadmap that would increase the business’s agility and its ability to deliver at speed.

This remit would encompass software, hardware, mechanical, electrical and research teams. Chris’ job was to ensure these teams could develop products that would achieve the business’s growth targets. The rate of growth at the time was outpacing their capability to deliver – presenting a major new challenge.

“Growth at such a fast rate was proving difficult for the business to keep up with, our sales process at the time was incredibly labour intensive. It required sales teams to physically carry out site visits and talk directly to people so they could deliver a bespoke quote to each customer. This was all done manually – drawings sketched on paper, then quotes being checked and validated internally, then everything sent back to the customer. All in all, this process could take as long as four weeks from first site visit to the customer receiving a quote. This was slowing down our ability to grow.”

Chris - Technical Innovation Director

The business recognised that in order to meet demand, they needed to accelerate internal digital transformation.

Fathom3 began developing a digital customer experience (CXP) solution with the aim of reducing the time it takes sales reps to deliver quotes to customers. The business was wary of using external suppliers, however, having historically preferred the in-house model. But with recruitment, staff retention and continuing professional development so challenging in this sector, the business realised it would take years to develop a new CXP solution without external support. “At this point, it had become too big, too quickly and we simply couldn’t resource it” Chris added.

"We wanted to disrupt the sales cycle and find a quicker, more seamless way of doing things. We needed a suite of tools that would enable an efficient, transparent and trustworthy experience for our customers, one that would allow us to grow without expanding our sales team at the same pace."

Chris - Technical Innovation Director

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The Solution

Chris explains:

“It was clear that we needed a full team for this project, but not just a temporary engineering team – we wanted to build a long-term relationship with a trusted partner.”

The business began scoping out multiple software providers and engineering firms for support, and ultimately shortlisted five different options. But it quickly became clear there was a strong cultural fit with Mobica.

"It was clear that we needed a full team for this project, but not just a temporary engineering team – we wanted to build a long-term relationship with a trusted partner. We were looking for a partner who really understood what we were trying to do and who understood the challenge. But also, one that would challenge us. In the pitch process we came across several businesses who were happy to engineer the solution we were asking for. But the product ownership approach we got from Mobica gave us more than that. Our team is always pleased to be challenged and asked ‘why?’ and this is exactly what we got, and continue to get, from our team at Mobica."

Chris - Technical Innovation Director

Mobica’s flexibility and ability to scale rapidly was another reason why it was selected. With agile teams available to start, A-SAFE found in Mobica a partner who could shape cooperation around their needs, rather than being rigid in their approach.

Mobica provided a team to A-SAFE that took technical ownership of the project and worked across the entire software development life-cycle including:

  • nav-icon-5 Project Management
  • nav-icon-5 Requirements Capture
  • nav-icon-5 UX / Usability
  • nav-icon-5 Software Architecture
  • nav-icon-5 Development
  • nav-icon-5 Testing
  • nav-icon-5 DevOps

The solution being developed is cloud-based, hosted within AWS, and is “containerised” to facilitate local development. The service layer software is written in Node.js and provides a GraphQL API to the front-end (written in React). The solution also integrates with A-SAFE’s existing Identity Provider and ERP/CRM system.

As with all Mobica’s key clients, an Account Director was introduced to support the Customer Success Manager.

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THE RESULTS_

The benefits of working with Mobica have been transformative for A-SAFE, not just in relation to the quality of the product being delivered.

The strength of the relationship has led to a significant mind-set shift, with A-SAFE management saying they are now open to working with partners outside of the business. Whereas previously there was reticence when it came to looking beyond A-SAFE’s pool of internal talent, the business is now actively looking for where Mobica can offer even more support in future.

Having seen the CXP solution demonstrated, the sales team are now eager to get their hands on the finished product as it nears completion.

“The project has been incredibly well-managed. I only hear about problems, and we haven’t had a single issue on this project! We’ve been giving the sales team regular sneak peeks and introducing them to some of the new features - the feedback is fantastic. Our hope is that when the project is finished, we will have a system that can deliver quotes in hours, not weeks.”

Chris - Technical Innovation Director

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