We have selected a few recent projects to give you an insight into the type of work we do and the relationships that we've built with our clients. If you would like any more information about areas of work included in these case studies, please contact us.
From boutique hotels to the largest casinos, Autovalet is the world’s most widespread uniform system. From installing the world’s first automated uniform system in 1972 to being the first in the world to use RFID for hospitality uniforms in 2000, Autovalet has always remained at the cutting edge of technology, offering a unique uniform and consumable control solution.
Autovalet needed a bespoke software solution to manage and track inventory. The solution needed to handle item assignment within the organisation, monitor stock levels, and interface with RFID/UHF readers to identify movement of inventory (tracking clean cycles and working life), self-service conveyors for distribution, and third-party systems (such as HR and Laundry systems).
With up to 8000 employees arriving to collect uniforms at the beginning of each shift at some of the larger casinos, the system would need to be able to cope with huge spikes in demand. It would need to be fast, and equally reliable.
Ryland developed a web application using C#/ASP.NET and a SQL Server backend for the administration of the organisational structure and inventory, with extensive use of AJAX methodology to give high performance and provide excellent usability. Web Services were used to interface with RFID Readers, Barcode Readers and Conveyors to push and pull data via custom-developed, lightweight protocols, enabling high performance and availability.
The application also included an extensive bespoke reporting engine with Excel and PDF export, allowing easy analysis of inventory value and use. Along with automated low stock-level notifications, management teams are able to optimise procurement and allocation, leading to major time and cost savings.
After a successful first roll-out in a large casino in the Far East, the system has gone on to be installed in over 70 sites around the world, distributing and tracking over 100 million items of uniform, linen and consumables. The flexible design of the system has allowed it to continually grow and evolve, providing new features and functionality to the end user, and keeping Autovalet ahead of the competition.
Looking forward, Autovalet are working on making automated inventory dispensing and tracking accessible to smaller operations, by developing a lightweight system of dispensing and collection units connected to the cloud. Ryland’s involvement continues, designing and developing the software platform for this cloud-based solution.
Clifton Environmental Services
Clifton Environmental Services is the company behind Diligence, a web-based compliance solution for hotels, hospitality and dining. Designed by health and safety professionals with extensive sector knowhow, Diligence helps improve compliance levels across client operations and services, and offers a full suite of compliance tools for everything from single sites through to global portfolios of hotels and venues.
In 2010, Clifton were looking for a software company to take over the support and development of the Diligence system, as well as to provide a digital workflow for their manual audits, which at the time were done either entirely on paper or by taking notes on a laptop and using a separate camera.
It was important to Diligence that whichever company they chose had both the technical ability to understand and work with the existing software as well as the longevity to ensure they’d be able to support their applications for years to come.
Ryland Technology initially took on support of the existing Diligence website, which is an ASP.NET site written in C# and using Entity Framework as the data access layer, with a SQL Server database. As is sometimes the case in this scenario, the first step was to undertake a significant re-write to bring the code up to current standards, before moving onto functionality upgrades. These included adding inventory functionality for Diligence clients, an online health and safety training portal that supplies completion certificates to users, and a contractor on-boarding questionnaire facility to assist clients in ensuring contractors have the relevant certifications. Changes have also been implemented to bring the site into line with data protection requirements under GDPR.
Following the success of this initial support and development period, Ryland worked with Clifton to review their manual auditing process and to design and build a new solution to improve efficiency. The new system consists of an iOS app and a back-end admin web-based application. The mobile app allows auditors to conduct audits by following a question-and-answer process, and to quickly attach photos of any issues taken in real-time. Because internet connectivity cannot be guaranteed on-site, the audit is saved to the local device and uploaded via a web service when a connection becomes available. The web-based back-end system then autogenerates follow-up tasks based on any issues raised in the audit and assigns them to the relevant personnel at the hotel. It also generates audit reports directly for the client. Overall, the process is far quicker and more efficient than the previous manual process.
As of 2019, Ryland Technology is continuing to work with Clifton on the ongoing development of Diligence, ensuring it continues to meet the exacting needs of their clients.
Everyday Lending is an independent personal loan lender based in the UK. Established in 2006, they now have branches nationwide and offer a flexible, case-by-base approach to customers. Their online application system is central to their business model.
Following the success of their online personal loan application system, Everyday Lending were looking to expand their operations to include a guarantor loan product. They needed a web site to take applications through and a back-office system to administer them, both capable of handling the added complexities involved with arranging this type of loan, while keeping the process straight-forward and user-friendly for the applicant.
Ryland worked with Everyday Lending to set out the customer journey, from initial application to guarantor invitation and scoring, agreement document creation and integration with a third-party e-signing provider.
A web application was developed, providing both the customer-facing website and the back-office administration system. The website included user-friendly tools to help the customer understand the product, and the responsive design and streamlined application forms targeted a simple, straight-forward process, and positive user-experience on mobile, tablet and desktop. A client log-in area, allowed the applicant to invite a guarantor and track progress of their application. A messaging engine was implemented to send the applicants and guarantors reminder emails and SMS at various points in the process to help drive conversions. Assessing guarantors to verify eligibility was achieved through integration with a third-party credit-scoring provider.
The back-office system allowed users from 60+ branches around the country, as well as head office users, to administer and report applications, with role-based permissions allowing access to be restricted as required.
Web services were implemented to allow leads from other loan suppliers to be fed in to the system.
Since going live, Everyday Lending’s guarantor loans platform has gone from strength to strength, with tens of thousands of personal loans arranged. Ryland has maintained its involvement, supporting and developing the system to help drive applications and conversions. In December 2015 Everyday Lending was acquired by Non-Standard Finance plc for £235m. Non-Standard Finance plc continues to run the site, operating under its Everyday Lending subsidiary.
Ryland are currently helping Everyday Lending in the process of integrating their systems with those of the other subsidiaries of its Non-Standard Finance parent group.
Panache Fire Services
Panache Fire Services offer comprehensive fire prevention solutions for all types and sizes of business premises, with services ranging from risk assessment surveys to the design, supply, installation and maintenance of a wide range of fire safety systems and equipment.
In 2016 Panache were using a Microsoft Excel-based system to manage their fire extinguisher and fire alarm servicing, invoicing and job scheduling. They’d identified a need for improved multi-user support and had engaged a developer to implement a Microsoft Access-based replacement. Unfortunately, the developer left mid-project, leaving the system partly-built and Panache in need of a development company to take over.
As a company with proven longevity and experience in developing audit software, Ryland Technology were chosen by Panache to take on development and support of their systems. Panache were keen to continue with the Access-based application rather than start afresh, and so Ryland successfully completed the system to the original specification. Ryland then undertook a complicated migration exercise to move the Excel data into the new system. Once completed, additional functionality was added to improve the invoicing workflow and management reports.
Following the success of this initial project and the continued growth of the company, Panache were looking to automate their fire door surveying process. At the time, it consisted of a paper survey with photos taken on a digital camera, which then had to be manually tied to the relevant aspect of the report back in the office - a time-consuming process. Ryland developed a bespoke Android app which allows the survey to be undertaken entirely digitally, including asset tagging fire doors for the first time using barcodes, and a barcode reader integrated into the app. The app also integrates the photographing of any issues identified in the survey, immediately tying them to the relevant survey point, significantly reducing the administrative overhead. The app integrates with Microsoft Azure to securely store photos in the cloud. After a period of testing and use, the app has now been expanded to cover fire stopping surveys, and has been integrated via APIs with a third-party database system also used by Panache.
Panache are currently using a third-party forms-based mobile app for fire extinguisher and fire alarm servicing. Due to the success of the partnership with Ryland Technology on the fire door and fire stopping survey app, Panache has asked Ryland to enhance that app to include fire extinguisher and fire alarm servicing, allowing them to move away from the third-party system.
The new functionality will allow Panache to begin asset tagging extinguishers and alarms for the first time, and to store critical attributes such as extinguisher weight and expiration date. This will allow the automation of critical decision-making on replacement parts and will significantly improve forward-planning. For example, if the previously-recorded expiration date on an extinguisher is approaching at the time of the next annual servicing trip, a replacement will automatically be ordered in advance, removing the current need for multiple trips. And if an extinguisher is found during a service visit to be underweight, it will automatically be re-ordered by the system, reducing the administrative burden on the office. Engineers will also know exactly where each asset is located after the initial visit, improving the efficiency of every subsequent survey.
Ryland Technology looks forward to continuing its partnership with Panache Fire Services for many years to come.