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Managing Contractors and Customers for NLS

A company of locksmiths and safe engineers who are UK specialists for roller shutters, access control and door entry systems.

Based in Hertfordshire and Dorset, National Lock & Safe (NLS) is one of the UK's leading Locksmith Services working around the clock, 365 days of the year, anywhere in the UK.

Evergreen Challenge:
Operating out of two offices, NLS staff needed to be able to respond to customer enquiries 24/7 via an organised structured system that was easily accessible with real-time updates.

Evergreen solution:
Evergreen created an easy to use bespoke web application database system so that all NLS staff are able to respond to order requests in real time and from any web-enabled computer nationwide. 

Key benefits:

  • Real-time quotations and orders are managed alongside customer and contractor details.
  • Staff have secure remote access to database so can respond to customer enquiries 24/7.
  • Powerful in-built security that protects against unauthorised access.
  • Locksmiths and other contractors receive orders from the system directly to mobile devices or by email.
  • Customisable reports ensures a quick, simple and accurate snapshot of how the company is performing.

Overall, the powerful online database has generated NLS about a 70% saving in time and money by increased efficiency.

Full Case Study

National Lock & Safe was founded in 1998 and since then, has developed a national network of over 300 highly qualified locksmiths, safe and roller shutter engineers, providing a round the clock, 365 days a year service in reactive maintenance and emergency lock problems for clients across the UK. Carrying out over 250 call-outs per week, they have an excellent reputation for providing a first-class quality service. In 2007, National Lock & Safe was taken over by JEM Security Services Ltd and Managing Director, John Emberton took responsibility for technical assistance and continuous training of all the company's engineers.

With National Lock & Safe operating out of two offices in Dorset and Watford, their staff needed to be able to respond to customer enquiries at all times and so they were looking for a seamless on-line database system for both offices that could speed up processes and also enhance the productivity of their engineers.

Less paper, less chaos equals increased efficiency. 

Says Emberton, 'I liked the idea of a world where there is less paper and everything is in one place. Integrating two sites was a bit chaotic so it was a chaos solving problem that needed to be overcome.'

After an extensive internet search, three companies were approached to provide a bespoke on-line database system that would cater to the company's needs. John Emberton admits that choosing the Gloucestershire based web development team at Evergreen to build a bespoke web application for National Lock & Safe, was the best decision he could have made, as he is quick to point out.' 'Evergreen were not the cheapest but Andrew spoke to me in a manner that was not just like a sales rep. He knew his nuts and bolts and understood my needs perfectly.'

Evergreen created an easy to use database web application so that all the staff at National Lock & Safe could respond to order requests in real time and from any web-enabled computer nationwide and were also given complete artistic licence to create a simple but effective marketing website to promote the company's 24 hour locksmith service.

'Overall the system has generated about a 70% saving in time and money.'

Locksmiths and other contractors receive work orders from the new system directly to their mobile phone, fax machine or email. Quotations and orders are managed alongside customer and contractor details saving National Lock & Safe time and money, as John Emberton explains. 'We used to have loads of paperwork generated – particularly invoices but these are all now sent out on-line electronically, which is an invaluable tool. Overall the system has generated about a 70% saving in time and money since it was installed.'

The key benefits of the system are that the company now has a competitive edge over other businesses in their field and can provide a better level of customer service. It is also able to provide real-time updates for clients and staff with a powerful in-built security that protects against unauthorised access.

An array of customisable reports such as the monthly analysis report, ensures a quick, simple and accurate snapshot of how the company is performing without having to run reports from an accounting package running in parallel.

So is the system difficult to use? Not at all! As with all Evergreen web solutions, the on-line software was designed as a bespoke web application and so was particularly created to suit the working style of the business as John points out, 'it's a very intuitive system. It was written as a bespoke application, particularly created for people who are in our line of business to understand.'

With continual technological development aided by Evergreen's expertise and National Lock & Safe's own exceptional staff, the business has been able to demonstrate cost savings and increased efficiency to all its customers.

The system has been affectionately named 'JEMma' after JEM Security and John Emberton and his staff can't now imagine working without their new on-line electronic team mate. 'Without JEMma it would be difficult knowing things on a day to day basis. Each part of the system is reliant on another so I could not do without any part of it now.'

Responsive every step of the way.

Emberton continues to add that the the project has been as seamless as he had hoped and that there were no real teething problems. 'We've made tweaks here and there and the system has developed according to our needs. Evergreen have been with us every step of the way and are always very responsive.'

The beauty of having a bespoke web application rather than an 'off the shelf' internet solution, is that it can grow and be adapted as the needs of the business grow. Since the initial format and database were installed, JEMma has had countless upgrades to meet the growing needs of the business and further developments are yet to come offering further solutions to new business problems. National Lock & Safe will be working closely with Evergreen for further enhancements to improve their stock control and quoting system and introduce measures that will meet the specific individual needs of their end customers.

John Emberton describes his working relationship with Evergreen as 'spot on'. Being a 24/7 365 days a year real-time company it is important to National Lock & Safe to have reliable and responsive assistance as and when required and the team at Evergreen have not disappointed. 'The Evergreen team are always there and very responsive. In the 5 years since we first had JEMma installed I can count on one hand the number of times the system has been down and time spent down has been minimal.'

Evergreen's expertise has been further challenged when John recently found a system called Prontoform, which converts paper forms into any tablet or mobile device. 'Evergreen's finest hour has been being the creator of the best looking forms imaginable! These will bring us huge savings for real-time information forms.'

Whilst National Lock & Safe would not want to give away their competitive edge in recommending the current version of JEMma that they have developed over the years,  John Emberton would gladly recommend the basics of the JEMma programme and would certainly recommend Evergreen as the ideal company to create a bespoke on-line application that can meets the current and growing needs of any individual business. 'I would have no hesitation in recommending Evergreen, as I have had nothing but the best service and best value from them. They are all geniuses at Evergreen. I am happy to sing their praises from the rooftops!'

I would have no hesitation in recommending Evergreen, as I have had nothing but the best service and best value from them. Since implementing the bespoke web-based database system that Evergreen created for us, we have seen a 70% saving in time and money.

John Emberton, Managing Director