Stevenson Memorials are a multi-generation family business working in the Memorial industry with branches located in Blackburn and Blackpool.
They invited us and another software developer to help them with their current bespoke Windows system. This had been written some years earlier and was beset with critical database storage capacity problems due to it storing documents and pictures within the database itself, which is rarely if ever a good idea. This problem was so severe that it stopped the existing system from functioning.
The other software development company suggested that the only option was to start again with a new software project.
We took the time to examine the existing issue in detail, and realised that the database capacity problem could be completely and permanently resolved with some technical know-how, allowing the database to be adjusted in such a way that it solved the capacity issue and alleviated the immediate need to develop a new software system. Better still, it could be done without the existing software even realising that any changes had been made to the underlying structure of the database.
Stevenson Memorials were delighted with this solution as it meant they were able to continue to use their existing Windows software, which, for the most part, they were happy with, saving them the cost to re-develop a new bespoke software system.
We have written a blog post on how we solved this particular problem here.
A few weeks later, despite being happy with their existing, albeit ageing system, they called us back in having decided that they now wanted us to re-develop and expand upon their existing software.
Stevenson Memorials commissioned us to start replacing their existing Windows based software with a new web-based system that would fully replace and improve upon their current software.
A particular request from the staff at Stevenson Memorials was made relating to their familiarity with the existing Windows software, they were keen for us to try and retain a Windows ‘look and feel’ for the new online solution. We achieved this with styling and by maintaining the layout of data entry areas where possible.
The fact that the existing Windows system/database had been fixed meant that we had time to develop the new system in stages. At each stage functionality was moved from the old system to the new, with careful planning and coding to ensure that both the old and new software continued to function in tandem until the old system has been completely replaced. This work included developing a number of bespoke elements, such as:
- Stock Control
- Order Processing
- Cemeteries, Applications and Permit Management
- Document Management
- Photo-plaque Management
This is a medium term software development plan and we are currently working with Stevenson Memorials to complete this goal.
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