Matt Presland, and Buzi IT have extensive experience in solving business critical proplems for expanding businesses. There is a large divide between the budgets and software available to small businesses in comparison to enterprise customers. This means that as businesses expand, they will eventually face roadblocks, or bottlenecks in their internal procedures that cause the expansion to slow, or to become unmanageable. Below are a couple of case studies of projects that Matt Presland, and Buzi IT have complete, with some details of the issues, the solution provided, and the outcomes of the projects. We hope that these case studies may give a clearer picture of the work Buzi IT specialises in, as simply listing our skills and services does not do our business justice.
Project by Matt Presland
Early in Matt's IT career, he was tasked with re-designing and launching the website of a first aid training provider. Matt joined the business and worked from their head offic ein Brisbane, where he worked to gain an understanding of the business, and of its website's needs. While developing the website, Matt noticed a number of internal company procedures that were simply not working, and that were not scalable. After completing and successfully launching the new website, Matt approached the General Manager and the Directors of the business with some advice regarding their booking procedures.
The first aid traiing company was expanding, and after several years of progressive expansion from the garage of a private home to 3 commercial training facilities, the company found they could no longer manage further expansion. Matt had noted in his time there that there were 3 staff members responsible for taking first aid course bookings from clients. Each training location had a folder, with the name of the training location written on the cover, containing blank sheets of paper with dates written at the top. Each of these dated sheets of paper represented a first aid course being held on that day, at the location written on the front of the folder. As staff members took bookings, they had to locate the correct folders (which may have been in use by other staff at the time), then flip through the loose pages to find a date that suited the customer, before adding their name by hand to the course list. This caused quite a few issues.
Firstly, the three staff members were always searching for the correct folder, as the three location folders were constantly in motion between each of the staff members and with management needing to check course numbers and dates. There was also the issue of pages falling out of the folders, in which case the company had no record that a course had even been scheduled, let alone who they were expecting to attend. The company was trying to expand to a fourth training location, but found that even with more staff members, there was no possible way to manage bookings for a fourth location, as the process was too innefficient. It was simply chaos.
Matt Presland approached the senior managers and owners of the training organisation and suggested that course bookings be recorded electronically. The idea was that the training location folders could be removed from service, and each staff member could electronically search for courses and book clients. Management agreed to a prototype electronic booking database, and Matt developed this over the course of a couple of months. The first version of the booking system was based on the local internal server at head office, and instantly saw an increase in booking efficiency, to the point where the three bookings staff were assigned secondary duties to keep them productive.
With the efficiency of an electronic booking system proven to management, Matt began developing the second version of the booking system, taking it online by developing it into a web-based application. The advantage of taking it online was that staff at each othe training locations could then log in from the remote training location to print course lists and attendance sheets for their courses, where previously they were mailed two days prior, which limited customers to booking a minimum of 48 hours before the course date. Taking the booking system online also meant that a web-based booking form could be introduced for customers to book directly into a course online, without the assistance of the booking staff.
The online booking system resulted in 5 online, unassisted course bookings within 3 hours of launch. The efficiency of the online booking system also allowed the training provider to rapidly expand to 7 new training locations, across 3 states within 12 months, all of this without employing and more booking staff. The three staff members who had previously struggled to manage bookings for 3 locations, were now handling 10 locations with ease.
With this rapid expansion, the system was re-evaluated, and Matt managed the evolution of the system to include financial reporting, student tracking, sales tracking, certificate management, rostering and scheduling and many more features. The system ended up becoming a complete business management and reporting system for the first aid training organisation.
The initial investment in the development of the online booking system rewarded the business with the ability to effectively scale and grow the business without placing an increased workload on the existing staff.
Project by Buzi IT
Buzi IT was approached by a PhD student studying at Stanford University in California. The research being conducted required data to be gathered from a very high number of participants.
The research being undertaken required the student to collect decision making data from a large number of trial participants. The theory being tested required significant amounts of trial participants to complete the experiement in order to accurately draw conclusions from the experiement. The student estimated that each participany would take approximately 30 minutes to complete the experiement, and he had a target of at least 1000 participants. He very quickly concluded that testing each participant face-to-face was out of the question.
Buzi IT was approached to provide assistance in solving the data collection issues faced, and the experiement was converted into a web-based application, in which the researcher could invite a very large number of participants to complete the experiement in their own home, and at their leisure. The results of the experiement were automatically collated bt the web-application, allowing the researcher to focus purely on the experiment design, and analysing the results without having to manually interview and trial each participant. Due to the nature of the experiement, Buzi IT developed a completely custom web application designed for the sole purpose of trialling participants and collecting and collating the data gathered.
The PhD student was able to complete his final thesis, based on the results from the custom designed experiement and web-based trial system. The system allowed the student to focus on the psychology behind the experiment, and to closely analyse the gathered data, instead of spending weeks manually testing participants. As the experiment was web-based, the student was also able to test participants from different cultural backgrounds, from different languages, religous beliefs and different countries. The student reported the results were quite interesting, showing that the decision making processes for this wide variety of participants was essentially the same.
The student graduated from Stanford University, and then went on to become a full-time psychology researcher at the University. Early in his career at the University, Buzi IT was again approached, but with a new challenge. The researcher now required a platform from which to design and load in custom experiments to be used by himself and students at the University. The previous project focussed on one custom experiement, where this project needed to be able to handle any experiment a student or researcher could come up with. Buzi IT worked with Stanford University and successfully developed a flexible decision based experimental platform which allowed multiple students and researchers to create custom experiments, and trial these experiments on infinitely large sets of participants. The system was built around Google's App Engine, a cloud based platform that allowed the system to scale rapidly to handle large workloads as experiments were released to the public. The project allowed Stanford's students and researchers to shift their focus from data collection, to data analysis, greatly increasing the effectiveness of the research being conducted.