Technical expertise and acumen helps get clients out of difficulty

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Our team has a solid track record of taking on, understanding and resolving technical challenges and problems that, otherwise, seem to be destined to last forever. A strong combination of technical knowledge and insights, analytical skills and a disciplined engineering and problem management approach generate rapid and effective outcomes.

Mischarging Crisis - Taking money from the wrong payment card is every big organisation’s nightmare. Luckily, this problem, though intermittent, had been spotted during acceptance testing. Unfortunately, no one could find out why it was happening and fix it. This search for the cause had gone on for months, without success. The high profile 2010 launch date of the UK’s first major public bike hire scheme was at risk of being delayed for this one issue. Very senior stakeholders were getting daily reports. SQC were then contacted by one of our partner companies and asked to start an investigation. This elusive issue was cornered, reliably reproduced and then fixed within two days of our arrival on site.

Performance Nightmares - A major feature of our client’s offer is that orders placed before their 6pm deadline are shipped overnight across the UK and delivered first thing. As they scaled there operational situation had deteriorated into a nightmarish world where their ERP system could not creating picking instructions for the warehouse fast enough and reliably enough. Every evening IT was in a crisis mode nursing the system along and trying to get all of the pick instructions out. Downstream the warehouse suffered, they had people with no orders to pick who then had to work later and later to pick orders. Some orders missed courier deadlines leading to customer dissatisfaction.

This had become the norm, it had been going on for so long that the IT team had developed tools and reports tailored to the chaos to try and help alleviate it. No one had been able to find a root cause. An advisor to the CIO who had previous experience of SQC made the call and we began our investigation. From start to finish our work took two weeks and had two visits to the client’ site. The root cause was isolated, it had been lying in plain site but was well camouflaged, and changes made. Monday was the worst day for the teams, when most demand occurred and most problems occurred, the Monday after the change all was calm, system through put exceeded demand and people went home early. Normal life resumed for the IT team.

Hitting a Hard Deadline - With a demerger date less than a month away our client’s large and complex shared file storage contents needed to be moved from its original on-premise servers onto servers in Azure. Containing hundreds of thousands of files with fine grained access permissions, the client’s infrastructure partner was struggling to move the volume of files in time and had an approach that lacked any efforts to validate data content and reconcile the overall outcome. Already heavily involved in the leadership and assurance of the IT demerger, SQC stepped in to takeover the delivery of this data transfer. We adopted different tooling to perform the transfers, automated the operation of this tooling, increased transfer speeds / reduced the transfer time by an order of magnitude and included data readback validation. Over the top of this we overlaid a robust reconciliation process covering data content and access permissions. Rather than a risky approach that was going to miss the deadline the outcome was a robust approach that delivered with time to spare.