James built a new administration system and website for Help Me Park.
The project delivered:
- A full understanding of Help Me Park's business goals
- New admin Car Park Operator (CPO) website
- New retail website that integrates into the CPO system, placing bookings and managing customer accounts
- Agile development offered flexibility and provided working modules throughout the project
- New admin CPO offers a foundation for future business growth
- High levels of client satisfaction
Help Me Park (HMP) is a meet and greet parking company based at Gatwick Airport, whose business relies heavily on its website. Its original site had been built offshore for a very competitive price, but left some functionality problems and persistent challenges when wanting to modify or upgrade the system.
"We realised over time that the original development company had failed to understand the complexities of our business," says Sean McCarthy, one of HMP's Board of Directors. The result was that some key functionality worked clumsily at best, and many low priority or low use features had been implemented.
James takes up the story. “The old system had lots of quirks that resulted in convoluted, time consuming workarounds for common tasks”. The user interface was confusing and difficult to use, while the website had been built to outdated web standards.
The existing software was poorly written and very difficult to modify – changes could not be guaranteed to work across the whole system. The large technical debt made changes more costly than they should have been, frequently making adding much-needed new features uneconomic.
"We originally brought in James to do some bug fixes and small feature enhancements. We got on very well and turned to him again when we wanted to invest in a wholly new site."
Starting with a new architecture
James and Sean agreed on a new architecture that ensured it would be easier to add new features and a CPO system that would work as a centralised administration system for a number of websites operated by different Help Me Park brands.
"James is very structured and ordered," says Sean. "He introduced us to the benefits of Agile development. I'm glad he did because it has helped us get precisely the functionality we required within realistic timescales."
Working in three-week sprints, James was able to deliver tested applications to HMP's server, ready for use in the business, ensuring that there was continuous ROI as the project progressed.
"James has made a great system for Help Me Park"
HMP now has a pricing system that enables it to change tariffs easily, supports multiple supplier types and has a user interface that the staff love. The long-winded workarounds are a thing of the past, and HMP is able to respond to customer and marketplace demands quickly and efficiently.
At the same time, the site benefits from improved security for customer and business data. The customer-facing pages are now coded to the latest web standards, and offer a much-improved user-experience.
A painless switch between old and new
"The switch between old and new sites has been painless. Everything worked when put live" Sean reports. "Throughout the project, we have been impressed by the low bug count and James' ability to adapt to the way our requirements developed as we went along."
"I've enjoyed the process of working with James immensely. It's been interesting, stimulating and fun." Reflecting again about how he and his company had benefited from working with him on the project, Sean felt that they'd paid "a very realistic price for the quality and functionality we have, and look forward to working with James again".
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