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Guild of Fine Food

Guild of Fine Food: Facing the Future

Guild of Fine Food

Inefficient processing systems for data management can be tedious – and, more often than not, they also hold businesses back. Big businesses, especially, aren’t immune to the effects.

For the Guild of Fine Food (GFF), a renowned British company known for its work promoting artisan food and drink across the UK, a serious upgrade was needed if they wanted to move with the times. They came straight to us, and we were more than happy to help.


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Databases into 1

Struggling software

Data management is a fast-paced world, where systems grow old quickly as newer, more efficient ones step up to take their place. But, sometimes, even the new software isn’t fit for purpose, particularly if you’re relying on an off-the-shelf package.

When it came to GFF, they’d been battling with a database to co-ordinate operations for the business based on a legacy system – one which couldn’t be enhanced or developed to help the business grow. Duplicate data was held in separate platforms, it couldn’t connect to other systems or websites, and information had to be entered manually.

More importantly, though, there was no easy way to pull out the full facts when it came to making key business decisions.

That’s where our developers came in; ready to build a bespoke, cloud-based system that would meet the needs of GFF, without the hassle.

We’ve worked with AB for several years now and it’s always been a really supportive relationship. Having worked with several developers in similar capacities in the past, they stand out as really understanding what we want to do, rather than trying to tell us what we need. It feels very collaborative and the work we’ve done with them has really enabled the business to grow and evolve – with hopefully more to come!

Christabel Cairns

Honing the vision

Understanding what a business needs from its data management systems is the most important part of software development, which meant, before anything else, our team needed the human perspective.

That meant diving deep into the nitty-gritty, speaking to people at every level of the business and building a picture of where the current systems were letting them down; what did they need? How could it be easier? What was holding them back?

Part of this was also getting the senior team to really outline their broader ambition for the business and how data would fit into this. After all, futureproofing is key and we didn’t want to build just another version of their old set-up.

Armed with this vital information, it was time to hone the vision.

Bringing data to life

Great Taste Awards LogoOur proof of concept was all about integrating a cloud-based system that would truly meet GFF’s business needs.

From creating an entire judging system for the Great Taste Awards and using QR codes that could transform time-consuming business processes, to integrating third-party platforms like Mailchimp (that would also give users more control over their communications with GFF), it was about creating a sleek, efficient system to improve productivity and the customer experience.

Once this was nailed down, we tested extensively to ensure data from various systems could be amalgamated, while simultaneously meeting the business objectives. After this, the final data integration began; one that would avoid data duplication, allow for future data visualisation and take this business to the next level.

Delivering the final cut

We know that introducing a new data system can often mean a huge overhaul for a business, especially around things like training and cultural acceptance. However, this project was all about making things easier for everyone on the ground, whether it was staff or customers.

That’s why our bespoke, cloud-based system was built to be both modern and familiar, with a user-friendly layout that reflected staff and customer needs. Training times were kept to a minimum and, because the wider team had been so involved in the process, there was already a buzz to get going.

In fact, thanks to the time-saving elements of things like automatic data configuration, the team even saw a boost in productivity – and we’ve no doubt the long-term rewards are already on the way.


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