Friday, 31 January 2014

All Systems GO! GO! GO!

It’s been a busy few months here at Idealogy and I’m not talking from a ‘we’ve had loads of work” point of view – although, it would be worth pointing out here that we have had lots of work to do!!
No, I’m talking from a back office point of view; the part of the business that people from the outside rarely get a glimpse of!

As the regular readers amongst you will know, we entered our 25th year of business last year – an impressive feat for any business in this day and age – and, having used our old Management System for the past 10 years, it was starting to feel rather antiquated! In order to grow and further evolve, we needed key information at our fingertips quicker than roadrunner dodging one of Wile. E. Coyote’s ACME anvils. If we were going to make it another 25 years, there was only one thing for it; we were going to need a new way of doing things!  

Out with the old and in with the new...
So, we set about doing our research, talking to people we knew who used different systems and, in some cases the same system but a different version, to discover what was out there and what would suit our needs. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say, we whittled away until we got what we needed – an enterprise-wide CMS - and have been steadily making the transition over the past two/three months.

Whether you are a client or a supplier, the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed a change in our quotes, invoices and/or purchase orders – if you haven’t, I lay money on the fact that you’ll have a closer look when you next receive one! – as these are probably the only indicators of change that someone outside of the business would have.

It’s been a hectic period as we’ve learned the new system whilst still working in the old one and slowly (but surely) we’ve started to make the transition over, but all the blood, sweat and tears are starting to pay off and with each   week that passes we’re one step closer to being fully integrated.

With key business information now at our fingertips we can safely, and hopefully surely say ‘Here’s to the next 25 years!”…

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

OK – it’s time to level with me!

Is it just me or is it mildly diverting (bad pun) that it takes a powerful yet natural disaster to hear about a place that has always been there? A place that then becomes endowed with a new mystical name to, I assume, make us more sympathetic to its plight. 

I’m talking, of course, about the Somerset Levels - that sparsely populated coastal plain and wetland area of central Somerset, in South West England, running south from the Mendip Hills to the Blackdown Hills. Which, of itself, is odd, because, by definition, land squeezed between 2 sets of hills cannot be level. 

I digress! What I love about this is that, in the space of a month, a geographical region has become part of the national psyche, driven on mostly by a location descriptor that is so emotively tuned for the climatically challenged times we live in. 

But here’s where I get a little confused (not difficult, I know!). If this place truly is level, where is all of the water that now rests there going to go? Set aside the geological fact that the water table is unnaturally high due to almost 3 months of continuous rain, the name of the region (clearly beloved of the local population) is a misnomer. It is actually a wetland area, straddled by many coast bound rivers and streams, so it was always a fair bet that, in these conditions, something massively upsetting was going to happen. And so it did. 

The Somerset Levels is now a 160,000-acre lake, stretching in any direction as far as the eye can see, and there seems very little we can do to help the poor local people. Only last evening I watched the News as The Environmental Agency began pumping water away from the region – but to where? It seems as if they are just trying to appease local anger at the fact that it has taken almost a month to put a plan in place. 

So, are the EA just moving it from one village doorstep to another? It’s a sad sight, but the Somerset Levels are now firmly planted in the national consciousness. It strikes me though, that if you live and work in an area called The Levels, maybe it’s time to look to the higher ground – which, on a more positive note, surrounds them. 

Up you go! 

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