Tuesday, 15th August, 2023

Shoothill’s biggest tips in unleashing business potential

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern business, staying ahead of the competition requires not just adaptability, but innovation. At Shoothill our role is to bring digital innovation to our customers, unleashing business potential. With over 500 projects under our belt, we’ve picked up the key points to successful digital transformations.

Key to many of our client’s digital futures are their digital apps. Be that a web-based cloud system or a bespoke mobile app.

These tailored digital solutions are more than a gimmick and provide more than convenience. These act as catalysts for increased productivity, streamline processes and enhance staff collaboration.


Streamline your business processes

A custom app serves as a platform for businesses to consolidate convoluted and time-consuming processes.

This streamlining effect translates into enhanced productivity and amplified efficiency throughout your team. Employees can seamlessly access project updates, and collaborate on shared documents, eliminating the need for time-consuming email chains and office memos.

In our work, our consultants find these unnecessary elements to be one of the single largest drains on a company’s resources. With tasks automated and workflows optimized, team members can focus on value-added activities that drive forward your business’s growth.


Improve your staff’s communication

Communication is key, no matter how big your team is. But on occasion, post-it notes are missed and emails are lost. As a result, tasks are not done. Building a custom app for your business allows for the incorporation of these real-life processes into your digital system, but without failure.

Taking one of our client’s systems as an example. If an invoice needs to be raised by an individual in their accounts team, the staff member gets a notification on the platform. Once raised by them, this is seamlessly passed onto their colleagues who need it, who receive it in their work flow.

We incorporated this system into our new home software system, Housebuilder Pro, where users receive notifications such as when they need to sign off on property reservations or follow up with a warranty issue.

Communication is the backbone of any successful business, be that ecommerce, construction or accountancy. A custom platform supports this. Be it text, voice, or video, team members can communicate seamlessly, regardless of their geographical location. Accelerating decision-making, improving project timelines, and facilitating remote working.


Gain access to greater business intelligence

Business owners and decision-makers understand their business. But in the data-driven era, better-informed decisions are vital for business success. A well-designed system integrates analytics and reporting tools, offering valuable insights into team performance, project milestones, and resource allocation.

Many businesses are familiar with Google Analytics on their website. For some this links to your CRM, providing a better understanding of customer behaviour. Others have integrated marketing tools like Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp into their system. By using one unified platform, this level of understanding of your internal operations becomes available to your business.

These insights empower you to make data-backed decisions, identify bottlenecks, and optimize processes for better outcomes. Harnessing the power of data fosters a culture of continuous improvement, driving your business towards its true ambitions.

To find out how these apply to your business, get in with us touch today.



Case Study: Sharmans

  • Applications
  • Data integration
  • Digital transformation
  • Legacy Migration
  • Workflow automation

The Challenge

Sharmans are a successful and growing industrial business who manufacture and distribute their own gutter lining product, Plygene. Plygene is sold directly to contractors, before being fitted to commercial properties. As a result of this niche business model, Sharmans have to handle numerous different points of contact in order to progress their ongoing projects.

The company was beginning to suffer growing pains, their disparate software systems failing to keep pace with the rising number of projects and properties in need of simultaneous management. Looking to shed these limitations and continue scaling up their enterprise without technological constraint, Sharmans sought out a digital transformation. Their aim was to acquire a system which would effectively manage all ongoing projects and contacts whilst catering to their unique business. As a result, they challenged Shoothill to develop a bespoke platform which would serve as a management hub for all their operations.

The Solution

Rising to this challenge, Shoothill build a state-of-the-art CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, hosted on the cloud using Azure, and fully customised to Sharmans specific requirements. A number of smart features were implemented, allowing the system to serve as a multifaceted project management portal, providing support to all team members. Several software tools were included, for purposes such as reporting, project tracking, communication, and efficiency through workflow automation. Cloud computing allows for multiple users across the company, with remote access, their permissions handled by an in-house admin.

Users are displayed an overview of all current projects, which can be sorted and searched based on a number of filters for quick retrieval of data. The functionality of this portal used cutting edge technology, written in C# and using the latest version of .NET Core, for high performance. Projects could be expanded to view their information, including selections from the other fields. These fields were properties, occupiers, contractors and specifiers, which could be entered into the system by a user within their associated tabs. The UI was designed to be fluid and easy to navigate, build in Typescript and React, with MobX.

Properties refers simply to the buildings to which the gutter lining is fitted. Their entries contained the building’s address as well as other information relevant to the installation, such as dimensions, structural details, lease agreements and so forth. They were also assigned an occupier. The occupier entries contained data on the companies who owned these commercial properties. Contact details such as the company name, headquarters location and point of contact information could be found here, as well as any other user-added notes.

Sharmans direct customers are the contractors who buy and install their product on the occupiers’ properties. Specifiers on the other hand are third party companies whose services are involved in the gutter lining installation; roles such as surveyors and architects. Both of these fields store contact details for their firms’ headquarters, user notes, and handle internal record management for training purposes. The contractors’ profiles also store details for their point of contact, whilst specifiers are assigned their service type from a drop-down menu, which is shown as a colour coded indication on their overview.

Users keep these fields up to date and can create projects with the correct entries allocated. Project profiles also record a reference name, completion date, various internal records regarding legal and best practise, and team members who can be attached through their user accounts. The financial information for each project is tracked and processed using a Sage API integration, returning a colour coded status indicator on its progress, so that project managers can monitor developments at a glance. Tasks can also be created within the projects and are automatically delegated to the correct user for completion.

The user landing screen lists outstanding tasks, personal and professional, with prompts to ensure team members stay within deadline and projects are kept on time.

Once completed, tasks can be checked off, and the project will be updated, keeping everyone in the loop. Tasks can be managed on a calendar, which was implemented through a Microsoft Office integration. Through this API solution, providing the task system and calendar, employee time management can be performed through the system, keeping workflow running efficiently.

Data manipulation on the platform is handled using SQL servers. With all the company’s project data stored in a carefully organised database, Microsoft Power BI can receive it through an API integration and processes it in order to provide a series of informative dashboards. These displays visually breakdown the data in a series of easily interpreted graphics and charts, based on the structure that the system stores it in. This ensures Power BI’s output is compatible with the unique way in which Sharman’s require their reporting to be completed.


After development, the final system proved very effective. We immediately saw the powerful impact it had upon the company’s operations. The solution quickly resolved their struggles concerning the management of their many projects and heavy workload, taking the weight off the team’s shoulders by providing an effortless means to achieve tedious and time-consuming tasks. This also removed the drag factor on their growth, providing room to scale up their business without encountering further setbacks.

The software also shored up their siloed system issue, replacing the inefficient knot of inadequate systems with a streamlined consolidated solution. Reporting company data correctly, previously a frustration, was made simple with bespoke tools. Besides ameliorating their existing issues, the software also provided further benefits. Communication, both external and internal, became easier with the dynamic progress tracking and CRM system. Fluent visibility is provided to senior management across projects, and employees are empowered to work more productively.

In summary we developed a smart system which was able to handle data to niche requirements, a Customer Resource Manager which structures information in a way which makes sense and uses third party integrations effectively and fluidly. With automated processes reducing workload, this full-service database and project management software effectively reengineered the Sharmans business with digital tools in a human-centric way to augment time management, customer service, efficiency and organisation.

As a result, Sharmans were thoroughly pleased with the solution we delivered. It has completely digitally transformed their business, to the point that they are now entirely running their enterprise through it. Not only fulfilling their requirement of a bespoke management hub, the system surpassed their expectations, proving an ideal digital workspace for their operations. We retain a great ongoing professional relationship with the company.

“We love working with Shoothill,” The Managing Director at Sharmans, Mark De Rozarieux, said, “They delivered the functionality we asked for and contributed with their own ideas throughout the project. They took on this bespoke project when we couldn’t find anything suitable off the shelf.” Shoothill will continue iteratively developing the software over coming years to adapt it’s potential with emerging technologies. We are proactively seeking opportunities with Sharmans for further collaborative innovation.

In conclusion, we at Shoothill were very proud to work on this challenge and deliver a quality end result. Our planning team were able to design software around this unique business structure, having to fully grasp their complex operations to deliver on the specification. Our development team rose to the occasion, building a system with fluid integration and workflow automation which performed flawlessly. We always enjoy working with businesses like Sharmans, enterprising and forward thinking.