Miller's Vanguard are the UK's premier service maintenance and equipment supply company within the foodservice industry. They are an industry-leading single-source solution for retail nationwide, supported by integral business divisions including an equipment reuse factory, warehousing, and research and development.
Miller’s sister company, Serviceline, are an industry-leading single-source solution for the private and public sector, specialising in catering and refrigeration support nationwide.
Serving a nationwide customer base in a highly competitive environment requires an extremely efficient business. Good process is no longer enough to be an efficient business, and Serviceline and Miller’s recognised the power of automation in driving efficiency. To better enable automation within the business, Serviceline upgraded to Solarvista LIVE, a cloud-native job planning application with, critically, a comprehensive modern API.
“Since partnering with Ferrio we have gained much greater insight into the capabilities of our systems, leading to greater return on our initial and ongoing investment.”
Dean Rooney, Information Systems Manager at Miller’s Vanguard.
Miller’s engaged Ferrio to support Serviceline in delivering API automation within the business. This automation was delivered in three key phases: integrating Solarvista with Sage200 and Miller’s WMS, Redledge; making data available to Power BI for reporting and dashboarding; and continuously automating time consuming processes in scheduling and job costing.
Solarvista, Sage200, Redledge, and Power BI are all kept in real-time sync without the need for slow batch routines or double keying. The most business critical area for real-time sync is inventory management and ordering. A comprehensive three-way integration means stock levels are always accurate all the way down to the engineers’ mobile devices. By introducing Microsoft Teams adaptive cards to this integration, staff both at Serviceline and in Miller’s warehouse are immediately notified of events requiring intervention such as ordered parts not installed on return to fit jobs.
Up to date, relevant, and accurate KPI monitoring is essential to operating an efficient business and Ferrio enabled this by integrating Solarvista with Azure Storage & Power BI. Integrating BI via API, rather than by a ‘traditional’ batch ETL process, means data is available for analysis in real time. Using Azure Storage means data does not have to be structured ahead of time, minimising the impact of config changes in business software.
“All the data I need is always available for me in Power BI, no matter what dashboard or report the business requires, I can be confident the data is available and updated in real time.”David Smith, Data Analyst at Miller’s Vanguard.
Automation has had a compounding positive effect on Serviceline’s business. Not only have hundreds of hours per month been saved, contributing directly to the bottom line, but this time return has enabled the business to place an even greater focus on improvement and delivering to their customer base.
“Knowing we can rely on Ferrio to deliver our requirements has given us even more room to focus on continuous improvement. Ferrio have really made an effort to understand and becoming involved in our business.”
Kevin Sheehan, Applications Developer at Serviceline.