Other Sectors



We have worked on many projects for clients in market sectors other than those specifically referenced on our web site. A number of those clients to whom the following case studies relate have been with us for years.

Spares Planning

Our client is the largest supplier of products and services to the global semiconductor industry. Maddox Ford was asked to reviewing the business processes employed by the global spares planning function of a specialist division. The information was obtained through a number of interviews with key members of staff and analysis of the data used by relevant IT systems and the data flows between them.

The major driver behind this review and analysis was the desire to determine the processes currently used to set and monitor the holding of spares and to confirm the extent to which these processes would be satisfactorily replaced by processes within the recently implemented i2 supply chain system.

The review discovered that a particular stock level planning function, specific to our client, was not incorporated into i2 and, furthermore, there was considerable scope for automating what was a largely manual process. This automation and subsequent integration with generic i2 functionality is currently being implemented.

Scanning/Document Management/Workflow

For the same client, Maddox Ford has managed a project, the aims of which were to reduce the amount of paper within the Finance division, to capture information held on paper, to manage this electronic information and to facilitate and streamline workflow. Technically, it involved the selection, integration and implementation of suitable software packages. Specific tasks included:

  • Understanding and detailing existing business processes
  • Defining the functional requirements of software packages that, together, will meet the business need
  • Identifying suitable software packages
  • Facilitating technical research into the shortlisted packages
  • Advising on the most appropriate solution and technical architecture
  • Ensuring that our client's standards (such as for project methodologies, hardware and software) were adhered to
  • Liaising with all appropriate client personnel and representatives of package vendors
  • Coordinating and managing all personnel involved in the project
  • Leading the project through to implementation

The expectation is that, on completion, this project will be extended to incorporate other divisions within the business.

Tracking Plasma Donations

Our client is a UK based research and manufacturing organization, part of the NHS, that produces a wide range of high quality plasma products for distribution and sale throughout the world. They required an updated system to track individual plasma packs from point of arrival through to production. In the event of any problems being notified concerning the plasma donor, the system must locate the affected donations and, if in storage, prevent issue of that donation to production. In view of the numbers of plasma packs arriving (some 2.5 million per annum) the system captures details of incoming donations directly from a conveyor equipped with scanners. It has been developed to meet the computer audit requirements imposed on the pharmaceuticals industry and in accordance with GAMP guidelines.

Whilst effectively a stock control system, the development had to take into account a number of special features. These included: traceability of individual donations; reconciliation of deliveries to electronic delivery summaries provided by suppliers; direct control of the conveyor used to process incoming donations (via PLC); and stringent test and audit requirements.

Maddox Ford supplied a project team of between two and three, with a part time project manager and full time Delphi and Oracle developers. Whilst many areas were developed against written specifications (particularly those sections dealing with PC to PLC interaction), other areas of the system were developed via a series of small JAD workshops involving key users of that portion of the system.

Knowledge Management

Our client is an internet start-up company whose purpose is to provide a knowledge market-place for buyers and sellers of knowledge products. It aims to bridge the gap between the demand for personalised content/information and its availability in a plethora of locations and formats.

Their requirement was for a technology partner, with particular expertise in the knowledge management suite of products from Autonomy, to develop all the web-site functionality and to provide consultancy services as required.

Their principal offering, developed by Maddox Ford, uses Autonomy to deliver personalised news items to business users in a number of different areas. The core functionality is available within five categories: competitor, technology, company, people and general. Within each category, Autonomy is used to "spider" (search and analyse the contents of) a number of both pre-defined and user-defined web-sites for information that falls within the category and which is relevant to that user based on his/her areas of interest/expertise.

There are also various administrative functions available both to individual users, to companies that have purchased corporate licences and to our client's web-site administrators. All such non-Autonomy functionality has been developed using Active Server Pages (ASPs).

Medical Portal

An international pharmaceuticals organisation wanted to develop a physicians' portal, accessible in multiple languages, to enable it to gain a better understanding of the information needs of physicians and to become the world-wide, on-line, medical community of choice.

The architecture consisted of Interwoven (for portal content and workflow management), Autonomy (for processing unstructured data, establishing relationships between information and personalising content), SilverStream (for managing web page requests and delivery) and Oracle.

Maddox Ford's role was the architecture design, the SilverStream and Oracle development and Autonomy configuration.

Content is presented from a number of sources (externally from electronic news providers; internally via templates; portals users via question-and-answer sessions and discussion threads; and other web-sites) and passed through Interwoven for categorization at both local (country) and global levels. Once categorized it is stored in an Oracle database, optimized for subsequent search and retrieval. The user interface, developed in SilverStream, is personalized according to a given user's profile (areas of interest and specialisation).



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