Hertfordshire Catering Ltd

Food for thought

The brief

Hertfordshire Catering Ltd (HCL) is an award-winning specialist education catering company serving over 60,000 primary school meals a day and employing over 1,800 staff members in a multitude of operational locations.

As one of the leading service providers, HCL identified that their current systems needed to be updated to deliver even better customer and stakeholder journeys. We were appointed to revolutionise their online profile and rebuild their core customer facing special menu, recruitment and staff portal systems.

Achieving excellence

The result is an integrated web solution for mobile, tablet and desktop users that delivers not only a cleaner more concise design but better parent engagement, improved provision of information and increased return visits. We achieved this through the careful consideration of the internal processes and the needs of the users that engage with HCL’s core systems enabling us to deliver incredible efficiencies for the organisation and for parents and job seekers alike. Faster approval of applications for special menus addressing the allergy and lifestyle needs of children is just one of the many successful outcomes of this major project.

Developing a market leading solution

When you are faced with such a large group of users from internal staff, parents, children and job seekers, the importance of understanding the audience needs is pivotal to the success of a project like this. So, scoping each of the online systems and requirements meant we invested time in understanding the necessities of each of the user group personas that would come into contact with the new website and systems. This included technology reviews, socio-demographic considerations and language requirements.

By developing an intricate understanding of the critical processes and user flows, allowed us to define the exact nature of how each of the systems would work, how they could be enhanced and how they could interact with each other prior to build.

Prototyping the user journeys meant we could test, review and refine the final solution to ensure maximum success and enabled working demonstration sessions and online staff engagement to enable the gathering of important feedback from all stakeholders throughout the scope, build and test phases.

The results

By designing and deploying a modern and fully responsive website with a focus on parents, schools and job seekers an enhanced user experience and better access to relevant information has been delivered.

Planning content carefully and rationalising the number of website pages has meant better dissemination of information and a clearer way to access school menus, find a job or simply access information quicker.

Built on the Laravel framework, to deliver fantastic data processing capabilities, parents, schools and job seekers have been transitioned from single application processes to account-based access which means that all of their submissions and progress statuses have become easily accessible and more secure. Staff now have access to a content-rich staff portal delivering improved internal communications no matter what device they use, and powerful dashboards deliver core information and improved data searches for the HCL administrative team.

Overall, it’s a powerful platform that that was scoped, developed and launched in just eight months from start to finish.

If you would like to know more about how to approach a project like this or have a major web-based application system that you would like to discuss, please get in touch.