Westpoint became part of the August Equity portfolio in 2014; through consistently strong year-on-year organic growth, in conjunction with a number of strategic acquisitions. Westpoint is now one of the leading large animal practices in the UK. With a dedicated team of vets who are regionally based and who collectively have a truly national reach, the organisation’s aim is to work in partnership with their clients on a contacted service basis. This approach focuses on the welfare and health of the farm animals, whilst operational improvements have driven back office and front line efficiencies and improved bottom line profitability.
Catalyst delivered a number of bread and butter projects, for example ERP and BI implementations. We were equally impressed with their ability and willingness to think outside of the box in order to resolve some of our more niche requirements, through the deployment of other less mainstream IT applications.
Paul Hawkes | Chief Financial Officer
As part of August Equity’s post-acquisition plan, Catalyst IT was engaged to work with the management team to look at IT and business operations within a few months of the purchase.
It was immediately apparent that the IT team, its processes and infrastructure all lacked stability and the ability to scale up. IT legacy systems had also lacked historic investment which resulted in out-of-date and inefficient business processes and a significant lack of management reporting across the business.
The Catalyst engagement started initially with an assessment and some analysis of the current state. This was followed by the creation of a plan for IT, capable of supporting the organisation’s development and growth plans.
Over a 9 month period, Catalyst led a programme of change that touched every area of the Westpoint business, including its Infrastructure, Customer Relationship Planning (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, its reporting and Business Intelligence (BI).
Additional business analysis capability was used to help Westpoint understand how business had been transacted historically and more importantly, where future efficiency opportunities were and how these could be exploited. The project to implement new business systems was coupled to a comprehensive business process review and re-engineering project. Collectively these two work streams contributed to the development and implementation of a new and completely optimised and bespoke back office system.
To accelerate the performance of the Westpoint business, Catalyst worked with the Westpoint management to work through a very industry specific issue. The team were concerned about the movement of its “on call” vets and they wanted to understand the location of different vets and who was best located to respond to specific emergency calls. They also wanted to be able to track journeys and the time that vets were spending on customer’s sites. Other benefits realised through this assessment process included understanding the true cost of service provision and the mileage of fleet cars which fed into the management and services of its fleet.
In order to facilitate this level of management and reporting Catalyst engaged Masternaut a European provider of vehicle tracking solutions and mobile resource management.