Case Study: Independent Locker Solutions (ILS) - Booking System Rebuild
Independent Locker Solutions (ILS) are the largest provider of school lockers to rent in the UK with locker facilities in over 140 schools. Each year, they rent 50,000 individual lockers to secondary school children, allowing them to store their belongings securely without the worry of theft or damage.
Independent Locker Solutions have been trusted by schools and parents alike for over 10 years and operate in both Public and Private schools.
ILS approached Cool Code Company back in December 2022 after experiencing significant load issues during their previous annual peak times. Previously, ILS were releasing their 50,000 lockers on a set date in June and the unexpected volume of traffic to the page following this caused the site's performance to be severely degraded.
In addition, the server was being hosted on the same server throughout the year despite there being 8 months of the year with very little traffic. This caused significant, unnecessary expenditure.
The solution to address the aforementioned challenges was a complete restructure of the back-end code, a shift in hosting from AWS to Azure and a total change to the underlying architecture of the application. The code was also translated from Java to .Net to keep in line with the new Microsoft technology approach.
Essentially, the booking application was spread across multiple different servers, capable of flexing up and down depending on user demand. This meant enough bandwidth during peak times such as June, lower bandwidth and subsequent lower costs outside of peak times, this was all software controlled without the need for manual intervention.
The backend Admin console was also updated to allow for a more user friendly experience, it was previously inefficient and difficult to use.
Since its launch in April 2023, the improved ILS booking system has had no issues with overloading, a smooth user experience and has saved the company in excess of £30,000 per annum in hosting fees alone.
From an internal perspective, ILS staff are now able to easily navigate the back-end of the system and report a much smoother and more efficient experience.
From a client perspective, ILS received feedback from the parents who book the lockers on behalf of their children that the experience was much improved, the website worked seamlessly and there were no delays or crashes. Clients can access everything they need via one platform reducing the need to call and speak to someone, allowing for a much more positive customer experience.
From a business perspective, ILS now have a highly efficient, intelligent booking system that integrates seamlessly with it’s website. It is both flexible and dynamic in that the platform has access to unlimited bandwidth which will automatically scale up or down based on the users per hour without any degradation in performance. Essentially, they pay only for what they need. This has amounted to an annual saving in excess of £30,000.
In addition to the above, Cool Code Company were awarded a 3 year Maintenance & Support contract for International Lockers Solutions. This means that every month, there is work undertaken to ensure the technology is kept up to date, bugs are fixed and the system and subsequent website are constantly being updated to reflect the developing needs of the end clients.
Melanie Winter, Manager at Independent Locker Solutions had this to say about their personal experience working in partnership with Cool Code Company -
Q) How was your IT landscape looking before you started work with Cool Code Company and why did it need to change?
A) The Locker Booking System we were using could not cope with spikes in traffic and would cause issues at busy times which we could not afford. The hosting was also extremely expensive for what we required and wasn’t dynamic as it is now where we consume the bandwidth we need according to usage.
Q) How has the work Cool Code Company has done been of benefit?
A) Since Cool Code Company redesigned the whole system and took over the management the results have been fantastic. This year, we had no issues on the day where we released the lockers for rent which is our busiest period (up to 10,000 users per second!) and the system coped just fine. This was noticeable to our clients and we received a lot of positive feedback from the parents about the improved booking experience in terms of how easy it was to do and how quick the process was. In addition, we’ve seen huge cost benefits through changing our hosting provider to the effect of £30,000 per annum which we are now able to reinvest into the business.
Q) What did you value most about the whole engagement process and the current relationship?
A) For me, it was the fact that Tony spoke to me in a language I understood. Not being from a technical background, I can often find such discussions frustrating. However, Tony was able to take the complexity away altogether whilst still giving me a thorough understanding of what the changes were and more importantly, what the benefits would be. He can manage his audience depending on their level of technical capability which is extremely important when dealing with multiple stakeholders within a business. He really is well versed in many languages (programming!)
Q) Would you recommend Cool Code Company?
A)I would absolutely recommend Cool Code Company, they have literally transformed the way we work in such a positive way. We work with them on a monthly basis to keep the platform up to date and bug free, to carry out essential maintenance works and for any changes we may need to make. They are and will remain our go to Software Development provider.