A life on the tiles

22nd September 2015

A Sheffield-based commercial tiling contractor has seen its turnover increase to more than £1.

2 million, secure a string of prestigious new prestigious new business wins as well as helping staff to save time after deciding calling on a city-based data centre to help it embrace the cloud. Employing 25 members of staff including 16 full-time tillers from its Sheffield headquarters, The Great Northern Tiling Company (GNTC) counts Selfridges, Harrods, numerous London restaurants and the soon-to-open Indigo Hotel, York amongst its growing client base. To help the business manage its growing workforce more effectively, the company called upon assistance from Holbrook-based HA Hosting which operates a bespoke data centre in the city. HA Hosting was first appointed by the GNTC in 2008 when it began providing hosting support for the company's email system. Since that the time, the company has also been delivering webhosting support for the company's website and earlier this month was also appointed to manage hosting for the tiling company's sister business Trim Traders which allows tiling professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike to purchase a comprehensive range of tile edging strips. HA Hosting has also helped the company to implement a bespoke cloud-based project management system. The secure system allows members of staff to log timesheets, record details of jobs completed and even share pictures of the work. As the system is dependent upon cloud technology, sensitive data is stored on the server rather than on the mobile device, allowing the company to process salaries and invoices more effectively. Entrepreneurs Darren Knockall and Mark Howden founded the Great Northern Tiling Company in 2000 and through the support delivered by HA Hosting has continued to secure and deliver commercial tiling contracts throughout the UK, whilst sister business Trim Traders is receiving orders from around the world, recently securing an order for a large development in Dubai. Darren believes much of the success the company has enjoyed is as a result of support the company has received from Sheffield-based data centre, HA Hosting and the work undertaken has helped the business to achieve a turnover of £1.2m as well as helping to lay the foundations for future: -The construction industry has a reputation as being one that's often resistant to change, especially when it comes to embracing new technology, but HA Hosting has always been on hand to provide us with practical support and advice, and the work they have undertaken for us is making a noticeable difference to our business. -Harnessing cloud technology has helped our members of staff to reduce the amount of time taken logging timesheets and paperwork after completing a job. It's helped to simplify the process and has helped to reduce the chances of timesheets getting lost in the post. An added bonus is that our tillers are able to share pictures of work being undertaken or completed, meaning that the quality can be checked and assessed form our head office. This is particularly useful in helping to overcome problems when they arise on a job. Similarly through the hosting support they have provided for our websites, we've attracted orders from across the world. -HA Hosting has always been on hand to provide us with practical support and advice along every step of the way. They have been able to help us make the right choices when it comes to our IT infrastructure, resulting in a robust, reliable system which has helped to make a genuine difference to our business. Rory Delahoyde, Managing Director, HA Hosting said: -We first began working with the GNTC several years ago and as our relationship with the business has evolved we have helped them to harness the flexibility offered through cloud hosting. A server system can cost a business significant amounts of money in technology and infrastructure, something which is not required with a cloud-based system. -One of the main advantages of cloud technology is the flexibility it can offer. The project management software used by company can be accessed by its workforce remotely via smartphones, helping to improve efficiency as well as saving time.

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