Howdens Joinery was founded in 1995 in order to serve the needs of small builders undertaking routine joinery and kitchen installation work. Howdens’ mission is “to supply from local stock nationwide the small builder’s ever-changing routine kitchen and joinery requirements, assuring no-call-back quality and best local price.” Howdens Joinery is a British business that prides itself on a sense of local community and great experience. Its IT and applications have to reflect this ethos.
Business Needs and Objectives
When Howdens embarked on an upgrade of their core SAP System they knew it was not something to be undertaken lightly. The core SAP Central System has been in place for over 10 years and is the central point of their entire system landscape. The upgrade was from SAP 4.6 to ECC6, and would ensure Howdens are on the latest version, with the upgrade providing a foundation for new functionality for the business and a new structure to manage the cost of maintenance.
Howdens began the journey of the upgrade with a clear focus on quality and risk management. But also a focus on ensuring that IT, the business and end-users would all be able to benefit from the system according to their specific needs.
The QualiTest Solution
With the longevity of our trusted partnership with Howdens, Experior had built up a deep knowledge of the Howdens system landscape, history and business objectives, which ensured Experior (an SAP-specialty company owned by QualiTest) would be up to speed quickly. It also allowed us to address functionality, benefits and any potential issues early in the lifecycle.
The project was a huge success and the benefits to the business were highlighted by the impact on the business after go-live. Howdens haven’t experienced any critical incidents and their internal teams have been redeployed on next generation projects.
“A ‘War Room’ was set up with a team of professionals ready to take all the calls from users after go-live, but by the third day after go-live everyone was able to go back to their BAU duties. A significant moment for me was on the Monday morning after go-live, I was sat within a team of financiers and they were all discussing their weekend – it was as if nothing had changed.”
— Jonathan Milner, Howdens’ Test Manager
- Go-live with zero critical incidents
- Business back to BAU on Day One
- In first week after go-live, only 50 calls were made to the help desk – around half of which were resolved with over the phone advice
- Ability to go forward with new technology & enhanced overall platform for the future
- Experior transferred its domain knowledge to internal teams so they would not have to spend extra time and money on consultants
- Internal resources could be deployed onto next generation projects rather than contending with bugs and fixes
- Increased Readiness for Automation as and when needed as all regression tests are repeatable
- Greater workforce productivity with faster, more informed decisions at point of action led to more responsive customer service and satisfaction
- Our solution included Functional (Mobile) Testing, Performance (Mobile) Testing, Testing Tool Mobilization, Regression Pack Creation and Managed Testing