Hopkins Machinery CRM/Equipment Hire Database

Hopkins Machinery Ltd, based in Newport, is an established provider of farm machinery, tractors and leisure equipment, with an ever-expanding client-base stretching across the UK & Europe.

The company is renowned for supplying golf buggies to a number of highly-prestigious golf venues, including the Celtic Manor resort, and in anticipation of the forthcoming Ryder Cup, the company wished to establish an efficient business system to simplify the management of their fleet of buggies.

The client's requirements:

A database application that enabled the efficient co-ordination of bookings for all golf equipment.
The ability to regularly update this database remotely via a laptop with a broadband wireless dongle.
A database feature that prevented 'double bookings' – ensuring that at any given time, each golf buggy was booked out to one client only.
Access to a real-time graphical presentation of the buggies and bookings in a chart format.
An automatic e-mail system to notify Tractor Hire Ltd staff of all buggy-related requests, allowing for the vehicles to be efficiently collected from, or delivered to, particular venues at specific times. Our approach and results delivered:

For Hopkins Machinery, one of the most crucial aspects of their software requirements was that the system should be accessible universally – at any given place or time.

The PC-based scheduling application created by MJ Software Solutions was written using Delphi, with links to a central web server feeding database to and from a MySQL database.

With the application being connected to the database across a secure internet connection, Tractor Hire Ltd's staff members are able to access the system at their convenience – in any location with an internet connection – and thus allowing for its effortless incorporation into the company's working practices.

In discussing the challenges faced by MJ Software Solutions in achieving this aim, founder Martyn Williams has commented, "one of the biggest obstacles to overcome was having to ensure that the system operated smoothly and efficiently, even with the poor-quality internet connections often suffered by broadband dongle users at a remote location".

The final system was delivered on time and to budget – a complete golf buggy planning solution with features that included:

A stock-availability analyser to provide instant details of each buggy's booking status.
An automated email service to inform staff of impending client orders, ensuring that sufficient time is allocated to preparing each buggy to the required standard.
A further, direct email arrangement activated when buggies require collection.
A complete, user-friendly client management feature that enables staff to manage the supply of buggies to their clients via various reports.

Update in 2013

During Spring 2013, Hopkins Machinery received a number of updates to their system

Pick Lists for planned buggy deliveries and collections are now produced and notices are sent to key members of staff within the organisation
Using TZ tape brother label printers, labels are generated and printed for affixing to the golf buggies
With iPhones being rolled out in the organisation Hopkins Machinery decided to make some of the functionality available via the iPhone.

Useful Links

Hopkins Machinery's Web Site
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