Working at the pace of change
Following the launch of tech firm TSG’s online portal to help Jersey’s care organisations order desperately needed PPE equipment quickly and easily, Ian Heath spoke to Andy Delaney about his team’s effort in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic
Many would argue, very convincingly, that the emergence of digital technology as a means of streamlining and co-ordinating business, as well as providing resilience, has proved invaluable during the Covid-19 crisis.
Andy Delaney would doubtless be among them and points out the self-proclaimed nickname of his firm, TSG, indicates the value that he believes it adds to organisations through their solutions.
‘Our focus is on time. People ask me what does TSG stand for and it is Total Solutions Group. But I say that it also stands for “time saving gurus”, because everything we do it about saving time,’ he said.
‘And the PPE portal system was a perfect example of a company trying to enable its employees to focus on doing what they do best rather than repetitive administrative tasks.
‘The average request time when you use the system is just two minutes. So, someone isn’t waiting on the phone for half an hour or having to fill in a spreadsheet to make a request.
‘And they can get on with what they do best instead, which in this case is providing care. We don’t want to over complicate things – our systems needs to be something someone can pick up and use like Amazon. It’s just click, click, click and you’re done.’
Since the portal’s launch, around 250 organisations have begun using it to order and distribute PPE – the firm having developed the idea following a request from the government.
TSG, which had previously built the billing system for the Island’s GPs, was happy to answer the call to help, with demand for PPE soaring during the crisis.
Mr Delaney explained, however, that his staff had their work cut out to deliver the system as quickly as it was needed, while making sure it complied with regulatory and governance standards such as GDPR. ‘We got introduced to Chris Edmonds who’s within the PPE team and who’s the project lead. On the Tuesday night we had an interesting introductory call with him at seven o’clock,’ Mr Delaney said.
‘And it became very, very clear what their problem was and also how it could be addressed. So, within that hour we proposed to them what we thought we could deliver given their timescale.
‘They originally came to the table saying, you know, we need something outside of the normal ASAP. We need something by close of play this Thursday. We were like: “Fine – no problem at all.”’
Having had experience dealing with urgent tasks before, the TSG team wasted no time in moving the project forward.
‘We literally worked around the clock. There was very little sleep in those few days,’ he said.
‘We got the system up and running by Thursday evening with a view that obviously some testing would be needed and we did some internal testing.
‘We did some more development and then did a real user-acceptance test on the Saturday morning with one of the external care homes.
‘So, once they had placed some orders and approved those in the backend, we then went live on the Saturday afternoon at about two o’clock.
‘All in all, in less than 96 hours we had deployed from an initial conversation to actually receiving orders.’
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