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Case study - Mickledore

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Founded in 1997 by Sonja and Rick Cooper, Mickledore is a UK self-catering walking holiday specialist with worldwide clientele. 

The company’s holidays are based on established long-distance walking routes which include those through The Lake District and the Coast-to-Coast. 

As the business developed, the Keswick-based couple introduced a computerised booking system which was created specifically for Mickledore using the Visual Basic programming language.

As with most bespoke database-driven systems, they require regular maintenance and development to improve usability, functionality and durability. 

In 2009, Mickledore was at a point when significant improvements where required for the booking system.  Rick sought the advice of Alan Jewitt, owner of Sell Your Products Online, whom he had met previously through business networking.

Rick commented

Alan and his team at Sell Your Products Online are proper system developers: building, updating and integrating software to help automate and streamline key business processes.

Over the past five years, they have been instrumental in working with us to deliver a number of significant enhancements to our booking system.

These improvements include:

  • Streamlining the accommodation booking process.
  • Enabling the processing of multiple currencies in order to accept payment from clients based in different countries.
  • Automated downloading of bookings from the company website directly into the database system.

Rick added

Only by taking the time to fully appreciate our business operations and requirements have Sell Your Products Online been able to deliver these upgrades to our systems.

The next significant system update is based around a complete migration from Visual Basic to a .Net platform.  The main objective of this update is to future-proof the operation of these business critical systems, as it is proving more and more difficult to find modern computer hardware that will run Visual Basic software.

Alan said:

We have taken the time to liaise with Mickledore’s own web developers and hardware suppliers to ensure the system migration is as seamless as possible.

Key to this long-term business relationship is the approach of Sell Your Products Online in working with its customers. Rick says:

I have found Alan and his team to be extremely responsive and accessible.

They really appreciate the importance of these systems to our business. We recently had a server fail while I was away, but Alan was on hand to get it fixed and minimise the disruption to our operations.