SME Testimonial – S&R Childs

Customer satisfaction is fundamental to the way we work at OCS. Our aim is that every customer should be a testimonial to the quality and reliability of our products and services.

Efficiency and Control – Keys to business growth

The Client
Established in 1997, S & R Childs is the only family owned and managed funeral service in Oxford. Staff are dedicated to providing a caring, professional and dignified funeral service for families in the city and the surrounding area. S & R Childs arrange all aspects of the day including floral tributes, donations, newspaper notices, service sheets, catering and any other special requirements. The business operates a distinguished fleet of Daimler vehicles from four conveniently located funeral homes in Headington, Kidlington, Cowley and Botley. S & R Childs are members of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and the Funeral Arbitration Scheme.

The Problem
As is often the case with a rapidly expanding business, S & R Childs were reliant on a number of well-established but manual administrative processes. These were causing a huge duplication of effort between the funeral homes and head office. In a business where diary management, clear communication and precise planning are critical, a solution was sought that could reduce both the growing administrative burden and the opportunity for human error.

The Solution
Following a personal recommendation, Oxford Computer Services (OCS) were briefed to install a secure network between the funeral homes around Oxford and the central administrative team based in Headington. It was vital that all existing file structures were retained and that the system should be easy to use.
The Microsoft Small Business Server not only made this possible but has dramatically simplified the administrative workload across the business. The creation of a centrally managed electronic diary has eradicated the duplication of work in key areas and streamlined S & R Childs day-to-day operations. OCS also recommended the implementation of the Small Business Server’s built-in ‘Remote Web Workplace’. The ability to easily access email and files from anywhere with an Internet connection has been a huge bonus for the management team, who found they were able to stay in touch with all aspects of the business whilst on a recent trip overseas.

The Feedback
‘People are always wary of change and initially there were a few reservations about the new system amongst the team. One year down the line and we honestly don’t know what we’d do without it. The electronic diary facility is wonderful. It enables our funeral homes to access a central schedule without the need for telephone calls and faxes, and the restricted editing rights enable us to control and manage it effectively. Simply being able to reach everyone via email has revolutionised the way I work by making daily tasks much more efficient. I am looking forward to working with OCS over the coming months as our business develops further.’ Sandra Homewood, Managing Partner.

‘The Microsoft Small Business Server was absolutely the right solution for S & R Childs. The ability to retain a familiar interface and file structure ensured that the integration of the new system had a minimal impact on their busy operations. It is hugely rewarding when the benefits of the system have such a visible and immediate positive effect on a client’s business.’ Howard Aiken, Director, Oxfordshire Computer Service.