IT delays implicated in Auto Windscreen’s collapse

IT project delays were partly responsible for the financial collapse of UK windscreen repair company Auto Windscreens, say its administrators Deloitte.

“The company had been implementing a major operational improvement plan, changing the business model to deliver significant operational efficiencies,” Deloitte said in a press release earlier this week. “However, delays in implementation of the IT systems, coupled with lower than anticipated revenues in the final quarter of 2010, had led to cash flow pressures.”

Auto Windscreens was a case study customer for systems and software giant Oracle. A whitepaper from early 2009 explains how the company outsourced its infrastructure and software management to Oracle, with the benefits including “increased business efficiency” and “unrivalled systems security”.

Oracle declined to comment on the story, and it is not yet known whether this was the IT system in question.

The LinkedIn profile of a former finance manager at Auto Windscreen lists professional achievements that include “set[ting] up ongoing management and reporting of the inventory module following wider business Oracle implementation issues".

Update: Auto Windscreens was also a named customer of a company called Metrix, which sells field service software and mobile workforce automation tools. Online reports suggest that the Metrix implementation occurred later than the Oracle deployment. Metrix confirmed to Information Age that Auto Windscreens had been a customer, although its name was taken off the customer list on its website, and that it wished the company’s employees well.

Deloitte, meanwhile, was involved in a $2 billion IT project for the California court service that was described this week as "appalling" by a state judge.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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