Category Archives: Staff

ARA Road Trip

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DH Systems attended the UK Recyclers Road Trip in USA for the ARA Annual Conference in Baltimore, the road trip took place from 24th – 31st October. It was a great chance to see how US recyclers operate and learn more about their dismantling, parts, distribution and storage. The trip gave us a fantastic opportunity to network and meet US recyclers and also some UK auto recyclers. At the ARA Convention, there was the chance to hear from great speakers and trainers and opportunities to learn of new products and services. There were lots of educational sessions and the ability to visit with hundreds of automotive recycling companies.
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What did we get up to?

On the first day we arrived in Boston and got ourselves settled in before an early rise Monday morning where we visited Roberston’s yard in Wareham MA, we got a great trip around the yard and the dealership including some welcoming beer!

 

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On day 3 we drove to Middletown CT to visit Bishops which is set in a stunning New England scenery and to top it off they also had cakes and snacks for us. After Bishops we headed to Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts right in the middle of town, which is nice and compact and makes good use of space – they had some pizza and grinders for us arriving. We then drove to King of Prussia which is the worlds largest shopping centre, past New York City and down the New Jersey Turnpike.

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On day 4 we visited Chuck’s Auto Salvage where we were welcomed with a sign outside, we had a good look around the yard and offices. They are a friendly bunch and we had the chance to sample some local food. We then started the drive to Baltimore to register for the ARA.

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On Thursday we attended several seminars at the ARA on marketing and the future of the industry. We also visited the show floor and had the opportunity to meet and network with people on the stands. On the Friday we went to a few more seminars and attended the trade show where we got to do further networking. We had a lovely evening meal and awards ceremony where Jason Cross at FAB Recycling won ARA member of the year and Allen Prebble won the ARA Presidents award – congratulations!

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Dave still plugged into the matrix

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On the last day of ARA convention, we attended some great morning seminars then participated in the ARA power play meet and greet in Market St Baltimore where there was plenty of free beer and food! On Sunday we had a lazy morning brunch at Hard Rock Café then a fantastic trip around Baltimore’s National Aquarium before heading to the airport to fly back to Edinburgh and arrived back to the office at 11am Monday.

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Who came with us to ARA?

With us on our road trip was our Managing Director Dave Harcourt, our General Manager and Head of Web Development Steve Robbins and our Head of Special Projects Hugh Leslie.
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Get to know Laura

Untitled-1This month we are getting to know our apprentice Laura a little better! Laura is our Digital Marketer and manages all aspects of our marketing. She maintains all of our social media accounts and uses them to engage with our customers. Laura creates our monthly newsletter and our other email campaigns as well as writing our weekly news stories. Laura is responsible for DH Systems and our customers’ Analytics/AdWords/Conversions. Her marketing services have also been extended to DH Systems customers and she can take control of your social media accounts, Analytics/AdWords/Conversions and can write content for your website as well as post news stories and create newsletters.

What is the best part of your job?

The thing I enjoy most about my job is that it is fun and it is different each day, social media and the internet are growing rapidly and it’s great to be in a role that is always changing. I like that I get to use my creativeness in my job and can also design new graphics or icons for DH Systems.

What do you do in your spare time?

During the week I like to go to the gym after work and at the weekend I usually go out with my friends. I am interested in art and design and occasionally spend my time drawing or painting.

Favourite holiday destination: The best holiday I’ve been on was Las Vegas, I went a couple of years ago with my family, the hotels are amazing!

A fact about yourself: I have a phobia of onion rings!!

Here are a few pictures from Vegas…

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Paris Hotel

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The Venetian

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New York, New York

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The Strip

 

Graeme’s 1st Year at DH Systems

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Today is our Documentation and Training manager, Graeme’s 1st anniversary with DH Systems.

Since Graeme started with us he has been responsible for keeping online “User Guides” up-to-date and providing on-site training for customers. With Graeme on our team we are now able to offer comprehensive documentation and support for all of our customers. Graeme has created documentation which allows our customers to see all new updates and features on each of our products, he has included screenshots and training videos in this documentation to make it as easy as possible for our customers to understand recent updates in our software.

Training is now available in a variety of formats including 1:1, small group, class-sized or workroom based sessions. Our training videos that Graeme has created allow you to follow the step by step process on how to use our software.

Have a look at some of Graeme’s work below.

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We would like to say congratulations to Graeme for his 1st year at DH Systems, thank you for all your hard work and thank you for the cakes!

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Get to know Hélder

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We have recently welcomed our new Web Developer, Hélder Lopes who joined us back in May. Hélder’s role includes maintaining existing websites, creating new customer websites and developing new technology for all of our websites. Hélder had been living and working in Portugal and has only just moved to Edinburgh. The thing he is most looking forward to is to continue learning and improving his skills as well as adapting to a new reality and getting used to the Scottish accent!

What do you do in your spare time: I like to go for a walk/run, watch a movie and go out with friends.

What is your favourite food?  “Bacalhau com Natas” which is a Portuguese dish, and Pizza of course (lovely Fridays).

Favourite colour:  Blue as my football club – Futebol Clube do Porto

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Update from our apprentices

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Laura, Jason and Imogen are now half way through their 12 month apprenticeship programme with QA Apprenticeships. They have each been working on new projects and assignments as well as attending their training courses to enable them to pass their apprenticeships at the end of this year. We have caught up with our three apprentices to see what they have been getting up to.

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Since our last catch up in February I have been continuing to take care of our social media accounts, updating our website, producing our monthly newsletters and writing news stories. I have introduced our new monthly ‘Get to know…’ article, where we interview a member of staff and write a news story on them to give our customers the chance to learn more about the people behind DH Systems. We recently attended BVSF Annual AGM which I helped prepare for by sending out email communications, posts on social media and I also prepared a presentation. I have recently got our company’s LinkedIn page up and running, which will now feature all of our latest news stories and updates.

All 4 weeks of my training courses with QA have now been completed, I recently did my Google Analytics, email marketing, social media marketing and web development courses. During these courses I learned how to use analytics to accurately measure a websites performance and improve it. I learned how to use email marketing to build and service a high quality community that gets us results and also learned how to write compelling, persuasive content and reach the correct audience. The web development course gave me an understanding of how HTML, CSS and Javascript work and gave me an insight on coding. On the social media marketing course I was taught how to build a targeted fanbase, how to sell more of our products and services through social networks and how to engage with our customers.

I am currently working towards CARS EXPO which we will be attending in July. I am creating presentations, writing content, designing graphics and creating a new brochure for us this year. I am continuing to write weekly news stories, monthly newsletters and posting daily on social media to keep you all updated. I’m looking forward to completing the work for CARS and seeing it all come together on the day.

Below are some screenshots showing the work I have done.

Our ‘Get to know’ articles

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Our new, updated LinkedIn page.  Follow us 

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The main project I am focusing on at the moment is EZ Parts, it is still currently being developed as I am trying to make it as efficient as possible. I have been continuing to develop EZ Parts, adding features and fixing bugs to make things easier to use. I have recently added a webcam feature which allows users to take pictures of customers with a standard USB webcam to act as a form of identification. 

I have recently completed my HTML, CSS, Javascript and ASP.NET level 3 course. The course was mainly spent creating different types of web pages with HTML and utilizing CSS and Javascript to give the pages extra functionality. We also used ASP.NET to create a more fully functional site, this included multiple pages that had to follow the same design and feature different information.

I am looking forward to seeing EZ Parts launch to customers to gain feedback on my work and to see how the customers are actually using the program. This will help me work more on the programme to tailor it to customers in a way that I can’t currently do in the office.

Here are some screenshots of Jason’s work on EZ Parts.

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For the past few weeks, the main project I’ve been working on is a website for our upcoming application EZ-Parts. This is a responsive website that I’ve made from scratch, making this my first big project where I’ve done it all by myself. Between working on this, I’ve been doing smaller tasks whenever they come through, such as adding our client’s social media links to their websites and updating our own website to have up-to-date information on our policies, as well as keeping up with our employees on our meet the team page. I’ve also recently helped implement re-director pages, which are being used with social media to make it easier for clients to upload vehicles to their pages. I have recently created a page for Car Transplants that tells the history of their company which I’m really proud of. We went for a tile design featuring real photos of Car Transplants’ employees and sites, and facts and figures about the company.

Since February I have done two training courses – PHP Fundamentals and PHP Advanced. PHP Fundamentals was a course that focused on the basics of coding with PHP, and also went over how to use MySQL to connect to a database. The following course, PHP Advanced, was targeted at learning how to use PHP as an object oriented language. We then did some work on control management systems including WordPress and Drupal, and there was also more in-depth teaching about using SQL databases.

I’m looking forward to getting the EZ-Parts site finished and getting to view the final product, and seeing it in use once the application is ready for release. I’m also looking forward to working more on client’s sites and adding new features and such when they are needed, as this makes me feel as if the work I’m doing really makes life easier for our clients.

Below are some screenshots of work Imogen has done.

Car Transplants ‘facts’ page

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Social media links added to Motorhog’s site11

Contact page on EZ Parts

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DH Systems Welcomes David

 

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This week we welcome our new member of staff to the team, David Nicolson. David will be taking over from Duncan’s role as our Support Analyst. David is responsible for supporting DH Systems customers with our Frontier Salvage and Frontier Dismantling software and he will also be supporting DH Systems IT infrastructure. Before David joined our team, he was a full time student and worked part time as a Sales Advisor. He is now looking forward to learning new technologies as well as learning more about DH Systems and the software we provide.

In David’s spare time he enjoys spending time with his family on days out or going for meals. He also enjoys going to watch Hibs when he gets the chance and occasionally does some fly fishing at the weekends. We have caught up with David and asked him a few questions…

What is your favourite food?

It has to be pizza (he will fit in well here) or homemade stew in the slow cooker.

What is your favourite colour?

My favourite colour has to be green for the Hibees. Did I mention we just won the Scottish Cup?

Achievements:  My greatest achievement in life would be my 2-year-old daughter Isla.

We are looking forward to having David as part of our team.

Get to know our newest employee Kelly

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DH Systems welcomes our newest member of the team, Kelly Sinclair. Kelly will be taking care of our Accounts and Administration, her role includes dealing with incoming and outgoing payments, payroll administration, booking staff travel and she will also be assisting customers with general queries. During her time at DH Systems, Kelly is most looking forward to getting to know the team better.

Kelly has previously worked a few summers in Ibiza and has sat next to Howard Donald (of Take That fame) on a plane once!

A few questions for Kelly…

What do you like to do in your spare time? Drink gin, travel, talk myself out of going to the gym.

Pets:  No pets, although my daughter asks for this to change DAILY.

Favourite film: Hairspray (Ricky Lake version only).

We are looking forward to getting to know Kelly and having her as part of the DH team.

Goodbye Duncan

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This week was Duncan’s last week with DH Systems after joining our team as our Support Analyst for almost two years, he’s now on a journey to full manhood, who knows how many roads he’ll have to walk down, of course he could just hurry up and pass his driving test and he could speed this up.

To celebrate Duncan leaving us, and after checking his pockets, the team went out on Saturday to a Flaming Grill pub where Duncan managed to fail not one, but two of the food challenges.

A few words from Dunc.

” My time at DH Systems has been great, I’ve gained valuable experience in the IT field dealing with all sorts of impossible tasks! I’ve also enhanced my customer service skills by dealing with DH’s clients that are all over the UK, some of which I’ve became friends with. I hope I’ve left my mark at DH and I won’t be forgotten about, and you can all reminisce about my stories of my questionable youth.

Pizza Friday will be missed, there is no doubt about that, but I won’t miss the trains that are always running late or when there’s 400 people crammed into a carriage that’s only been designed for 100 people.  I will miss travelling in the toilet to avoid buying a ticket.

I wish everybody at DH Systems the best going forwards, from the new apprentices to all the developers and the big cheese at the top – Dave. I have no doubts there will be an increase in clients and existing clients upgrading to the .NET system to keep everybody busy and wages going up (and Dave’s luxurious skiing trips). Thanks for putting up with my s**t for the last 21 months.”

We wish Duncan good luck and all the best in his new role.

Some pictures from Saturday…

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Get to Know Graeme

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The next member of staff we have chosen to question for our ‘Get to know…’ articles, is Graeme, so let’s learn more about him. Graeme joined DH Systems almost 8 months ago, as our Documentation and Training Manager. Before joining us back in August 2015, he worked for the Scottish Prison Service. Now a day in the life of Graeme consists of keeping online “User Guides” up-to-date and providing on-site training for customers when required.

Outside of work, Graeme spends his time playing most sports. In the winter he plays squash and in the Summer he enjoys playing golf, hill-walking and touring around Scotland. He has recently been selected to play for Scotland at Squash in the next month’s Masters Home Internationals.

What is the best part of your job?

The variety of work; learning new skills; watching DH Systems’ products evolve, adapt to technological changes and improve; the opportunity to travel across the UK visiting customers for training.

What is your favourite film?

The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption.

What is your favourite song?

Too difficult to choose… “Losing my Religion” by REM or “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin… plus many, many more.

Interesting fact: Graeme used to live in Gabon, Africa.

Here are a few pictures of Graeme…

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Pets of DH Systems

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Can you guess which pet belongs to which one of our DH Systems team members?

419px-Paw-print.svgScroll down for the answers…

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Answers…

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