Case Study #2: Retailer
Cobalt Innovations for Halfords

Remote access database system


Halfords operate a chain of 450 Stores nationwide in the UK. Offering a range of products to the motorist, traveller and holiday maker.  Cobalt innovations offered a recycling service to break down and offer spare and replacement parts to the network of stores via a central warehouse. 


The solution provided a Database system that is accessible from numerous locations sharing data and processing aspects of the business.  Access to the data is via desktop client software, iPad (live access to remote system), and Browser access to the database via Google Chrome, Windows IE >v9, Safari, Firefox etc.

Photographs of faulty goods can be taken on iPad and added directly to the company database along with other RMA information and other information about the available components.

The system was implemented in a phased sequence of stages during the Spring and Summer of 2013 with legacy data migration and phased ‘go-live’ May 31st 2013.


  • Growth enabled.
  • Robust data storage
  • Improved database speed and reliability
  • New Reporting capability
  • Decreased admin time required 


  • Inventory Control
  • Remote access via the store terminals
  • Internal control of RMA and componentisation


  • Specify and build operational and MIS
  • Improve Reporting
  • Enhance Customer Service
  • Client data access and transparency


  • Business analysis, coordination and liaison.
  • Reverse engineer a new database solution from the existing system but at the same time enable new business processes, integrate email into workflow and improve the speed and accurace of the admin team.
  • Replace Filemaker Database with an online database solution accessible from anywhere in the world.
  • Enable web based access without the need for client software.
  • Harness iPad and iPhone data capture of images and product data.


  • Filemaker Pro Server v12 (Remotely Hosted)
  • Filemaker 12  for Networked Legacy Windows XP Computers 
  • Filemaker Pro 
  • Filemaker Go (for iPads)
  • Instant Web Publishing (Browser Access)