Fosse Data Systems is a forward looking business established in 1982 offering the world of pedigree dogs a complete computerised catalogue compilation service.
In the early years the philosophy of the company was 'let the machine do the work' and this has been extended and enhanced by the Managing Director who herself has many years’ experience as an exhibitor, breeder and judge.
The company provides a comprehensive show service from the published schedule through to the detailed show catalogues containing information drawn from their extensive database. It also offers support in the form of ring numbers, judges' books, prize cards and a fully validated on site results service - the first to do so in 1990.
Priding itself on personal service, the company has combined the unique talent of its employees with modern production techniques. The result has been a 20% year on year increase in the number of shows using the business. Building its website in 1997 Fosse Data further extended its use of technology to offer clubs and shows the chance to have results posted 'on the net'. This was so popular with the large events that it is now included as part of the service that shows extend to exhibitors worldwide.
In late 1998 Fosse Data Systems acquired Regent Print, a local offset printing company, to broaden its base of commercial clients and work. It also enabled the company to bring 'in house' a greater amount of newsletter and year book work which had previously been contracted out.
Also in 1998, the Company achieved registration to ISO 9002 with BSI. The real feather in the cap came in 1998 when it was approached by the Kennel Club and was successful in its tender for the production of the 1999 Crufts Show schedule and four days of catalogues for the largest dog show in the world. The job increased the turnover considerably. Employing the same diligent techniques it was able cope with the 14,500 forms from exhibitors which in turn produced an entry of over 22000 dogs for the 1999 show.
The year 1999 continued to see more shows relying on its skill and expertise and once again Fosse Data was awarded the Crufts 2000 show contract. In the year 2000 a partnership was forged with the Kennel Club and Fosse Data was given the task of printing and distributing Challenge Certificates and other award cards to all Championship shows. Each year the Company distributes order forms and all Championship shows from single breed to large General Championship Shows and then processes the orders and dispatches the award cards to each show at the same time offering an overprinting service to the clubs and societies.
In February 2001, Fosse Data Systems Ltd. was thrilled to be awarded the Rugby Business Awards 2000 “Small Business of the Year” award. All Staff were extremely proud but the celebration was unfortunately short-lived when literally the next day, the Foot and Mouth crisis was declared. The Company suffered greatly as more and more Dog Shows were cancelled resulting in the Staff agreeing to go on a four day week for as long as was necessary and one full-time member of Staff leaving to seek employment elsewhere. Turnover plummeted and the Managing Director soon realised that diversification was required to save the Company. As a Company dedicated to serving Dog Show Committees, it was decided to put this expertise to use and so a mailshot was sent out to local Clubs, Societies, Churches and Schools to try to recoup lost business. This resulted in several new customers, which the Company has retained up to date, involving various jobs from printing Dart League Fixtures to a book on Local History.
An exciting project visualised by the Managing Director in early 2001 had to be put on hold through lack of funds during this year but in March 2002 the Fosse Data System Validated On-line Show Entry system was born!
This system enables dog show exhibitors to enter a show on-line instead of writing the same details over and over again each time they wish to enter a show. They now complete all their details and those of their dogs on the internet to create their own database which can then be used to enter future shows.
Although the USA has had on-line dog show entry for several years, the Fosse Data system is made special by the fact that the entries are validated on-line which means that exhibitors are unable to enter the wrong classes with respect to breed, sex and age. Payment is made by Credit Card and validated on-line using a secure site. Within seconds of successfully completing and paying for the entry, the exhibitor receives a copy of their entry by e-mail and a copy is simultaneously received by Fosse Data’s server. This eliminates the need for exhibitors to send a S.A.E. to the Show Secretary for confirmation of receipt of entry or to obtain a proof of posting.
The system was developed over a two year period at considerable expense. A nominal administration charge is made to each exhibitor to help recoup the cost of providing the on-line entry service and also to finance the professional e-mail and telephone support which is provided as part of the service to exhibitors.
The site, which can be found at www.fossedata.co.uk went live on 20th March 2002 with the Scottish Kennel Club Championship Show. At the close of entries, 273 people (448 Dogs) entered on-line successfully and many complimentary e-mails and telephone calls were received saying how easy and convenient they found the site.
Since then, countless Shows have taken the system on-board and thousands of dogs have been entered into shows on-line. This includes Crufts 2011 where over 66% of the exhibitors, including many from overseas, used the on-line entry facility. To give an efficient service to the exhibitor a new member of staff has been employed to deal solely with the on-line entries and help and answer any e-mail queries from exhibitors. Ironically, this member of staff is the same one who left during the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease crisis!
Fosse Data Systems remains the most well-known dog show printing company in the United Kingdom and is also gaining recognition in Ireland, Europe, USA and the rest of the world through the on-line entry service and the ever-popular results service.
After an assessment, the Company has also been recommended by BSI for an update of the ISO 9002 to the ISO 9002:2000 quality standard.
Managing Director Kathy Gorman is a former senior teacher and still maintains a strong interest in education. For several years she has offered her services as a Kennel Club Accredited Trainer for Conformation and Movement and “Hands-On Assessment”.