New trio for Codemakers

Bondholder Codemakers continues to achieve growth with the recent appointment of three new developers.

The development consultancy, based at Friar Gate Studios, has achieved record sales throughout 2019 and has made these appointments to keep pace with demand.

Two of the new starters are graduates from regional universities and their appointments have been supported by Bondholder the University of Derby’s DRIVEN scheme that aims to attract and retain graduate talent in the Derby area.

In addition to providing contract bespoke web and mobile development services, Codemakers runs its own subscription software services including Shipmate, which allows online retailers to easily label and track their parcels with over a dozen of the UK’s most popular carriers.

Speaking about the growth in the company, Managing Director Antony Stevenson said “Technology remains a priority area of investment for many organisations and we have benefited from the sustained demand for bespoke business mobile apps and the web services that connect them to other systems and partners, as the trend towards a mobile workforce continues. We now have a team that covers the breadth of expertise required to deliver complex projects and we’re currently producing some incredible apps that punch way beyond the weight of a team our size.”

Antony added “The University [of Derby] is making a tremendous contribution to Derby and recognises that the success of the city will be the retention of the talent it helps create moving forward. The DRIVEN scheme helps smaller growing businesses like Codemakers take the leap in recruiting more graduates that will ultimately help Derby thrive by broadening the diversity of skilled jobs across the city.”

The company celebrates five years of the Codemakers brand this November, which traces its roots back to its initial formation in 2007. The company is expected to achieve 30% year-on-year growth and has multi-year contracts with household names as well as a near-full order book into the new year.

Codemakers Starts 2018 With Record Order Book

Bondholder Codemakers have started the new year with a record order book, having secured a number of major contracts.

Based at Friar Gate Studios, Codemakers provides web and mobile application development services, focusing on highly scalable apps and sites accessed by thousands of users.

The company has recently secured a mobile app development project with a large medical supplies manufacturer to help practitioners more easily determine the right products for patients. They have also secured a project with Bondholder Justin Smith Architects to develop a new web-based cloud application to manage client requirements more efficiently.

Speaking of the significant uplift in project wins, Codemakers Managing Director Antony Stevenson said, “It’s fantastic to start the year marking our decade in business with a record order book. It proves our consistent aim of delivering high-performance solutions is being recognised and we have become one of the “go-to” suppliers in the city.”

Explaining the likely reasons behind the surge in orders, Antony added: “Recently we have noticed a trend towards replacing legacy apps as mobile devices and web browsers continue to evolve and user expectations rise. Another key motivation is to update apps to ensure compliance with the new GDPR legislation before it comes into effect this May. In both cases we are helping our clients by using the latest technologies to deliver a combination of user experience satisfaction and security.”

The Codemakers client list includes national brands Wowcher, Saniflo and the RAF Museum, as well as serving many local businesses and organisations.

Shipmate Sets Sail

Bondholder Codemakers has launched its first ever digital product, Shipmate, a delivery management platform aimed at growing online retailers.

Working with nine national carriers including Yodel, DPD, TNT and Hermes, the platform uses intelligent routing rules to ensure each parcel is sent using the most suitable and cost-effective service, then prints the delivery barcode labels on almost any type of printer automatically.

Retailers can then keep track of their deliveries in one centralised system and be notified of any delays or failed deliveries proactively. 

More carriers and delivery services are set to launch on the platform later in the year.

Stephen Brown, Technology Director at Codemakers, said: “Shipmate has been developed using the very latest technology and best practices in the industry. The platform has been deployed on high availability infrastructure with security firmly at the forefront, meaning our customers will experience high performance while having the peace of mind their data is secure.

"With our approach to user-centric design, the easy-to-use software means our customers can focus on processing their orders and growing their businesses”.

Antony Stevenson, Managing Director, added “Shipmate has been developed on the foundation of our experience producing over 3 million parcel labels with Hermes over a period of years. From this we have learned a lot about online retail and logistics and have applied this knowledge in our new multi-carrier product.

"We are confident Shipmate will be a welcome addition to the Delivery Management marketplace.”

Codemakers Set for Growth

As part of its plans for expansion, Bondholder Codemakers has appointed a new director and has taken over a local design studio.

Stephen Brown has been Lead Developer at Codemakers for the past two years and now joins Antony Stevenson and Chris Ison on the Board of Directors as Technology Director. 

Antony Stevenson, Managing Director, said: "Stephen has been with us for over five years now and is a key member of our team. As our company grows we must ensure we have a well-equipped senior management team and promoting Stephen to the Board recognises his expertise, professionalism and respect among our team and customers.

"The company is currently undergoing an exciting transition from a development agency to marketing our own products and as such we anticipate our team evolving into multiple units, so I am excited to be formally heading up the technology aspects of the company. Over many years the company has developed an enviable reputation for quality and service and in my new role I will be ensuring we continue to uphold and build on this foundation.”   

The company has also recently taken over upstart design agency Studio East. Founder Jason Booth has joined the Codemakers team. 



Bondholders create UK's first social media wedding

Zoe Anastasi, 34, and Will Diggins, 32, are planning on having the UK's first official social media wedding

Co-ordinated by Bondholder and social media expert, Status Social, the UK's first social media wedding will be taking place in a collaboration of local businesses including three other Bondholders.

Gaining national coverage from the Daily Mail and BBC News, Zoe Anastasi's big day will be captured and broadcast by iPhone-carrying photographers every 15 minutes on social media. The ceremony will also be live-streamed over Twitter with social media walls at her reception.

Bondholder On Event Production will provide the wedding's giant social media screen whilst fellow Bondholder Status Social will monitor content. Bondholders Codemakers and WDA Branding create the website and branding respectively.

Zoe commented: "Your wedding day is the biggest day of your life. You worry that its over in 24 hours and I think it's great to enjoy the build-up, to get more people involved in it. It makes it more special."

Check out the full coverage on BBC News and Daily Mail as well as the full article and more information on Status Social's website.

Book Festival opens 2nd chapter

Following on from the success of last year’s festival, plans are already underway for the second annual Derby Book Festival.

The festival will be hosted in a number of venues across the city, from the 3rd to the 11th June.

A major reason for the resounding success of the Festival is due to the wonderful partnership between all the arts and cultural organisations in the city and the huge generosity of local businesses
— Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival

The Derby Book Festival celebrates the joy of books and the pleasure and power of reading. It aims to inspire a new generation of readers with an exciting educational programme. Last year’s festival highlights included Michael Morpurgo, David Nicholls, Sarah Waters, Katie Fforde, Simon Armitage, Penelope Lively and managing director of Waterstones, James Daunt.

A number of Bondholder companies played a key role in organising the event, including Derby City Council, Codemakers, Connect, Archer Hampson, Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, Dains, Déda, Derby Telegraph, Derby College, Derby LIVE, Derby Museums, Derby Theatre, Foundation Derbyshire, QUAD, Status Social, University of Derby, WDA Branding, as well as Marketing Derby.

Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival, said: “A major reason for the resounding success of the Festival is due to the wonderful partnership between all the arts and cultural organisations in the city and the huge generosity of local businesses.  Their support was crucial and has helped us to successfully secure funding from Arts Council England.  We look forward to working with them all again to make the second Festival even better.”

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and musician John Sampson will open this year’s festival on Friday 3rd June, at Bondholder Derby Cathedral.

To celebrate the launch of the festival, organisers have launched a flash fiction competition. The challenge is to write 50 word story around the theme of secrets.

To enter the competition, or to find out more information about the festival, please visit