Custom Application Solution for a Large Construction Company
The Client’s Problem
Our client, a nationally recognized construction company specializing in deep foundation, ground improvement, and Earth retention contracting was facing various back office request issues.
Employees working in the field are frequently requesting additional equipment, tools, and materials from the back office to be delivered to the job sites. These requests come in multiple forms, such as phone calls, text messages, and emails.
Over time, the client realized there were several issues with the nature of how they made their requests. Ultimately, there was no structured process for the field operators to follow, which lead to a number of issues, such as:
Requests are not tracked properly and often lead to missed or duplicate requests.
Notifications to the proper party were not reaching them in time.
Requestors had no visibility on the status of their requests.
Too many channels of communication often lead to confusion and mix up in the back office.
No reporting was done to track the performance of the back-end office.
Additional overhead and delay experienced due to required information not being provided along with the request (such as requester, job number, quantity, and due dates).
To help eliminate our clients problem, Smartbridge designed and developed a custom app solution for organizing and creating a traceable chain in which a request can be held accountable by the proper parties. This would serve to clean up their various communication pipelines, and ensure success in the request execution.
Smartbridge utilizes a hybrid-agile development approach when it comes to custom application development. The team conducted an initial planning session and design mock-ups that involved the client’s input to ensure the custom application had the correct foundation before development started. We then focused on short 2-week development sprints with a customer review session in order to maintain a high level of client interaction. Our client was involved in the full development process and provided feedback extremely quickly to allow for flexible development changes.
After development, the team conducted an onsite User Acceptance Testing (UAT) session. We were able to watch and interact with end-users that allowed for an even greater understanding of their interactions with the application. The team was then able to make a more custom fit to the UI/UX for the application’s functionality and different roles that were present.
UI/UX design posed one of the biggest challenges throughout the application’s life cycle. The application needed to be modern but intuitive across all technological skill sets and company departments. These requirements lead to the following milestones:
Create, list, notify, and act on requests created from employees in a universally understood fashion.
High customer interaction and involvement in use of application and progress check-ins.
Providing end-users with proper data based on security groups and the flexibility of change by Admin.
These provided the biggest challenges along with tying them to UI/UX design to allow for seamless use. Failing in one of these areas could be high attrition for the application’s usage.
Custom Application Use Case Outcome
With continuous customer interaction and feedback during development, the application was able to go-live successfully with high user adoption. The application’s ease of use allowed our client’s team to get up to speed with the company’s new workflow process.
In the end, Smartbridge was able to build a custom application to meet the needs of our client, transforming the way they do business. Their work requests are now completely handled by the custom application, which reduces the amount of time wasted by other communication methods and cross talk. The proper parties assigned to requests can now be held accountable with notifications and reports that are in place to ensure the business is fulfilling requests within the expected duration.
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