Our client, a leading company in the hydraulic plating industry, approached us with a very typical issue of small-medium sized companies. The problem was, while they employ incredibly skilled and organised staff, they were finding it challenging to coordinate everyone’s organisation.
The un-organisation, specifically, was originating around their task and activity concerning their sales processes. This was causing meetings to be double-booked, multiple staff picking up the same tasks.
After our initial consultations with the client, it became clear that there was a focus on two main user groups. First, the managers; wanting a focus on general reporting and employee information. And then there was the sales team themselves, who wanted to be able to track each other’s open tasks and projects while coordinating them throughout the company.
• Management was the function of visual reporting regarding sales produced by their staff.
• Sales staff needed the ability to create and manage their tasks, while being able to view their teammates’ tasks, too.
• The system needed the ability to add multiple staff members to each task.
• Both management and other staff wanted access to the system from their iPhones, while still giving them the majority of the functionality they would experience on the desktop. They did not want to have a lesser experience on their mobile devices.
While the company used computer systems to process their invoicing, purchasing, and any other financial movement; they didn’t have any digital location where project and task information was stored. The sales team were all using scraps of paper and their own to-do lists to keep track of their workflow.
The paper-based system meant that there was no current president to follow regarding the creation of a new management system. In a way, because we are designers at Bevl, this poses a lot of fun challenges in the sense that we have a fresh canvas to get creative. In another way, we are also conscious that the client’s interpretation of the result can sometimes be different from a developers idea of the result.
Before the development of the FileMaker system began, but after our initial meetings with the client, we took to the Sketch platform where we created several rough mock-ups of the end product. The product mock-ups allowed us to get a feel for the clients’ tastes and how they would like the data presented to them.
Then we took to the development itself, continually communicating with the client, asking questions where required; until four weeks into the project, where we presented a demo of the system for the first time to get their initial feedback and thoughts so far.
In approximately four months, we delivered the final version of the system to our client. The system met 92% of their initial requirements, with the 8% being dropped due to the need for them being minimal.
Upon log-in to the system, the managers are met with the below dashboard. This screen gives them a rapid breakdown of the sales performance for the year, any open tasks and the related due dates, and finally, any open projects and a visual representation of the performance.
The managers also get the same experience on their iPhones, just shrunk down to fit in their pockets.
Then, for the sales staff, after they have logged into the FileMaker system, they can access a list of all open tasks within the company. Staff have the flexibility to create their own tasks and view the content of their teammate’s tasks.
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