There aren’t many companies that can honestly say that saving human lives lies at the core of their business. One of those entitled to describe themselves this way is Happy End, a leading Czech supplier of tools for handling liquid leaks, occupational health and safety and fire protection. Thanks to their products it is possible to resolve dangerous situations before they turn into catastrophes. And Happy End is indeed great at preventing small and big catastrophes. What started as a small company turned into a local leader which now supplies its products abroad. The growth of a company is a joyous process, and yet it is one of the most demanding ones in terms of organization. This is where Cleverlance stepped in to help the people on the front lines of this success manage their time and the necessary administration.
A business representative and a magic mirror
Happy endings can be found mostly in fairy tales. Just like adults often stop appreciating a well-told fairy tale, I think people in today’s modern world often fail to appreciate the magic of smart IT gadgets. To be able to go to a different city, pull out a magic mirror (such as a tablet) and immediately obtain all required information for the planned work tasks is, at least for me, nothing short of magical.
We created a similar, seemingly magical application for internal use by Happy End employees, specifically for their dealers. As the company grew, the number of clients and volume of orders also increased. It is up to these dealers to create and maintain good business relationships with these clients, to know all the specifics of the company's offered services and products, and to be able to create an order that best meets the client’s needs. Our application, running on a magical tablet mirror with iOS, can help them with all of these responsibilities. Most importantly by providing a single place for the dealer to find all the necessary information and process all required documentation. For example, our internal Happy End application can:
Provide dealers with information about the existing clients: All important data about the customer, such as address, contact person, turnover, product portfolio, development, payment history, last meetings, complaints, phone calls - all readily available.
Inform about opportunities: It is easy to divide individual clients based on importance, location, etc. When planning a meeting, the app informs the business representative about which companies are located near the agreed meeting place.
Save time and organize: An easy-to-navigate calendar provides information about new events and notifies users about planned meetings.
Speed up the documentation process: Minutes from meetings, price offers or email are readily available and easy to find.
Easier access to information about products and stock reserves: The dealers can have all the information about offered products and their availability in stock always with them, wherever they go.
Smooth sailing without waterfalls
The work on the application for Happy End dealers was (and still is) accompanied by mutual trust, which can be seen in the quality of the final solution. A classic development model (the so-called “waterfall”) handles individual phases, i.e., analysis, design, programming and testing as separate units. Such division of work can work but when it becomes necessary to make changes, it can slow you down and make the whole development process much more expensive. Agile development, on the other hand, treats all phases as concurrent, continual activities. Good feedback is absolutely crucial to make agile software development work. Whereas for different solutions it is possible to perform user testing as the last, final step to conclude the development, with Happy End we could use the information from users to improve the functions of the application. The team of dealers in one company is a relatively small set of people who know what they need from an tablet app to speed up their work and make it more efficient. Thanks to the agile approach and good feedback, we were able to tailor the app to the needs of the client.
The implementation of our solution into practice is going great and we are happy to be able to help both Happy End and its customers. Our work together throughout the whole process, starting from the order, through development up to delivery and support, was very positive. Almost like a fairy tale.