Reinventing Business Processes Through Salesforce, A Case Study

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Client

The client is a British Service Management Software provider that offers the very latest in cloud technology to give a complete cross platform solution to transform how one manages his business. They offer a solution that fully integrates sales and quote management, CRM via Salesforce.com (SFDC), Industry specific contract management, workforce scheduling, Asset/Inspection Management, E-Logbook, Trend Analysis, Action Planning, Resource Planning, Real-time Route Planning and Invoicing capabilities into a single, flexible and mobile package of an app. Their expertise lies in providing solutions for the pest and water hygiene control industry, and their main focus is to provide latest automation solution for all service management needs through their software offering. They also have a team of experienced professionals to assist their customers on a wide range of specialist and general technology focused requirements to help their business in many areas. They have also worked with a wide range of customers on a consultancy basis and have helped shape their businesses with their People-Process-Technology approach. The company follows a two- Fold approach to business process management where they help integrate the strategy of an organization to its operations and deliver operational excellence through end to end solution.

Requirements From The App

The client wanted a one stop solution to business process management in a simple and easy to understand package with salesforce acting as the database application for the offering. The result was the request for an app that would have features such as sales and quote management, CRM via Salesforce.com (SFDC), Industry specific contract management, workforce scheduling, Asset/Inspection Management, E-Logbook, Action Planning, Resource Planning, Real-time Route Planning and Invoicing capabilities. Since they operated in a niche segment of the pest and water hygiene scheduling industry the app was designed to be suited specifically to that segment. The user of the app was the ground team CSR (Customer Service Representative) who would visit a particular site as assigned to him through a central management portal ( Salesforce.com). The CSR would then be able to update his visit in various ways such as, by informing on what stage is the visit at (In progress,arrived, completed etc.) and fill out forms related to the particular site which would define if further inspection is needed at the site and what equipments are necessary for the visit. The visits are colour coded according to the type of visit making it easy to interpret. The CSR can also upload pictures for forms giving a more detailed description of the site. Once the form is complete there is also an option for customers signature authentication. Another feature to the app was the ability to add contacts.

While all the above is very significant for the complete package, the main technological advancement in this app was to be able to perform all of the above in real time sync with salesforce i.e. information is updated to and from salesforce instantaneously which made the system far more versatile, fast and seamless .The app also featured offline storage of data on local device so that the user can work without any hindrance and no loss in functionality until the device acquires a strong enough internet connection.

Technology Behind It

Telerik

Telerik is a Mobile Application Development Platform for creating cross platform and native apps for IOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. Telerik offers an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) through its Appbuilder feature, which is equipped with proprietary Telerik APIs such as Kendo UI and NativeScript and others such as the Apache Cordova API.Apart from these, Telerik also offers developers with the flexibility and freedom to use any third -party API library.The telerik API gives the developers an advantage by providing them a platform to build apps on a single codebase (HTML5,CSS and Java) ,these apps can then be translated to different mobile platforms using the Appbuilder IDE.

Salesforce

Salesforce is a Cloud computing platform specializing in providing SaaS for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Salesforce helps its user in overcoming most of their business needs such as managing marketing campaigns, analyzing performance, and tracking spending and sales. Salesforce CRM (one of the best in Industry) offers a variety of features to help in managing a small team to large users and all the activities from capturing the data from external sources to value proposition and following up with Leads. The bids can be made with the live and accurate data and processes for each department can be synced and monitored like from Sales/Business development to procurement to delivery. The customization allowed from Salesforce makes it a highly adaptive CRM to create the exact process involved for any business like custom Bill of Material to Invoices and auto follow up

Astrea’s Solution

Astrea’s proposed solution for the client needs, involved the use of the Mobile Application Development Platform Telerik and CRM SaaS provider Salesforce. JS force was used while creation, for performing API calls to salesforce whenever the application was online. It was also used to install a feature to offer retained login with which the user doesn’t need to login again every time he opens the app, instead a token was maintained and refreshed at salesforce continuously, with this the user can just open the app and start using it directly and will be logged in automatically. One feature of the app was to be able to provide offline functionality so that the user can use the app and make changes even when he’s offline.This was achieved through a local database implemented and managed through SQLite. The app was also designed to provide tracking functionality where the administrator is easily able to gauge the progress of any visit to the customer site, apart from this he can see the working time for each employee, as employee can only start work once he’s punched it in the app and in a similar fashion finish his day from the app itself. The app had dynamic behaviour where the user could only view forms associated with the particular site and type of visit, and this was done automatically. Some of the other features that the app offered were

  • Visit - This is the main object for the app and displays the visits that CSR needs to do, divided into Overdue, today, Week and 45 days displaying the respective visits according the date of their schedule. It also displayed the location the type and progress of the visit. The visits are also color coded to match their type, making it easy for the user to manage day to day tasks.
  • Inspections & Actions - for every visit there is a list of items that need inspection and the actions that need to be performed within that visit. The user can check the list for the site and fill the completion form related to each. He also has the option to add new actions if needed.
  • Photos - For a more exact description of the problems at the site the user can upload relevant images to facilitate better future action.
  • QR/Barcode Scan - Each Item on the site has a bar or QR code attached to it. The CSR can scan the code directly from the site and the app automatically directs him to the concerned inspection item form. The app uses a QR plugin to achieve this functionality.
  • Sign - with the help of a sign plugin for telerik we were able to install a feature for sign authentication. This ensures that the customer has inspected the work done by the CSR and is satisfied. The user can only generate reports when the customer has authorised the visit completion.
  • Service Report - After the CSR has completed his inspection and it has been authenticated by the customer he can generate service reports automatically with the click of a button and save or print it accordingly.
  • Maps - The app offers the user to see the nearby sites where he can visit on a map within the app and can even give him directions to the nearest site.This is done using a google maps API.
  • Error Log - For better management of app updates, the app can keep track of the errors that occur while the user interacts with it and keep the details for future reference so that future updates could handle the errors easily.
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Result

Service Tracker is an innovative offering and Astrea’s contribution in building such an innovation has led to.
  • Highly satisfied customers
  • Process innovation and faster request redressal times
  • Versatile management of Human Resources
  • Real time update of information
  • A complete reinvention of existing business processes
  • Huge reduction in lead times through seamless integration with Salesforce