Whether in retail, transport or logistics – often the tasks of the customers are comparable: converting an operating system or various apps from Windows to Android, providing a software system for tracking or calculating the estimated time of arrival (ETA), setting up a solution for monitoring the cold chain, installing a navigation app for better routing, optimisation of user interfaces – you could go on adding to the list of possible projects indefinitely.
On the other hand, the individual requirements are often very different, because these depend to a large extent on the respective processes. Understanding the precise requirements is one of the Circlon | group's formulas for success – whether this involves developing an app for the notification of delivery dates or geographic shipment tracking by GPS. The Circlon experts are meticulous about the customer's processes. They do not see themselves only as providers of solutions for mobile data capturing, but also offer qualified consulting services.
Defining goals together
A precise definition of the goals is one of the most important steps when starting a project. Realistic planning is only possible on the basis of clearly defined project goals. Since this step is so important, it is worthwhile investing time here in order to gain a precise idea of which development steps are feasible and meaningful and in which time and cost frame. In this phase, a kick-off meeting brings clarity to relevant questions. The Circlon | group experts research the requirements down to the last detail and devise a rough concept on the basis of which a precise offer and the specifications can be drawn up.
The subsequent workshops are usually moderated by two Circlon | group experts. The workshops cover individual topics (access/loading, core processes, disposal) and usually take two to five days. Specialist groups are formed, for example, from scheduling or disposal, and flexibly involved in the workshops, depending on responsibility and necessity. Depending on the project size and duration, a team is made up of 3 to 10 people.
Binding processes according to specifications
After the talks with the specialist groups, the Circlon | group develops a fine concept. This is a comprehensive set of specifications documenting the processes in detail. In these specifications, which may well be several hundred pages long, the scenarios relevant to the project are described right down to the last detail and in some cases a possible implementation illustrated with screenshots.
Basically, the customer finds the entire solution in the detailed concept – "only" the programming is missing. By way of example, for the Circlon | Track & Trace solution used by the customer Rewe, a functional specification has been prepared in which all functional requirements for the PDA software, the backend system, the infrastructure and the interfaces to the systems involved are described in detail.
Once the specifications have been accepted by the customer, a Circlon | group project manager draws up the project plan. This takes account of the particular requirements and available resources. The project plan shows when which stages in the development should be achieved – it covers all stages of development through to the setting up of a pilot project and its release by the customer.
Optimum utilisation of resources
Circlon | group resource planning is designed to deploy application developers and their know-how to optimum effect so as to speed the project forward. Even users who are not in the workshop, get the opportunity to test the pilot developed: they intuitively click through the menus, thereby quickly revealing whether the user interfaces are okay or whether adjustments are required.
A special feature offered by the Circlon | group is the option of designing all the user interfaces to be multilingual – a real advantage in the field of transport logistics, since many drivers often come from different countries. Errors when filling in the input screens are avoided with the multilingual interfaces and the operating efficiency is fundamentally improved.
If an existing project plan requires changing, the Circlon | group is very flexible in accommodating user requests. Communicating with the customer before, during and after an order has a high priority as it is. The costs incurred are transparent at all times – this is an important point, especially if there are changes in the specifications ("change request" with follow-up costs).
Training brings efficiency into practice
During the activation of the software, the experts of the Circlon | group can be available on-site upon request. They check the process and accompany the user step by step. When testing the pilot system and during its successful acceptance by the customer, the Circlon | group offers various forms of training. For example, train-the-trainer, small group or individual training sessions with the accompaniment of drivers in the field are possible.
In the past three years, more than 5,000 drivers have been trained in accordance with the respective processes and individual requirements. In this way, it has been possible to successfully implement even large and complex rollouts of Android-based software solutions without problems.
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Over and done for Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile!