CLIENT: MJS Floorcoverings
TAGS: User Interface / Creative User Experience Mobile Development API Integrations Web Development
READ TIME: 5 minutes 30 seconds
BookIT is revolutionising the flooring industry by introducing a simple, yet powerful, platform for coordinating the installation of both commercial and domestic flooring. With BookIT, outdated and cumbersome installation processes are a thing of the past. Our innovative solution is bringing the industry into the 21st century.
BookIT came to us with a lofty goal: Help lift the Australian flooring installation industry out of the Stone Age of paper diaries on the front counter, sticky notes on the floor, and dozens of phone calls per job and deliver a more contemporary way of managing bookings, clients, contractors, and the workflow processes that make their business tick over.
The flooring sales and installation industry in Australia faces a problem common to many other industries: How to coordinate the efforts of on-site installers with clients and product deliveries for a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable experience for everyone.
The established industry process is that after a sale has been finalised at a retail level, an installer is booked to perform the installation of the product as part of a comprehensive service offered by the retailer. The installer is almost always either a direct employee of the store or a sub-contractor who may work for several stores.
The customer is part of this equation to arrange access and facilitate the installation by moving furniture etc ahead of the installation appointment.
As simple as the core process is, many things can go wrong and there are a lot more moving parts that would ideally be included without adding complexity to the process above the surface.
Our team has developed a comprehensive solution that addresses the unique needs of both desk-based and in-field workers. We recognize that these two groups have different workflows and responsibilities, so we have designed separate applications to cater to their specific needs.
For desk-based workers such as retail and administration staff, we have developed a robust and flexible web application that is designed to handle a high volume of users and adapt to different workflows and processes. This application includes a user-friendly interface and advanced reporting capabilities, which enable workers to perform their key roles efficiently.
For in-field workers such as installers and measure/sales roles, we have developed focused iOS and Android mobile apps. These apps provide workers with the features they need to complete their tasks on the go, without the noise of the full application featureset. The apps include features such as appointment scheduling, inventory tracking, and customer communication, which make it easier for workers to perform their roles effectively.
To keep everyone informed throughout the workday, we have integrated a workflow process messaging system into the application. This messaging system enables workers to communicate with each other in real-time, improving collaboration and productivity. The system includes unique features such as the ability to attach files and images to messages, which can help workers troubleshoot issues more effectively.
In addition, we have included an SMS appointment confirmation and reminder system that automatically sends messages to customers to confirm appointments and remind them of upcoming visits. This system can help improve customer satisfaction and reduce no-shows, which can have a significant impact on business operations.
Through our standard process analysis approach and working closely with BookIT’s internal Project Lead we defined a workflow process that would work seamlessly for both retail shop owners and installers. We identified the workflow that presented the least compromise between the "ideal" workflow and the workflow being followed by most of BookIT's target customers.
Given the highly manual nature of the current process, we recognised that human factors and change management were critical to the success of the project. We carefully considered these factors and implemented measures to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.
To reduce the budget and time-to-market, the choice was to build and deploy the solution on top of Creative Intersection's ciSUITE: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, which has been a powerful tool in our toolkit for years. We customised the platform to include specific workflows and functionality that were unique to BookIT's needs. By leveraging our existing proprietary platform, we were able to develop and deploy a custom solution quickly without sacrificing quality or BookIT’s functional requirements.
The Dashboard features allows managers to, create and share widgets to staff to keep them on target and migrate projects through important milestones in the customer journey. The widgets can be setup to expose new opportunities from the data being collected within the program and expressed in easy-to-understand formats.
Internal Team Calendar
Another important feature is the internal team calendar which allows for individual staff members to arrange their daily activities and making those activities visible to the rest of the team. Changes and new appointments can be added, notes taken, reminders made to keep the team on target.
Last Minute Booking
Retail admin can post a job to a variety of installers in a specific location within an instant. This then allows installers to apply for the job and shop owners can view their rates, profile, and references prior to accepting their application. This is not only a way to solve an urgent installation problem but a great way to network with skilled installers within the area.
The installation calendar provides a centralised and streamlined view of all installation appointments for the retailer across all installers, helping to improve efficiency. It allows users to view appointments via month/week/day layouts, filter appointments by status, installer and many more, plus assign new appointments to installers. By integrating with the rest of the BookIT system and providing automated notifications and real-time updates, the installation calendar helps to reduce the risk of errors and delays.
The sample register feature is designed to provide a quick overview of product samples, which customers have/previously had samples, and each sample's current status. It allows users to set up automated reminder messages that can be sent to customers who have not returned their samples after a certain period, for example, 30 days.
The BookIT project has been a resounding success, achieving its goals of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of installation management and customer service. The robust and flexible web application for desk-based workers, alongside the iOS and Android mobile apps for in-field workers, have enabled users to perform their key roles without the noise of unnecessary features, resulting in streamlined workflows and reduced manual labour.
The BookIT project has exceeded expectations, delivering tangible benefits for over 1,600 retailers and installers throughout Australia.
"Working with the CI team on BookIT has been a pleasure throughout the design, development, and maintenance phases. They helped guide us to build productive and functional processes, and create an ease of flow to the app and software. Developing such a boutique program for our industry has created very unique challenges, which the team supports to problem-solve and build niche solutions in a clear and simple process for our customers.
We look forward to continuing to work and develop our program with the Creative Intersection team."
Luke Sturgess, Co-owner