PumpDispatch, Dispatching Web App
BJCP (Big Johnson Concrete Placement) is a concrete pumping company based in Florida. They approached me in September because the software they use to dispatch concrete pumping equipment and dispatchers to job sites was acquired by another company.
With the end of the year approaching, BJCP had 3 options: 1) migrate over to the new platform (of the company who acquired the platform they used), 2) find another platform and try to make it work for their business, or 3) build their own platform.
After much discussion, they decided in October to build their own platform and we only had till the third week in December to have it finished, which was 2.5 months. Stressful? You bet, but we got it done.
The existing legacy platform worked well for the most part, but BJCP needed changes made to improve their efficiency. Existing platform problems included:
• Couldn't customize columns to see what’s most important to admin user
• Archived projects – didn’t have the ability to search projects name / address in whole or part and pull up previous projects
• Audit – they had the ability to delete users and data, which is a huge audit concern and shouldn’t be allowed
• Google Maps – couldn’t geolocate a job site by clicking on a link and Google Maps appearing. Concrete trucks way a ton, so you have to take specific routes to projects/job sites to catastrophic events
• Unable to track when the pour was scheduled, when it was moved, and when it occurred. It’s important to see the history of schedule changes, so they can refresh the job supers memory to provide the correct lot numbers
• Unused reports
• Unable to text and email operators updates on-the-go
• Unresponsive – not mobile friendly (tablet and phone)
• Small typography, fields, buttons, etc – difficulty reading
• Outdated interface design
• Unable to put concrete pours on hold and see which pours are on hold
Once we identified BJCP’s problems, we planned out the phases of the project from design and prototyping, testing, development, QA, data migration, launch and final QA. After running through the existing platform, we saw where efficiencies could be made. We put together a list of questions to be presented in my next onsite meeting.
I stopped by the office to interview users, gather requirements and feedback on the existing software. Before we met, I had already made some quick digital wireframes to give them a visual on some changes we’d like to see. They were relieved to see that we were on the right track, identifying and addressing the main pain points in the few wireframes shown.
It’s important to remember that BJCP is the customer and user. They know this industry, the business, and what features they need and want to see as well as other companies. I only had 2 weeks to design and prototype the web app, leaving us with 2 months of development.
Luckily, we had an existing platform to reverse engineer; otherwise, I don’t think we would’ve completed the project within the 2.5 months. BJCP was very responsive, which greatly helped speed up the project. We were all anxious about the deadline.
We’ve done 5+ phases to address speed issues and usability, design and develop mobile and tablet responsive versions, and add new features such as SMS.
The platform, now called PumpDispatch, will be beta tested with other companies in 2018. We’ll address the issues as they arise and update the platform from the feedback we receive.
As for now, BJCP couldn’t be happier with their custom platform. It has revolutionized their business and (potentially) provided them an additional revenue source (SaaS).
We’re excited to be part of this project, helping resolve BJCP’s main issues, streamline their business and build out another division of their business.