G&R Electrical
Background.

G&R Electrical are a traditional electrical contractor based in Wales but operating across the UK, specialising in the Smart Meter utilities sector. Despite their traditional trade – they were keen to embrace new digital technology to create an online solution to manage their stock and record engineer installation activity.

Destination.

An online system integrating features for internal departments connected to a mobile app for use by engineers on the road.

Crafts.

Research & planning | WordPress | Content Management Systems | Digital design | Web development & build | Managed hosting | Bespoke systems | Mobile apps | Progressive web app | User interface

The journey.

We quickly established that G&R had a broad list of requirements but no clear route to get there. Their existing processes were split across spreadsheets and paper-based methods. We offered advice and guidance, and created a clear brief to design and develop a web-based solution to efficiently manage and administer stock both centrally, and remotely.

Digital discovery session showing people planning mobile app and digital system

A solution for everyone.

The final system was to be used in differing ways by the whole Smart Meter Division – from admin staff, to the warehouse team and senior management. The bigger challenge was to enable engineers – working in the field across the UK – to quickly and easily assign their stock to jobs, exchange spares with colleagues, and return faulty hardware to HQ.

The technical challenge.

The use of smart devices for engineers seemed obvious – but locations could sometimes be out of mobile signal with no WiFi – so a key question was how to enable functionality in remote locations?

Couple with this the fact that engineers used their own variety of makes and ages of smartphone. A native application for iOS and Android didn’t seem feasible due to budget… the options were narrowing. Could we make a browser-based solution that would work when there’s not always a signal?

A Smart solution.

We explored various options relating to web and mobile technology considering factors such as data input methods, data storage, cloud systems, and mobile platforms to find a feasible solution that would achieve everything outlined in the brief in a cost effective manner on a tight budget.

Leveraging the versatility of WordPress CMS we thoughtfully designed a digital solution that would work across browsers facilitating use for all users regardless of location or device.

Digital Stock control Progressive Web App shown on smart phone screens

Truly mobile.

Our development team skilfully developed a Progressive Web App capable of running with or without mobile data or WiFi connection that runs on Android and Apple iOS devices giving G&R’s engineers the freedom they required.

Image showing digital structure showing planning and user flow through information architecture of mobile app design

Simplifying complex scenarios.

As the project progressed, we found that there were a range of scenarios that could happen depending on the route the stock took between the various parts of the business and teams. We mapped these variables and routes to ensure that the app and system always knew where items were geographically. We also ensured the user experience was as intuitive as possible to minimise button clicks and transitions between screens.

Quick data input.

As all stock carry barcodes – we utilised the phone’s camera as a barcode scanner which cross references the engineer’s assigned stock and enables engineers to allocate it to a job, transfer to a colleague, or carry out a range of other status updates. This reduces the likelihood of human error whilst items are in their care, and speeds up their workflow. The warehouse team also utilise the scanner for packing and dispatch.

Electrician scans barcode using mobile to enter data into custom designed and developed progressive web app

Dashboard overview.

We designed a simple and user-friendly reporting dashboard for the office administration team to monitor and manage jobs, stock and engineer activity and utilise the data to generate on screen overviews and KPI reports for management and their customers.

Bespoke browser based web dashboard design to view digital data

Result.

An integrated digital stock control system that has improved efficiency and reduced administration time and cost returning twice the investment within the first year.

We loved collaborating on this project with G&R helping them to evolve their business with new digital ways of working, and seeing the tangible benefits of the system. We continue to work with them across various aspects of their digital systems and marketing.