Taylor Digital is known for building great websites and running successful marketing campaigns, but there’s so much more at work – something powerful that helps our clients become leaders in their industries. We’re also in the business of solving problems. While the phrase custom web application doesn’t come up in casual conversation, it’s essentially what we do every day. We take the knotty problems our clients are facing and find solutions.
If you can dream it, we can build it.
What does that look like? The first steps come in working closely with our clients. They walk us through their services, tell us what problem they need to solve and their business goals. They share their industry expertise, telling us the story of their business. Our developers then begin the process of creating a custom web application.
Our custom web application clients usually need to organize large data sets. We’ve worked with clients in industries such as energy, healthcare, hospitality and construction. We use the Scrum process as the development framework process for these types of projects. Scrum was developed “to deal with unpredictability and [solve] complex problems” by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Schwaber and Sutherland developed Scrum in the early 2000s and it’s been wildly successful in helping developers work closely with clients to develop custom web apps and software in stages that are responsive to changes in product scope.
The Scrum framework allows for unpredictability during the development process. In other words, you determine a need or gap and set a goal to resolve that issue. The steps to get to that end goal may not always be clear and there may be discoveries along the way that you didn’t anticipate. With Scrum, you work through Sprints to focus on specific tasks. Each Sprint has a definitive end time and deliverables. Along with daily planning sessions, there are also times set aside for reviewing and refocusing both within a given Sprint and at its conclusion. At Taylor Digital, we work with the Scrum framework on a daily basis.
That’s a primer on how we approach building complex software. But do you need a custom web app or software built just for your company? We created a brief case study based on an amalgam of Taylor Digital clients to demonstrate real world use for custom web applications with automated processes and workflow efficiencies. We’re following that up with a few questions to help you identify whether a customized web application might be just what you’re looking for.
Case Study: The Appraisal Agency
We’ve named our fictional company The Appraisal Agency and for the purposes of this case study, their business is home appraisals. But they could just as easily be a construction inspection company, in auto appraisal or the commercial real estate sector. The following are important factors that we would start looking at:
- The company needs to organize large sets of data.
- They have reps out in the field who need to file lengthy reports.
- If reps spend less time back in the office filing reports, they can do more field appraisals. This translates into higher revenue for the company and represents opportunities for growth and a competitive edge.
With a company such as The Appraisal Agency, we’d set the goal is to have reps filing information, drawings and photos from the field that integrate with the company’s platform. With appraisers using tablets during their inspection of the property, all the required info would auto-populate pre-existing fields and checklists.
The custom app would automatically record, aggregate and sort the following types of data:
- Comps from the neighborhood with photos
- A street map of the address
- Sale and transfer history
- Zoning classifications
- Neighborhood characteristics
- A sketch with approximate dimensions of the property
How do we know this? We work with the client’s existing forms and reports to see what information has to be accumulated and shared. From here, we’d begin designing system-generated reports in order to eliminate or decrease time spent at the office on preparing and filing appraisals using the Scrum framework. These reports could be cross-referenced within the office to allow for a wider view of existing business practices. In turn, this data tells a story about the company and the industry. As part of the Scrum framework, we would work with the client to determine what analytics are most useful for growth and efficient daily operation.
How Do You Know If You Need A Custom Web App?
Real estate is a competitive industry, but so is finance, healthcare and construction – just to name a few. We know that our work for clients in these sectors has given them a leg up on the competition. We worked with one company who bid for a big job where having a customized web app was a requirement. The app we’d built, not only gave them a competitive edge, but they won the bid and got the job.
We’ve developed automated processes that make businesses run more smoothly and efficiently. We set up systems that enable employees to set goals and mark them as completed, creating tangible markers. We also design web apps with the idea that the business will scale and grow. Measuring that growth and setting targets for increased efficiency and revenue are all part of the design.
If you think you might find a custom web app helpful for your company, ask yourself these questions:
- Are there processes or activities that require manual work (data entry, for example) that can be automated to free them up for higher value activities?
- Do you have an idea for something in your industry that no else is currently doing?
- Are you in a niche market? Most of our app clients populate niche markets and find that existing software doesn’t meet their needs.
- What do you need to accomplish? Be as specific as possible about your goals, challenges and the problem you need solved. At our initial meetings with clients, we ask them to tell us the story of what they need and what a perfect system would look like.
As a digital agency, we’re happy to meet with people, talk over their needs and see if we think we can help. This initial assessment is always free. Give us a call. We’d love to hear what’s on your wish list.