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CustomEase - Case study hero desktop

CustomEase: cloud-based application for day-to-day operations automation

How we created a cloud-based application to automate operations of an interior design company with custom CRM, CMS, ERP, and team communication features.

Summary:

  • Client

    Granite State Cabinetry

    Country

    US

  • Project scope and technology

    Ruby on Rails Development, UX/UI Design

    Industry

    eCommerce, Interior Design

  • Team Composition

    2 Ruby on Rails Developers, 1 Product Designer, 1 Project Manager

    Work duration

    9 months

Granite State Cabinetry is a family business, which since 1996 has been designing and installing cabinets in new and remodeled homes in Southern New Hampshire. So far, it has completed over 10,000 cabinetry projects.

Challenge:

The client came to us with software that he already used in his daily work - the CustomEase app and wanted to develop new functions and fully leverage the power of customer data collected in the course of previous years.

The software was developed from 2016 to 2019 by the client's development team and collected valuable info, including business data. By August 2019 the company's database contained 2000 customer records including prospects not sold and 1700 individual project records. Each of these records included information on price, product, services, contracts, schedules, the responsible team, and other related information.

After analyzing the client's current situation and technological needs, we came to the conclusion that adding new features introduced too much change to the codebase so we decided to re-write it from scratch.

With the new version of the software, two requirements appeared:

  • universal - the possibility of using the application in similar companies, not only by our Client,
  • scalable - ready for the big growth of CustomEase, increasing customer base, and team.

Process:

After analysis of the old code, it turned out that it is of low quality, adding new functionalities will be difficult and expensive, so our recommendation was to rewrite the application. The client agreed to this solution.

We started with 1 month of product discovery. The Project Manager and Designer worked with the client in order to define the high-level scope of the project. Product discovery involved:

  1. Gathering business requirements
  2. Preparing high-level start-to-end user flow
  3. Preparing wireframes based on the user flow
  4. Preparing final designs based on wireframes 

After product discovery, we started development using Agile Scrum and worked in 2 weeks sprints.

The development was based on the plan created together with the owners, which included adding new features, implementing new integration, and finally preparing the application for sale to other companies.

The next step was app redesign and implementation of UI/UX.

We also provided ongoing support and maintenance.

During the tests, the client was collecting feedback from end-users and we were implementing changes.

The last step was to assist and support the implementation of the application.

We have used the following technologies: Ruby on Rails for development Heroku for hosting and Stripe for payment system integration.

Why did we decide to go with Ruby on Rails? 

Ruby on Rails was used since the old application was written in it and we hope to re-use some parts of the code to speed up the development. Other than that Ruby on Rails is a good option when it comes to writing scalable products from scratch quickly.

Rafal Camlet

Senior Ruby on Rails developer

The application is still under development and has not yet been deployed at the Client's company.

Outcome:

The new application, CustomEase, although still in production, is faster, simpler to maintain the code, and has gained new functionality: integration with Outlook Calendar, a main dashboard for the user, and payments integration.

The new app contains the following modules:

  • CRM - Customer Relationship Management - a module for collecting customer information for communication, sales, and after-sales service;
  • CMS - Contract and Order Management System - module for generating sales contracts and for monitoring and managing orders;
  • ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning - module for schedule management, synchronization with the calendar, and setting reminders;
  • Team Communications - module to integrate e-mails, messages, phone calls, and photos into one thread, which can be sorted and searched by client or project.

With the rewriting, the application has become scalable and possible to implement and use by other similar businesses.

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