Fuel Storage Solutions approached us to ask if we could build an app to improve their on-site inspections process.
We used PhoneGap to build an app that could be deployed to both Android and iOS devices and improve on-site inspections as well as instantly communicate the data back to head office.
The primary focus of this project was to provide a digital solution to a process which was mainly paper driven up to this point.
FSS site staff were conducting hand-written site inspections and then delivering them in person to the head office on a weekly basis. This increased the lead time for them to be entered in to the system for further action.
We proposed a mobile application which would collect the data into a tablet device, stored locally and then automatically transmitted to a central cloud based system when an internet connection was detected. This meant head office had almost instant access to any data compiled on site (including images), providing a more efficient work process.
As part of the development process, we constructed a cloud based central data management area (integrated directly into the company website and with secure access) which allowed for communication and data transfer between individual mobile devices, and the central database.
The central system also allowed for the company to build bespoke forms for every possible circumstance. Forms were entirely customisable, and when published, could be downloaded directly to individual devices for use. Form examples ranged from comprehensive site inspection protocols to expense and mileage claim forms.
When data was transferred instantly back to the central system, it gave the company head office staff the ability to instantly process results and submissions, even creating pdf documents of the report outcomes for immediate delivery to clients, reducing days (and sometimes weeks) of lead time on report delivery.
PhoneGap is a great tool developed by Adobe to provide bridging technology when developing web based apps. Although it lacks some of the more advanced features of a native app build (such as building for Apple App Store in native Objective-C and Swift), it offers an inexpensive alternative that compiles localised web sites into an app package, capable of interacting with most of a phones in-built features, such as camera, geo-location and most importantly internet access.
What’s perhaps most astounding about PhoneGap is that you can create an app for both Apple iOS and Android at the same time, meaning a single development, rather than two entirely separate projects in different languages.