Thursday, July 27, 2017

Case Study: Sales Tracker

Customer: Tom Barrow Company
Company Overview

Tom Barrow Company is a manufacturer's representative for commercial HVAC products, carrying a broad range of products manufactured by the finest brands in the HVAC industry. With offices in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, they are the largest commercial HVAC rep in the Southeast.

Part I – Design and Develop Sales Tracker

Tom Barrow has many different locations, each with their own sales staff. The process of tracking sales and commissions was a very tedious and challenging activity. Tom Barrow needed an automated system to track all sales activities, calculate commissions, and provide sales analysis reports to assist in managing their sales program.

The Solution

Working closely with subject matter experts at Tom Barrow, PhaseAlpha developed Sales Tracker - a secure web portal facilitating their sales staff at all locations to centrally manage and track all of their sales activities. Integrating the data from Sales Tracker with their accounting system, over 50 commission and sales analysis reports were created to assist with sales program management. With Sales Tracker, Tom Barrow gained almost real-time visibility to their sales process.

Technologies Used
  • Microsoft.Net
  • Silverlight / HTML / CSS / JavaScript
  • MVVM Pattern
  • Telerik Silverlight Controls
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft IIS Server

Part II – Migrate Sales Tracker from Silverlight to HTML5

In 2010, PhaseAlpha developed Sales Tracker for Tom Barrow to track all sales activities and provide analytics for sales trends and commissions. The application is critical because is used by management, sales, and support personnel across all Tom Barrow locations. The Microsoft Silverlight platform was used to develop Sales Tracker, which at the time was state of the art. The advent of new technologies and industry standards such as HTML5 (released in 2014) overshadowed the Silverlight platform, which could not have been anticipated going into production in 2010. Tom Barrow was faced with the reality that as early as the end of 2016, Sales Tracker would no longer run on most common browsers.

The Solution

PhaseAlpha migrated and re-developed Sales Tracker in HTML5. Doing so, improved the performance and UI for all browsers as well as making the system viable for mobile devices. By leveraging HTML5 and responsive UI techniques, Tom Barrow can run Sales Tracker on iPads as well as their Windows desktop platforms.

Technologies Used
  • Microsoft.Net
  • HTML5 / CSS3 / JavaScript
  • AngularJS and Bootstrap
  • MVC Pattern
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft IIS Server

Case Study: ICG SCORM Emulator

Company Overview

Infinitude Creative Group (ICG) develops training modules used in corporate Learning Management Systems (LMS).

The Challenge

Many of the current Learning Management Systems (LMS) do not support mobile learning programs. This gap in technology was a real issue for delivering training programs to clients that are increasingly going mobile.

The challenge was creating a platform that would work on any device and generically deliver training programs, while tracking student interactions for reporting and analysis.

The Solution

PhaseAlpha developed SCORM Emulator - a platform and device agnostic technology capable of integrating with HTML5 training modules and communicating with a secure web service to track all student interactions. The solution included a verification system on the client that insures all data is collected even on unstable WiFi connections. SCORM Emulator also integrates on the back-end with any LMS to deliver SCORM compliant data.

Technologies Used
  • Linux/Apache Web Server
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • JavaScript

Case Study: Midwest Burs Mobile Sales Catalog

Customer: Midwest Burs, DentSPLY International
Company Overview

DENTSPLY International Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of dental and other consumable healthcare products.

Their broad global product platform helps dental professionals serve patients' oral health care for a lifetime, from preventive services to tooth replacement. DENTSPLY oral health products range from general dental consumables and laboratory products to products supporting the dental specialty markets of orthodontics, endodontics and implants."

The Challenge

Competition at dental offices requires sales personnel to be very agile and efficient to be able to provide quick information and cross-reference equipment for their potential clients. There was a need to provide a mobile catalog with a competitive cross-reference that could be used on location to enable the sales person to quickly assist with product replacement and fulfillment.

The Solution

PhaseAlpha developed a mobile dynamic product catalog app designed for the tablet form factor. The app provides multiple ways for sales personnel to lookup product based on model, type, and even by competitive part number. Images of the parts help in identifying the correct products needed. As the app starts up, it automatically checks for updates on the central server database for any catalog updates. This enables a single point maintenance system for managing the mobile catalog and insuring all sales personnel keep up with the latest product data. In addition, any competitive lookup that is not found sends a notification back to the server so inside product sales can analyze bad searches and continually work to improve the cross-reference for the sales force.

Technologies Used

Case Study: SSK Mobile AAD Calculator

Company Overview

SSK, Inc., founded in 1983, manufactures, services and integrates advanced technology parachute systems and equipment. In 1991, SSK became the U.S. Service Center for the German-produced CYPRES AAD (Automatic Activation Device) manufactured by Airtec, and is now responsible for the maintenance and support of 75,000+ CYPRES units located in the Western Hemisphere.

The Challenge

AAD’s require a special “CYPRES” code to be entered based on the altitude and barometric pressure of each individual jump. Many years ago, they provided a PDA version calculator to make it easy for parachutists to enter the altitude and pressure to derive the correct CYPRES code. SSK engaged PhaseAlpha to develop a mobile version of the CYPRES calculator so these calculations could be performed on any mobile device.

The Solution

PhaseAlpha utilized the proprietary CYPRES calculations to develop an improved mobile interface, enabling the calculator to work on iOS and Android devices in portrait mode only. It includes error handling to keep users from entering in the wrong criteria and constrains calculations to only valid ranges of inputs. The calculator allows users to work in either Metric or English units and allows inHG or mbar inputs for the Altimeter settings to support US and international use of the calculator.

Technologies Used
  • Hybrid iOS and Android Mobile Apps
  • Android Cordova 4.1.1
  • iOS Cordova 3.8.0
  • HTML5 / CSS3
  • JavaScript

Case Study: Lau Mobile Fan Law Calculator

Company Overview

Lau Industries was founded in 1931. They are a leading manufacturer of fan components and assemblies world-wide. Their product ranges from simple fan blades to highly-engineered fan parts. With over 50 patents related to heating and ventilation comfort, Lau innovates solutions to meet the world’s changing energy and noise requirements while delivering the highest quality product as economically as possible.

The Challenge

Decades ago, Lau provided a mechanical circular slide-rule calculator to help engineers and customers in calculating fan law properties to determine conditions (E.g. Air Flow, Pressure, Speed, and Power) for their fan applications. They decided it was time to develop a mobile version of the calculator so anyone could perform the calculations using their smartphones. Lau desired an app that provided a throwback look and feel like the old circular calculator so it felt similar using the original mechanical device.

The Solution

PhaseAlpha developed a mobile version of the calculator that uses circular dials that users can slide to input their desired conditions and calculate the resulting conditions needed for their fan application. The mobile version provides both textbox and slide input so the user can enter numbers either way. The results of the calculations can be shared via email or text message directly from the smartphone. In addition to the mobile version, PhaseAlpha provided a web-based version of the calculator Lau uses on their website.

Technologies Used
  • Hybrid iOS and Android Mobile Apps
  • Android Cordova 4.1.1
  • iOS Cordova 3.8.0
  • JQuery Mobile 1.4.5
  • D3 DOM Framework
  • HTML5 / CSS3
  • JavaScript