Developing custom software to manage operation schedules in construction
How Aciron does it
When a whiteboard is involved for scheduling purposes, the process will get messy. The construction team was looking for a custom database. Aciron was brought in to create a smoother, automated scheduling application. The client would use it for jobs, requests, and seasonal information. The new web application was user-friendly and covered all of the client's needs.
"The CEO is extremely intelligent and offers value through his unique perspective and development ideas. The team has consistently exceeded expectations through creative thinking and intelligent recommendations. Despite project manager turnover, they held to meeting cadences and provided progress updates on a regular basis. They're active communicators with a willingness to collaborate with clients."
A construction company that installs and services a wide range of construction specialty products noticed inefficiencies in the way resources were being scheduled for jobs. The company was using a manual scheduling process to allocate resources assigned to jobs on any given day. Forecasting and scheduling resources was challenging, and the company was experiencing issues with overall calendar organization and job visibility.
Requesting and scheduling jobs also involved a lot of paperwork. In order to improve organizational efficiency and communication, the company was looking to move away from their manual process to a custom scheduling application. The construction company had already established a collaborative partnership with Aciron Consulting on a prior custom application project and were impressed with the results, so they reached out to Aciron again for the development of the custom scheduling application.
Aciron began the project by meeting with client stakeholders, including both project managers and schedulers, to determine current pain points in their scheduling process. Schedulers were using a whiteboard with magnets to organize the company's jobs. To thoroughly understand this manual process, Aciron performed a current state assessment. Through conversations with all of the stakeholders, the Aciron team was able to get a detailed understanding of the needs and priorities of each role, and how those needs would translate into requirements for the project. Aciron provided thoughtful feedback about the current scheduling process and gave recommendations on how to automate the process using a custom scheduling application.
After requirements were finalized and the new scheduling process was determined, Aciron prepared storyboards and process flow diagrams to demonstrate the flow and the visual appearance of the application. Aciron maintained open lines of communication with the client throughout this process, providing regular status updates and incorporating client feedback into the project.
Development and testing of the custom scheduling application proceeded, implementing the agreed-upon functionality and design. A group of the client's schedulers and project managers then participated in user acceptance testing ("UAT") in order to provide feedback on the system, allowing Aciron to make final adjustments that optimized the user experience.
Solution: Custom Database
Our team developed a database-driven, web-based application that streamlines the client's scheduling process. The scheduling application facilitates communication between the project managers who oversee jobs and the field service managers who assign installers to each job.
The application's user interface features drag-and-drop functionality, which makes scheduling jobs easy and intuitive. The scheduling application is also integrated with the previous custom application that Aciron had built for the client, allowing a seamless experience for users. In addition, the application has given the client more insight into their scheduling process: each user has a personalized dashboard with an up-to-date job calendar that provides an at-a-glance snapshot of all scheduled jobs, as well as any unscheduled requests. Administrators can also run reports to track inefficiencies, such as cancellations and last-minute requests from project managers.
Since implementing this new, streamlined scheduling process, the client has been able to schedule jobs more efficiently. The custom application has eliminated much of the friction that frustrated both project managers and field service managers when using the manual process, and as a result, the company has improved productivity.