Custom SAAS ERP / CRM Platform for Car Service Stations
Belitsoft has developed multi-tenant SAAS platform with ERP and CRM systems' features from scratch for the Client. By the end of 2017, this platform is widely used by 200+ customers of our Client in Canada and has English, French, and Spanish language versions.
- Technologies and platforms: Server side: AMP, Yii2; Client side: Bootstrap, React.JS; DBPlatform: MySQL Tests: Codeception (Acceptance tests).
- Effort: 200 man-months
Our Client and its Customers
Our Client is a Canadian enterprise firm that provides auto repair software for car service stations.
The Client came to Belitsoft with the idea of a complex brand-new auto repair management software for its customers to automate their business processes.
The repair shop software was supposed:
- to be developed as a SAAS (software as a service); it means that the platform’s clients (car service stations) pay a fixed amount for using the platform without installing any additional software. The owner of the platform (our client) is searching for new customers for his platform, registers them on it, trains them to work with the platform and guarantees the security of data stored in the cloud. All rights of the platform belong to the owner of the platform and the appropriate data inside of the platform – to his customers.
- to have functions of an ERP-system (a software for the management of a company’s workforce and financial resources with the aim of reducing costs) and a CRM-system (a software for the management of a company’s customers with the aim of maximizing profits).
- to be helpful (multifeatured) and cost-effective (scalable) both for large car service centers with subdivisions in different locations and small local auto body repair shops.
Our Approach and Results
During the project implementation, it was agreed to use Time & Materials / Agile model that makes it possible for our Client to manage the development process effectively, change plans and requirements when it is needed, and get improved app functionality on a regular basis.
We had 1-week sprints and our Client was in touch with us during 3 working overlapping hours in Canada and Belarus (Belitsoft's developers left office 8 PM Belarus time and client came to work 9 AM Canada time). This really helped us to be flexible and to make requested changes on very short notices.
The Client used Jira tasks for the management of our work. Over a period of one year of the complex developing process, we delivered the 1.0 stable version.
To increase stability and quality of the system, we followed QA Automation and manual QA procedures. This provided our Client with a lot of feedback about the system components and helped identify disputable moments and weak spots. After the testing was done, the quality and stability of the system had increased.
We offered our Client to make this project as a multi-tenant because it has several advantages over single-tenant application:
- A single-tenant system is generally more expensive than a multi-tenant solution.
- A single-tenant system is generally not the most efficient use of resources unless it’s fully loaded. For each instance, the underlying software, such as the operating system and runtime libraries, must be updated.
The impressive feature set of this multi-tenant auto repair shop software for car service stations was developed from scratch:
- The wide range of reports, including reports for the car service station’s top-managers: financial reports (how much the company has earned from each order), reports about cost-effectiveness of employees and services, business reports about dealing with 3rd party suppliers and so on.
- Customers and orders management tools. Car service station’s managers can add information about their customers and orders (including the list of current vehicle’s problems), order’s tasks, order's cost, schedule lead-time and etc.
- Workload Management tools. The system defines automatically, which car service station’s employee (mechanics) is busy at the current time with what task and who is available for new tasks from the order.
- Time tracking system. Mechanics can fill in information about tasks they are currently working on, enter spent hours, costs etc.
- Automatic notification system notifies customers (including SMS-notification) about their orders’ statuses (was resolved or was postponed because repair parts are required) etc.
- Procurement management tools help in managing repair parts suppliers: for example, managers can mark “bad” suppliers.
- Media Storage synchronization. In order to save videos and high resolution images we have added an option to choose any major media storage system currently available - Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, CosmoSync, OwnCloud.
- Integration with 3rd party Software. For additional customer convenience, we have added seamless integration with multiple systems like Arms, Podium, PPG Paint, Akzo paint, PBS, One Local, Autohouse, etc.
- Mobile Applications (for both Android and iOS). The apps are intended for front office employees and Repair Technicians so they don't need to be tied to a work computer, can track time, take photos, videos, and send them to the system from the place where they were taken.
- Exporting (desktop version). Now the users can easily export their data in a way fitting for major accounting software (BusinessWorks, Sage 50, Acomba X, etc.)
- WorkBoards for Big screen TVs. We have successfully designed and implemented multiple WorkBoards for the shops (Arrival, Performance, Daily, Custom) to track important information about the current work process.
Belitsoft's SaaS developers have successfully delivered the required automotive repair software in time and on the budget. Using this auto repair shop management software, our Client helps car services stations to automate their business processes.
Belitsoft is continuing to perform maintenance and improvements of this auto shop software.