A construction contractor’s workplace is at the job site, whether that be on the side of a road or in the middle of a major commercial development, usually away from the normal office amenities of desks, computers, and Wi-Fi.

This is the clientele of Foley Equipment, which sells and rents Caterpillar machines and parts: contractors who need to stay connected to the equipment that will get the job done, often in areas where being connected is difficult.

The Ask

Foley wanted to ensure that information regarding its equipment stayed with clients wherever they went. A mobile app was the logical choice, but since many of these job sites are in remote locations, it was important the app contained offline features so the app was usable without Wi-Fi or large amounts of cell phone data. Foley came to DEG with two main problems to solve: how to allow potential and current clients to view its equipment catalog offline, and allowing clients to view the machines they were currently renting and request support and pick-up services.

DEG’s mobile app kept Foley contractors connected to the equipment that will get the job done at remove job sites.

The Answer

Before building the app, DEG assisted in consolidating all of the information Foley was trying to get into its customer’s hands. DEG built a CMS to not only bring the equipment and rental data together, but also to ensure that Foley’s back office system and online catalog matched at all times. As development continued on the CMS, DEG began work on the app, which was built on Xamarin and compatible with both iOS and Android.

Every feature of the app was designed and built with the user experience at the forefront. Because clients are always in need of the most up-to-date information, the app automatically checks for a new version of the online catalog each time the app is opened. Along with being able to view the catalog and request support in offline mode, customers are also able to submit a reservation request that is queued and submitted as soon as the app is connected to Wi-Fi. Another major feature was making the app location aware, so that when searching for Foley rental locations, the app uses the device’s current location to automatically detect the nearest Foley location. Users also have the ability to set a preferred location, which is automatically selected based on the device’s location. DEG also met another request of letting users compare similar pieces of equipment, a unique feature designed specifically for the native app to enhance user experience.

The app uses the device’s current location to automatically detect the nearest Foley location.

The Results

DEG staggered the availability of the features throughout multiple app releases, with the first release of the app launching in October 2015. The first release included the equipment catalog, location lookup, and account access features, while the ability to view current rentals and use Foley support came with the second release several months later. DEG is continuing to refine the app’s features and enhancing the user experience, releasing a third version of the app in May 2016 and planning additional releases to accomplish more around the location-aware enablement. With DEG’s help, Foley customers now have the equipment information and resources they need to get the job done, no matter where their workplace takes them next.

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