Creating a powerhouse app for an equipment manufacturer

Our client, an agricultural equipment manufacturer, sought us out to create a new tool for their retail customers. They wanted to help their customers understand how their fleet of equipment is used, find inefficiencies, and make informed decisions.

Together, we built a web app that resulted in a 99% decrease in the time it takes to search, analyze, and display data for tens of thousands of machines. It’s the first app to combine equipment and agricultural data and present it to users in a way that highlights potential issues.

What We Did

Web Development, Test Driven Development, Product Ownership, Data Analytics, Data Visualization

Tech Stack

AWS, JavaScript, React, Mobx, Node.JS, Okta OAuth, Jenkins, GitHub, Rally (CA Agile Central)

Opportunity

Our client is an agricultural equipment manufacturer with a wide range of offerings, including tools for their retailer customers. These retailers, in turn, provide a wide range of agronomic services to their farming customers. 

Our client sought to create a new offering for its customers and for the industry – a tool that would allow retailers to better understand how their fleet of equipment is being used, find inefficiencies, and make better equipment replacement decisions. Up until now, the retailers did not have much in the way of digital or application support. 

Based on our previous experience with their domain, specific tech stack, heavily customized development ecosystem, and company processes, our client engaged SEP to create a web application.

Solution

Since our client was targeting this new user segment with our work together, their unique needs led us to establish cutting-edge practices and processes while building the web app. We pioneered approaches to tackle two key needs: the ability to view data across organizations (within our client and its customers) and high performance with extremely large data loads.

The app was designed to handle more data than any of our client’s other applications. It was the first app to combine both equipment and agricultural data and present it to users in a way that highlighted potential issues. To find those potential equipment issues in the data, we needed to find ways to encode complex business rules easily. We created visualizations that allow users to pinpoint outliers among tens of thousands of pieces of equipment and discern what isn’t being used efficiently. 

This app was also one of the first of our client’s apps to integrate with other SaaS offerings created by other business units. Since the app consumed data from these other sources within our client’s organization, we investigated ways to increase their performance as well. Because of this data-at-scale need, we kept performance as a top concern throughout our engagement.

Due to the cutting-edge nature of the features we were building, we contributed code and documentation back to our client’s larger development ecosystem. We were closely involved in software community of practice meetings, presenting on many topics that led to the establishment of best practices for our client’s organization.

Results

The performance improvements we made to the app resulted in a 99% decrease in the time it takes to search, analyze, and display data for tens of thousands of machines. 

This powerhouse application is in the hands of our client’s customers, incorporating features that they had been clamoring for. It’s already helping drive adoption of other tools, as it nicely complements them. Our work together showed an underserved segment of our client’s customer base that they were being heard and cared for by our client.

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Let’s develop something special.

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