MixNow increases productivity for direct selling in the coffee industry with a solution for mobile devices
MixNow is a company that has been developing mobile solutions in the area of sales force automation for many years. One of its longstanding clients is Mokasir’s, a leading Italian distributor and producer of coffee, which has a fleet of agents working throughout Italy.
After many years using a direct selling software solution based on Windows Mobile and CE devices, Mokasir’s decided to equip its sales force with more up-to-date mobile devices.
In particular, the company had requirements that the older Windows devices could not satisfy:
- Complete integration with the existing SAP Business One system, so that the devices could be used not simply as terminals for issuing documents, but as true tools for managing orders, invoices, and transport documents, in addition to inventory monitoring.
- The ability to work online with real-time data and offline in the absence of a network connection.
- A strategy to synchronize devices with the server faster than before, which could easily handle up to 100 simultaneous queries and manage more than 60,000 documents per year.
- An application that could easily interface with a wide range of portable printers, to speed up the sales cycle and complete the on-the-spot purchase process.
A solution was needed that not only had advanced features, but most importantly was well designed from the infrastructure point of view, in order to manage as much data as possible offline without slowing down devices, all the while keeping the database on the mobile device as updated as possible, without consuming battery life too quickly. It was a formidable challenge, and the whole thing was made even more complicated by the need to overcome the difficulties of integration with the SAP system.
After analyzing all the critical aspects of the project, MixNow decided to use Instant Developer to respond to this challenge. MixNow had used Instant Developer in the past for less complicated projects, where short development times were a key factor, but for this new system the complexity was very high, and failure of the project due to selection of an inadequate development platform was a real risk.
MixNow developed the system in three man-months, with only 15 days of testing before obtaining a stable version. Currently, the system comprises:
- Integration with SAP Business One, and with other business management systems
- Printing tax documents directly from the device
- Integration with corporate email
- Dropbox API for file sharing
Mokasir’s was extremely impressed by the innovative features of the product, which immediately brought substantial benefits to all those involved: training of agents was reduced to just four hours, a decrease of 50% compared to the previous solution. In addition, there was a 55% decrease in the time required for commercial and administrative management by the central office. The new system has brought other important benefits, such as increased precision by agents and a greater propensity for entering complete orders, given the ease of use.
I didn't think Instant Developer could also develop enterprise-class mobile systems like MokaSir’s. Moreover, Pro Gamma's structural consulting service was really helpful to understand what synchronization strategies could be used with Instant Developer to achieve our goals. Without their help, I might not have been able to fully understand the great potential of the tool or to complete this project so brilliantly.
Paolo Merlo, CTO, MixNow