about the project
The business requirements
The client needed to make more efficient and cost effective a highly cumbersome and manually intensive property inventory audit reporting process.
An inventory clerk would need to produce a report detailing the inventory of a property using a digital camera, pen and paper. The clerk had to manually record the condition of the property and then, back at the office, type a report, upload images and distribute to all parties (the agent, landlord and tenant). This process generally took many days to complete and limited the clerk’s time to three property calls per day.
The client challenged us to build a mobile app to save time and increase the clerk’s productivity. The app had to work across platforms and devices (tablets and smart phones).
Capturing detail was key. The app needed to work offline and store over a 1,000 HD images and content on the device without crashing. On finalising the report and at a click of a button, the report had be distributed to all parties. The initial report was stored in a server until the process was repeated at the end of the tenancy agreement and a final comparison audit was produced to highlight any damage during the tenancy period.
The report had to be produced in 58 different languages.
The app and PDF reports had to be white-labelled.
Our solution was to produce a hybrid app, using an Appcelerator Titanium framework that would work across all platforms and devices.
One of the key technological tasks related to making changes in Appcelerator Titanium’s core files is to enable the app to generate detailed property inventory reports and store 1000’s of images, across multiple devices, without it crashing when offline.
We had to invest a significant amount of time in R&D to both customise and optimise a number of modules to create the required functionality and features. This included translation modules, report production, storage of multiple reports, as well as database architecture to host significant quantities of HD images and reports.
Moreover, we sought to make the application easy to use to ensure it was highly accessible to clerks, regardless of their technical competency level.
The development of the solution involved using technologies such as the Titanium Framework, PHP and Java.
The results were phenomenal and were instantly tangible and measurable.
Inventory clerks could now plan seven calls per property per day instead of three.
The productivity saving (based on a typical sized 2 bedroom flat) succeeded expectations. The average inventory audit cost reduced from over £200 per property to less than a £100.
The app’s success was also recognised publicly. i-Property won ‘Productivity App of the Year 2018’ at the prestigious UK App Awards.