A new mobile app is helping a Wales-based sealant specialist achieve its ambitious growth target of doubling its turnover within two years, by enabling improved staff efficiency.
The app, designed and developed by Bristol-based Mubaloo, and made possible in part thanks to Welsh Government funding, has been created to make S&D Sealants’ operating model more efficient, helping the business to grow.
The main purpose of the app is to allow S&D Sealants applicators to input job information on site, add photos and additional details to job files, access payment information and deliver information back to head office in real time.
The app has been designed to work on the Google Nexus 7 and took four months to develop from start to finish.
It is also hoped that the app will enable S&D, which operates UK-wide, to improve overhead recovery, reduce errors and allow the company to expand its service offering, including integrating the firm’s recently launched cosmetic repair business. Calculations show that the app will have paid for itself in about 18 months’ time.
Nick Jones, Managing Director of Chepstow-based S&D Sealants, said: “Our business relies on being able to move quickly and invoice within a week of work being completed. With work taking place on up to 400 sites a week, that is no easy feat. Our existing processes were just too time consuming and we needed to change in order to grow.
“Thanks to the Support for Innovation scheme from the Welsh government, we were able to look at solutions that we previously might not have considered.”
S&D spoke to a number of different companies before signing up with Mubaloo.
Nick said: “Mubaloo worked closely with us to understand our processes and the areas that an app could be used as a tool for the field team. It was imperative that whatever we created was easy to use and required minimal training to prevent contractors from reverting back to paper. So far our trials have been a great success and the app has fundamentally improved the way we do business.”
Mubaloo worked with S&D at every stage of the process from defining strategy behind the app, right through to development and deployment. As part of the strategy, S&D wanted to deploy a device to its installers. The Android Nexus 7 was recommended as it provides stock Android at a cost effective price.
Gemma Coles, director of mobile strategy at Mubaloo said: “S&D is typical of many companies, large and small, that had become accustomed to working in a specific way, but found themselves limited by resources. They were in a catch 22 situation where they were unable to grow their contract staff or admin team.
“Computers had such a big impact to people working in offices; it is now mobiles that are changing the way people in the field work. By keeping them connected and allowing them to focus on their job, rather than admin, S&D Sealants will be able to focus on future growth.”
The app will be distributed by S&D Sealants using the Play Store to 60+ of their installers. Secure sign-on provides added protection should a device go missing. Job information is stored offline and sent to the company when the device has a Wi-Fi connection.
With a network of offices across the UK, S&D offers true national coverage by using a group of local sealant operatives to carry out specific projects. Their UK office expansion includes bases in Exeter, Wakefield, Fareham, Leeds, Bristol and Romford.
S&D regularly works with a wide variety of well-known construction companies including BAM, Balfour Beatty, Willmott Dixon, Mace, Sir Robert McAlpine and Morgan Sindall, Wates, Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Barratt Homes, Bovis Homes St Modwen, Lovells, Miller Homes, Bellway Homes.