Saving employees time with a bespoke mobile app

Helping Wales & West Utilities to make a difference

Administrative tasks place a significant time burden on employees, detracting from their work and their ability to add value to their organisation. Manual processes and poorly designed technology exacerbate this problem, providing user experiences that do not meet employee needs.

At Foundry4, we partner with client organisations to research the needs of end users when it comes to technology, building solutions that drastically improve the working lives of employees and the efficiency of their organisation.

Working with Wales & West Utilities

Wales & West Utilities is a gas distributor operating across Wales and the south west of England.

We worked with Wales & West Utilities to design and build a mobile technology solution for their field engineers. This enabled engineers to capture data more intelligently, and provided a seamless user experience that gave them more time to focus on their work.

How we did it

Working closely with IT architects, wider business stakeholders and end users at Wales & West Utilities, we captured the needs of the field, building several prototypes to gather feedback and validate the initial concept for the technology. We then quickly formed a team to deliver a microservices/event driven architecture on Microsoft Azure and a progressive-web-app (PWA) driven front-end using the Vue.JS framework.

Our delivery approach relied on industry leading agile, user centred design, and DevOps principles and practices. We built an infrastructure-as-code stack on Microsoft Azure, and adopted continuous integration and delivery practices, enabling us to provide field engineers with early versions of the solution and shape it around their feedback.

How we made the difference

Our mobile solution vastly improves the efficiency of field engineers at Wales & West Utilities, saving them several hours each day thanks to intelligent data capture and a simple to use interface.

Field operations are also more streamlined, as we enabled offline working, real-time tracking, device syncing, dynamic form creation, and integration with enterprise services and multiple datasets. Our PWA was able to leverage native device capabilities such as location, notifications, and service worker technology to handle and sync offline data.

Importantly, our solution is also more cost-efficient. Whereas the previous technology involved multiple third-party systems and expensive context switching for users, with the development of the new app, considerable licence costs were saved. This will yield year on year savings for Wales & West Utilities in the future.