Mobile application to keep multi-sector service provider in check

February 7, 2021

The app adds the mobile capability to the system for our customer’s outbound sales staff to control parts and equipment inventory and communicate with suppliers.

Background

Our customer provides business systems to agriculture, construction, and material handling equipment dealers in the USA and Canada. Their core products include sales and service management, parts and equipment inventory control, all accounting functions, and advanced communications with suppliers. They wanted to add mobile capability to the system for their customer’s outbound sales staff.

Challenges

The mobile system had to run on both Android and iOS devices and connect with the existing IBM iSeries platform used by the company’s 2000+ customers. The mobile application had to support offline operations since the Internet was not available on many farms and construction sights. The mobile devices then had to automatically sync to the customer’s mainframe when the internet was available. The devices had to hold a large amount of data, including customer information, inventories, and sales records.

Solutions

APIs were built to connect The IBM mainframes running at customer sites to a cloud repository for the data. The mobile devices used the data repository to maintain their local database and synchronization with the mainframes.

To speed up development, several of our developers were sent to the company’s facility in the US for several months to work with their mainframe developers.

Impacts

The mobile software has been operating successfully for several years and has been a very welcomed addition to the company’s core products. Many of their customers are using the system and it has been the top-selling feature for the past 2 years