Marine Management Software from your mobile device
- May 11th, 2012
We’ve been talking about mobile for a while. People are asking “so where is it?” I’ll get to that. But first lets talk about the goals of our mobile product. We surveyed our customers and what they asked for was a way to unhook themselves from their computers so they can spend more time interacting with customers or doing their job whether that be repairing RVs, building boats or walking the docks. Our survey revealed that “customer service” and “convenience” were the two primary factors in evaluating mobile platforms.
A mobile business app can’t and shouldn’t do everything that the desktop application can do. The key to a mobile app is efficiency and ease of use. So we looked at five key areas of our flagship DockMaster product and asked our customers to rate the need for these components in a mobile app in order of importance, a “5″ being most important and a “1″ being least important. We ask them to rate:
- Access to Customers and Boats
- Work Orders and Time Cards
- Parts Look-up and Physical Inventory
- Access to Slip and Reservations
- Mobile POS and Payments
Access to Customers and Boats was by far the most important to our customers. This is probably because its the one thing that is common across all of our marine customers. Second in importance was Work Orders and Time Cards followed by Parts and Inventory.
Our mobile app was designed with these functional priorities in mind.
From the main menu users can access Customers and Boats, Parts Inventory, Service Modules and Slips / Reservations. Each of these main areas have a plus sign that when tapped gives the users access to the modules themselves. “+” means the menu is collapsed, “-” means the menu is expanded. This type of main menu design should permit us to add more functionality down the road. Let’s walk through the main components of the modules that are complete.
Customers and Boats:
Get Customer Info allows you to enter a first name, last name, phone number or email address associated with a customer. When you tap Submit, the app will retrieve the closest matches to that search criteria. Here the matches associated with “Adam” are shown. You can scroll through the list of names that were retrieved and touch the one you want to get more information on. A pop-up box will emerge showing the customers phone numbers, e-mail address and A/R Balance. Note that “Adam” doesn’t have a cell number listed, so that field is not shown.
You can add a customer to DockMaster by simply tapping the “Add a Customer” button from the main menu. You will be prompted to fill-in first/last name, work phone, mobile phone and email address. The only field required is the last name. Click the “Done” button and then tap Submit. A pop-up will appear showing the newly created Customer ID. It gives you the choice of adding another customer or returning to the main menu.
We are developing the DockMaster Mobile app in full view of the world because we want to share these ideas with our customers and people at interested in this technology. In our next post we will share some of our part’s look-up and bar code scanning functionality.
Please leave us feedback on what you like, what you don’t like or anything else that will add value to this discussion.