Smart Way Facts

Tech Stack

  • Kotlin Android
  • JAVA
  • Mongo DB
  • Spring WebFlux

Methodology

  • Agile
  • Asana
  • Google Docs
  • Git
  • Swagger

Overview

The client is one of the market leaders in the Logistics and Customs Brokerage industries in Ukraine. It is a trusted service provider that offers a complete package of transportation and logistics, customs, and financial services that are aimed at improving the international trade process. The company has years of experience in providing complex services of transportation and delivering shipments between Ukraine and any part of the world. The client conducted market research and found out that Ukrainian truck drivers need a service and mobile application for reducing complex legal paperwork. Nowadays, digitization is a global trend, so the company decided to be a part of this movement and introduce an innovative product that would make the life of drivers much easier.

SPD Group was chosen as a business advisor and software development partner for this project because we have 15 years of proven expertise and build a name for ourselves in Ukraine delivering successful projects for different industries. It was exciting for SPD Group to be involved in creating this B2C solution from scratch, so the partnership took off fast in May 2019 and quickly started providing the first results.

Business Goals

The main business goals of introducing the mobile application are:

  • Solving pain points of drivers-carriers at the Ukrainian customs
  • Digitization of processes at customs for driver-carriers
  • Improving customer experience
  • Introducing innovative and unique services for the Ukrainian market

Technical Challenges

The development of an application itself is hard to consider a technical challenge because we have enough experience and expertise to provide a predictable high-quality end product. However, there are some other challenges worth mentioning in this project:

  • Providing accurate results at the discovery phase
  • Executing precise business analysis based on requirements
  • Integrating a mobile application with Odoo and other systems

Solution

This project is quite unique for SPD Group because we took over the entire process of business analysis and solution design, not just building a product according to the presented specifications. SPD Group had to analyze the business processes of different customer departments and make them work in cohesion in a single mobile application.

“For the discovery phase, we formed a team of 3 experts, including a software architect, on the SPD Group side. We had never worked in this domain but learned about it rigorously to maximize the value of our expertise. After a series of meetings and interviews with the client, we collected the information about the business processes and aggregated it into Qml charts, BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) diagrams, UML diagrams, and specifications. As a result of our analysis, we presented the options for software solutions that would be best for this case.”
Anna Duma, Product Manager

It became clear that there is no off-the-shelf solution that would contain the expected list of features of the mobile application. Our team recommended the client a customized version of Odoo CRM for covering a part of the functionality (internal processes in particular). The rest of the functionality was set to be covered by a mobile application built from scratch. We provided time and budget estimates and documentation to the client and completed all the actions for the discovery phase.

Any software development company could potentially work with the client based on our research, but the client studied the offers on the market and decided to continue our partnership and delegate the creation of an app to us. For the implementation of Odoo the client hired another company that we proposed for that job. The client decided that the native Android app would be the most fitting option for the first iteration of the project.

We formed the following dedicated development team for the task:

  • BA/Product Manager
  • Three Android developers
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Quality Automation Engineer
  • Java Developer

We initially decided to collaborate with the client on the basis of the Managed Product engagement model, and the size and team composition had proven to be perfect for the continuous development of an application.

“After the beginning of the development, the idea of a Smart Way app was presented at 14th Pitch Day by Ukrainian Startup Fund. Our client placed second among the Ukrainian IT-startups and received additional funding for building the Smart Way app.”
Anna Duma, Product Manager

Seamless integration is always a tall task that requires a lot of time and effort. The development of the app started approximately at the same time as the company-wide implementation of Odoo. We decided to code a back-end part, building an API in particular, to connect the mobile app with Odoo.

“The biggest challenge we had to overcome was not the coding, but the communication between our team and the team that implemented Odoo. We had some constructive disagreements on the best ways to go on with the project and had to make a lot of adjustments between CRM and the mobile application for maximum performance. For example, we had differences in the structure of data, sometimes it did not match between the two. So, we needed to decide whether the API or Odoo modules had to be changed in each particular case.”
Dmitry Shevchenko, Java Developer

Other technical highlights include:

  • Autotests helped to reduce the amount of manual Quality Assurance by 70%
  • Machine Learning capabilities were implemented in the application as a client requirement. That’s why the data in the app is structured in a specific way and is consistent. Smart Way app is capable of collecting the fullest raw data for the opportunity of Machine Learning future introduction
  • Mongo DB, a non-relational, document-oriented database, was chosen to store data of the same type fast
  • Spring WebFlux technology was chosen for achieving maximum efficiency in the usage of server capabilities in the communication between the mobile application and Odoo

Results

We developed an Android version of the Smart Way application, and it is now being actively tested by the drivers, and soon it will be available to download on Google Play. Unfortunately, due to NDA, we can’t reveal the complete list of features, but we can say that SPD Group delivered high-quality software that is seamlessly integrated with Odoo.

Currently, the team from SPD Group continues building new modules for the application and the native IOS version of an app is in plans. Our experts are also involved in helping the client in meetings with Ukrainian customs to make the Smart Way app a nation-wide standard in the Logistics and Customs Brokerage industries.

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Roman Chuprina Technical journalist at SPD Group, covering AI/ML, IoT, and Blockchain topics with articles and interviews. March 16, 2021