When a project wraps up that we are proud of, we can’t wait to share it with you. However some of our clients wish to stay anonymous. To respect our client’s request for privacy we have chosen to refer to them in this story as “The Client” and focus on the work we did. This is a Regroove Success Story.
The Client wanted to become the one-stop-shop for workforce travel solutions with a business-to-business-focused platform. They envisioned various remote/low population areas and industries in construction, forestry, utilities, and emergency response using their app for locating, booking, and managing crew accommodations in remote locations across Canada and the United States.
The Client identified an opportunity to fill this gap in the accommodation marketplace with a niche solution that would help both lodging seekers and providers.
Company work crews were traveling inconvenient distances before their workdays even started when closer accommodations existed. These nearby camps and lodges were empty now that the specific project they were developed for was completed. Companies were unaware of lodging options near their remote jobsites because no travel agent or online booking site had access to them.
Company administrators had to know who to talk to and where to call to find appropriate accommodations for their large work crews for lengthy, and often varied, periods of time. For some projects, the team member count and the number of nights reaches into the hundreds.
Booking accommodations in remote locations was also painfully time consuming as there was no way to check availability or book rooms in camps online.
Tight deadlines and strict budgets compounded an already tedious process that included:
- Locating lodging options scattered across various directories (with many quality options unlisted and only available by word of mouth).
- Calling around to multiple locations to check availability.
- Coordinating room bookings via phone calls or back-and-forth email correspondence.
- Tracking and reconciling financial folios of invoices for multiple workers with varied start and end date from multiple vendors.
The Client created a marketplace where suppliers can promote their remote accommodations in a directory with key amenities highlighted. Company administrators can locate remote accommodation options that fit their amenity needs in the area where they need to put their crew.
The Client brought in Regroove to create an initial proof of concept on a streamlined budget with a quick six-month turnaround. Speed to market was the focus of this project. The goal was to quickly bring it up, put it out there, and see if it would stick. (Spoiler Alert: It did.)
Regroove was willing to work in an agile way. Many things changed along the way. We changed our minds, and we tried different things. Regroove was willing to be flexible and were comfortable with adapting to changes.Client
Regroove worked with the Client to define and architect what the proof of concept would look like. They selected an existing third-party code base that provided simplistic front end and back end logic for a hotel booking system. Regroove customized that code to better fit the needs and realities of camp bookings, which are not consistent with hotel bookings.
The proof of concept held a directory list of remote accommodations with available amenities listed such as Wi-Fi, large truck parking, after-hours meal service, etc. Administrators continued to call in their booking requests during this proof of concept phase. However, the calls were handled by the Client customer service representatives, who created and confirmed the bookings on behalf of the company administrators.
The Client wanted clear buy-in from the community and investors before enhancing the system to show real-time availability online and handle instant bookings with the click of a button.
Regroove’s in-house development team delivered a working application prototype on time that validated the platform’s viability.
Regroove always focuses on solving problems as they come along. The proof of concept process was super collaborative, with Regroove providing good ideas, and delivering on time.Client
Outcome and Benefits
Feedback from customers was swift, immense, and positive. The proof of concept was successful in confirming market interest from suppliers and company administrators. Today the Client is one of the largest and fastest-growing marketplaces of remote workplace accommodations in North America with thousands of accommodation listings, rooms, and properties listed throughout Canada and the United States.
The Client brought investors in 2017. Funding from investors initiated a second phase of the Client platform in 2018. Regroove handled the business logic in the backend while another firm handled the aesthetic design and user experience of the front end.
The new Client platform now offers instant availability and live updates for customers to instantly confirm bookings. It also delivers a robust architecture that is scalable to accommodate the load as the numbers of bookings continues to grow and increases redundancy to minimize downtime.
We developed a really good relationship working with [Regroove]. They were super dedicated, felt like employees, true partners, went above and beyond many times. We felt the spirit of partnership. They really felt like a part of the team.Client
This proof of concept solution was built using:
- DevOps (formerly Visual Studio Teams Services)