Building VanSales, the Enterprise Android App that Transformed Puteri Brand Product’s Sales Game

ibjects insights
ibjects
Published in
5 min readDec 20, 2023

--

In the heart of Malaysia’s bustling sales scene, Puteri brand was facing a challenge familiar to many businesses:

A disconnect between their mobile sales team and their core systems

Orders were handwritten and later syncd when the salesman return to the office opening room for errors and corruption, data was siloed, and decisions were often made without the most up-to-date information. They sought a solution that would empower their team with real-time data, streamline processes, and ultimately, elevate their sales game. ibjects took on the challenge of developing an Android app tailored exclusively for the internal use of Puteri Brand sales team

But the journey to VanSales wasn’t a simple one. It involved skilfully navigating a unique landscape of legacy systems and modern ambitions. Let’s dive into the story of how it all came together, tracing the app’s development through the stages of the SDLC.

Requirements Gathering and Analysis:

The genesis of VanSales lay in addressing the specific needs of the sales team. The app’s purpose was clear: facilitate order-taking in real-time, sync seamlessly with the existing database, and provide a comprehensive dashboard for insightful decision-making.

  • Puteri Brand faced inefficiencies with their manual sales process, needing real-time data and mobile accessibility.
  • ibjects conducted interviews and analyzed existing workflows to understand pain points and define key functionalities.

System Design and Architecture:

With a vision in mind, the team at Ibjects embarked on a meticulous planning phase. The emphasis was on creating an intuitive interface that would enhance the user experience for salespeople navigating the app in the field. The decision not to publish on the Play Store reflected the app’s exclusive nature, designed solely for internal operations.

  • The challenge: integrating with Puteri’s existing .NET/IIS server and MSSQL database without disruption.
  • The solution: Firebase Functions were used to create a Node.js API, acting as a bridge between the mobile app and the legacy system.
  • Custom user logins and authorization tokens ensured secure access to Puteri’s data.

Development and Implementation:

The UI/UX design process was a collaborative effort, ensuring that the app not only met functional requirements but also delighted users. Meanwhile, the development team faced the unique challenge of building upon the existing .NET server hosted on IIS without disrupting the current system. Firebase functions came to the rescue, allowing the creation of a cost-effective API in Node.js, bridging the communication between the mobile app and the IIS server.

The integration of the new app with the legacy system was a delicate dance between technologies. Firebase handled user logins seamlessly, orchestrating a dance of authorization tokens to tap into the old .NET system. Custom APIs facilitated communication with the MSSQL database, enabling the retrieval of vital information like product details and invoices, which were absent in the old system’s API.

  • The app focused on a user-friendly dashboard, route management, and report generation (invoices, credit notes, etc.).
  • Offline functionality allowed continued usage while disconnected, with data syncing upon reconnection.
  • Printing capabilities enabled on-the-go receipt generation for customers.

Testing and Deployment:

A comprehensive testing phase spanned six months, ensuring the VanSales app was not just functional but a reliable companion for the sales team in their daily operations. The team rigorously tested every feature, from invoice creation to real-time syncing, ensuring a smooth and error-free experience for the end-users.

  • Rigorous testing ensured seamless integration with the legacy system and optimal app performance.
  • A phased deployment approach minimized disruption and allowed for user feedback and adaptation.

Transforming Sales Dynamics

VanSales led to significant improvements in sales efficiency, team productivity, and customer satisfaction. Real-time data access empowered better decision-making and route optimization. Streamlined order processing and reporting reduced paperwork and errors. VanSales stands as a testament to successful collaboration between ibjects and Puteri Brand. The project demonstrates the ability to leverage existing systems while implementing cutting-edge technologies. VanSales isn’t just an app; it’s a success story, demonstrating that with the right strategy and expertise, even the most complex challenges can be turned into opportunities for growth.

--

--

ibjects insights
ibjects

ibjects Comm Team. We manage our accounts publications and write about tips and tricks on how to effectively use technology to build and improve your products.