CASE STUDY

CREELiT

A provider of corporate marketing automation solutions for real estate agencies in the United States.

Solution

Business Information Services

Industry

Internet & Direct Marketing Retail

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

CREELiT’s online platform is used by more than 17,000 real estate agents in the United States to automate their marketing activities. With its ‘web-to-print’ functionality, real estate agents can significantly reduce their marketing efforts: an agent chooses a design template directly from the dashboard for anything from a business card to a billboard, and then easily customizes it, with their own details. Subsequent printing and scheduled door-to-door shipment happens automatically and effortlessly. CREELiT allows real estate agents to focus on their core business activity. Wayne Creel, CTO and founder of CREELiT, had an ambition to grow user numbers from 17,000 to 500,000. Mr. Creel invited Computools to spearhead the necessary digital transformation, identify bottlenecks and enable growth. To meet his goals we conducted a thorough business analysis of the company’s current processes and identified both strengths to build on and weaknesses that had to be eliminated.

Non-integrated, conflicting business processes resulting in the loss of effectiveness

Slow interface response due to outdated architecture and mix of technologies

Poor user experience and interface design

Poor system and data security

Non-scalability of the system

Lack of important metric and data for building KPI and KRI

Well-known brand with strong demand and target audience loyalty

Excellent quality of printed advertisement

Deep knowledge of customers’ needs and behaviour

Well-honed logistics and delivery processes

Digital Transformation Communication Framework

Computools
Project Manager
Business Analyst
Team Lead
Business Development Manager
CLIENT
CTO
Operations Manager
Senior Executive
Communication

Open and efficient two-way communication is crucial to the success of a digital transformation project. Following consultation with the client, we agreed upon a clear and unambiguous communication framework with scheduled regular face-to-face and online meetings and regular reports by email. Our communication ecosystem also incorporated a structured documents environment and client access to Computools' internal task managing platform. This made both the general project roadmap as well as specific processes transparent and clear for all parties.

Business Process Mapping

01
Described

We held a strategic session with the client where we described the company’s current workflow using the Business Process Mapping approach. We identified the bottlenecks and process conflicts, redundant and inefficient processes and concepts. We also highlighted well-functioning and efficient parts of the processes in order to preserve and build on them.

02
Modeled

Our team developed and proposed a new workflow model visualized in a business workflow diagram. In the new model, we sought to eliminate the shortcomings while maintaining the successful practices of the legacy system. Our proposed model provided for improved efficiency, quality and security.

03
Planned

We devised a step-by-step transformation roadmap for a gradual replacement of the current system with a new one. This roadmap enabled us to commence the Digital Transformation process for CREELiT.

Interactive Prototype

Once the new workflow was agreed upon, the next step was to model the whole system in operation in real life. Interactive Prototype, a Computools’ innovative tool, allowed us to visualize and experience the future digital product before creating it. We made sure that our planned system is clear, convenient to use and fit for the client’s purpose.

Computools
Project Manager
Business Analyst
UX Designer
CLIENT
CTO
Operations Manager
Communication

Digital Platform & Technology

To build a state-of-the-art platform, we have carefully chosen a set of technologies with exceptional performance and security characteristics. Our chosen technologies were also highly efficient in terms of total cost of ownership and support.

Computools
Project Manager
Team Lead
CLIENT
CTO
Operations Manager
Communication
Express

A minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications. Excellent performance and energy efficiency.

AngularJS

A front-end JavaScript framework. Developed and supported by engineers at Google, it allows to scale the team efficiently and quickly, providing engineers with a comfortable work environment in one style within the same system.

MongoDB

Perfect for work on the app server level and for storing user data, this database system has the ease of changing the structure and shading. Perfectly compatible with Node.js.

PostgreSQL

A powerful, open source object-relational database system with over 30 years of active development, it has earned a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness and performance.

System architecture

Specification

We created detailed specifications for tasks and processes with User Stories using the Behavior-Driven Development approach. It was based on the previously created CREELiT’s Business Process Map. At this stage we also produced a detailed and precise estimation of costs.

As System Admin I want to be able to see text field when I click button "Decline" on new sign up request so that I can type notes: 1. Decline Reason - "Why this request have declined?" - text field 2. Reason for the user - text field, required As System Admin I want to be able to view the list of people that have tried to register but did not do the confirmation email. To do that, I want to have a separate tab in Manage ->Users -> Sign Up requests named "Not validated" that will display the table with the next columns: * First name * Last name * email This data should be taken from the database and display all users that get an email but didn't follow the link yet.

COMPUTOOLS TEAM

To make the project a success, we have chosen 11 specific, named engineers with most appropriate expertise and experience from Computools’ talent pool:

Team Lead
Oleg Svet
Business Development Manager
Maryna Vishnyak
Business Analyst
Kate Vodolazkina
PHP Engineer
Igor Tsurikov
PHP Engineer
Snezhanna Mohnacheva
Quality Assurance Engineer
Mariia Boborova
UX Designer
Valeriy Panchenko
UI Designer
Sergei Shmatov
Node.JS Engineer
Michail Bobrovskiy
PHP Engineer
Evgeny Mohnachev
Project Manager
Andrey Melnichenko

BACKSTAGE

There is a lot more activity behind the scenes at Computools than meets the eye. Each kind of meeting serves its own purpose, but all of them work towards a common goal - successful Digital Transformation of the client’s business.

Whiteboard Meeting
Whiteboard meetings are a great way to continuously align everyone's efforts on the quest towards perfection and a very effective tool for visualizing progress and obstacles.
Whiteboard Meeting
Collective brainstorming is a very effective technique designed to let the best ideas come to the fore. At this stage we strictly follow the "no-laptop” rule.
Dev Meeting
A special kind of meeting, it allows to take the collaborative process all the way to de-facto editing the code in parallel. This works especially well when our engineers engage with their client counterparts.

Internal Communication Flow

To support an efficient internal communication within the project team we have chosen Email for sharing reports and tasks; Skype, Zoom and Slack were perfect for addressing urgent issues, as well as for scheduling and conducting audio/video conferences. Redmine and Jira Project Management Platforms were used to for role assignment and progress control.

Project Management Methodology

We followed Agile methodology to ensure delivery in time and on budget whilst maintaining flexibility to address any emerging challenges. Our project management approach was based on Scrum with 2-week sprints.

PROJECT TIMELINE

1 week
2 weeks
8 months
1
CONSULT
Defining Scope
  • Understanding Customer’s Business
  • Identifying Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Setting Goals
2
DESIGN
Digital Transformation Initialization
  • Business Process Mapping
  • Interactive Prototype Creation
  • Digital Platform & Technology
  • Specification, Tasks & Deadlines
Project Management Flow
  • Creating A Team
  • Establishing Internal Communication Flow
  • Choosing Project Management Methodology
Development Flow
  • Development Methodology
3
ENGINEER
Implementation
  • Environment Setting
  • Tasks Assignment
Application Build
  • User Interface Designing
  • Code Creating & Refactoring
  • Testing & Fixing
Application Launching
  • Environment Setting of Client’s Server
  • Migrating Users’ Data To A New Application
  • Client's Employees Training
  • Application Launch
  • Guide For Users
  • Continuous Measuring & Support
  • Measuring Digital Transformation Effect

Design Development

A User Experience Designer and a User Interface Designer, working in tandem, developed the Style Guide guided by the Target Audience perception of CREELiT brand. User Interface Design, based on Interactive Prototype, had to be easily understood by the users unfamiliar with the system. The team's collaboration outcome was a state-of-the-art application design.

Computools
Project Manager
UI Designer
UX Designer
CLIENT
CTO
Operations Manager
Communication

CODE DEVELOPMENT

We implemented the Continuous Integration and Delivery System and established a Version Control System Flow in the development stage. Automated Integration Testing was conducted with the help of Use Cases based on User Stories from Specification. During this process the Team Lead constantly reviewed and refactored the Code until the team achieved the point of Stable Release. This approach allowed the team to achieve stable and predictable outcome on time and on spec.

CODE SAMPLE

Scan QR code to find code sample

Or use link below

https://github.com/computools/Dependency-Injection

Implementation On Client’s Side

creelit.com
01 Launch

We set up server environment at CREELiT’s site, installed the application and set up accounts and roles.

02 Transfer

We gathered all existing user data and migrated this data to the new platform.

03 Education

We trained administrators of the platform and prepared an intro for new users.

Outcome

Computools applied state-of-the-art technologies, innovative approach and specialist expertise to execute rapid Digital Transformation for the client. The client noted positive changes in the operation of the online platform.

During the work on the project,
several key options
were solved
Administrative expenses
were reduced by 20%
Easy customization of
design templates for
anything from a business
card to a billboard
Significant automation of
real estate agents'
marketing activities

What our client said

Wayne Creel
President and CTO at CREELiT

«The team has rapidly improved my product extensively. We are now about to exit private beta and on board over 500,000 users. I highly recommend Computools, they have been an exceptional partner and we will definitely continue to cooperate with them for the foreseeable future.»

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