MBE | Case Study

Custom software saves a trucking industry company

MBE | Case Study

Cloud based custom software screams success

MBE is a Minnesota based company that acts as a trucking company broker. They schedule, communicate and coordinate with hundreds of companies in all phases of construction jobs. MBE handles even the smallest details, such as tickets, invoices and staffing.

Happy Dog was tasked with taking an outdated system built on Microsoft Access and poorly coded mobile apps and restructuring it into a cloud based system. Before Happy Dog, the data was out of sync and required multiple touchpoints to get working correctly.

We were able to write cloud based software to sync all of these touchpoints and migrate in the old data. This included mobile apps.

Our Challenge

Take an outdated, poorly performing software setup and rewrite it.

Quick Result

The new software eliminated a position they were going to hire for. It also saved a lot of headaches and unnecessary work -- which let MBE focus more on business growth.

Project Efforts

  • Custom cloud based software
  • Quickbooks integration
  • Twilio / SMS integration
  • iOS native mobile app
  • Android app
  • Custom reporting
  • Customer portal
  • SAAS reselling software

Nothing seemed in sync

When MBE reached out to us, it's safe to say that they were in a mess. They had strung together desktop software, including data in Microsoft Access. Their desktop software was only accessible at their location. Data had to be manually copy and pasted to different locations. Reports were off because data was out of sync. Worst of all, the mobile apps weren't functional and caused more harm than good.

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Discovering the true path forwards

In order to discover what needed to be built, we had to fully immerse ourselves in their business. In order to do this, we went through a lengthy and very beneficial discovery phase. In this phase, we looked at how they currently use the software, and what would be the most beneficial ways to adapt that software for them. We saw the existing pitfalls with their current setup, and found ways to not only avoid them, but create ways for them to be as efficient and profitable as possible.

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Through many hours of discovery, we crafted a plan for business success

Migrating away from Microsoft Access

When it comes to data storage, we like to look at it this way. There is an evolution of how to store data the right way. Excel spreadsheets are the very rudimentary, basic beginner level solution when it comes to saving tables of information. Microsoft Access is just a little step above that. MySQL and Cloud SQL are examples of using a more powerful, modern technology to store data. MBE had their data on Microsoft Access, which presented multiple issues. The biggest issues were that data was not synced properly and that a lot of manual copy / paste still had to happen. We created a plan to get them moved to their own MySQL database, along with migrating all existing data. We were able to achieve this without interrupting a single day of work.

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Migrating from Access to MySQL proved to be invaluable for MBE

From desktop software to a cloud application

Happy Dog created a custom web application for MBE based on the popular PHP framework Laravel. Laravel offers many advantages that MBE fully utilized. It's authorization is exceptional, which was needed for handling accounts on the web app and mobile apps. It's mail services works flawlessly for scheduling and communicating with hundreds of companies. It's speed improved efficiency within the office exponentially. Complex reports that used to take hours to generate now take less than a minute. Data security is paramount, and Laravel handles that better than most other applications. It's message queue system is a built-in feature that makes texting, emailing, or even mass updating possible. It even allows scheduling tasks to run periodically, if needed. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that staff can access their software at anytime, from anywhere, since it is cloud based.

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Native mobile apps for the win

When MBE started working with us, the drivers that used their system would get paper tickets during their day. Staff at MBE would spend countless hours manually entering in the data. Custom mobile apps have solved that problem. Drivers can now get all of their job details, enter tickets, get them signed, and automatically send them to MBE. The system is designed to work even if cellphone reception doesn't exist. Custom mobile apps have saved countless hours and increased efficiency across the board for MBE.

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A custom setup leads to being an industry pioneer

Besides all of the inner-office benefits that MBE gains with this custom software setup a major shift has happened. They are now seen as innovators and pioneers within their industry. With all the work that has happened for MBE, people took notice. Competitors want to pay them to use their system. More and more companies are signing on to work with them. All of this is leaps and bounds ahead of where they were just a few short years ago.

What can I say? The mobile apps work great. They've been really reliable, especially lately. And the software is such an improvement from where we were. We are all so thankful to Happy Dog. Thanks!
Susie Borrell

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