The client is Instrument Croup, a company specializing in construction equipment lease services.
What We Started With
The project was built from the ground up. It started as an idea to solve the problem when the lessee didn’t have the opportunity to receive relevant information and the location of construction equipment lease services without having to make an actual phone call.
Business Analysis: Sharing Economy of Lease Services
The client initially had great understanding of the market he was trying to step into. What we had to do within the framework of our business analysis was to analyze and search for competitive advantages our solution could provide potential clients with. So we gathered information about the two types of clients: the lessee and lessor; we also studied the main competitors and formulated our business model following the Sharing Economy concept (a marketplace of services provided by construction equipment lessors) which was based on the following:
- The lessee seeks information and services right on the spot, so our main goal was to provide relevant offers of construction equipment lease in real time with the help of our custom CRM.
- The lessor is willing to pay only for actual clients, so we had to track only actual deals that are made. The lessor has to be provided with a comprehensive overview and statistics of his performance on the service, this way we provide fair partnership conditions.
- Our competitors did not solve the problems we were approaching. The websites that were present at the time allowed users seeking construction equipment lease services only to leave their contact information on the site for the service providers to contact them later on.
Main Goals And Objectives
We were aiming to create a Sharing Economy service where users that are looking to lease equipment could look through a catalog of available products and product offers from various providers. We wanted the users to have the ability to see the offer’s relevance, its location on a map, availability and the conditions under which the lessor provides the equipment. Users were to have the opportunity to place an order for the equipment on the website or by phone call when they can also receive consultation on choosing the right equipment.
Providers were to have the ability to post product offers on the service and have the opportunity to view and manage information on incoming orders. The fee for an acquired client was to be fixed, however, it had to be different for each group of products.
Our long-term goals were to:
- Create a service that allows the lessee to receive information about equipment in stock and shipping conditions in real time;
- Create a solution scalable to Russian, Ukrainian and other European markets.
Our short-term goals were to:
- Accommodate 90% of construction equipment available for lease in the country;
- Generate regular client / new client ratio of 30/70;
- Generate wholesale client / retail client ratio of 40/70;
- Entering break-even point within 12 Months.
Scope of the Project
The project is composed of the following components:
- Product catalog provides listings of available equipment from various lessors. The solution provides search, filtering and sorting capabilities. For every piece of equipment, the client is able to see its location on a map; the relevance of the offer and information about the conditions that the lessor provides equipment under; and whether a product is currently in stock. Every provider has an internal service rating which is based on the quality of service and the relevance of information provided to the users of the service. The equipment could be ordered right from the website. It is also possible to see the date when certain equipment becomes available for lease.
- Order component which allows the users to order the required products. Data regarding the order is fed straight to the CRM or to the lessor’s profile page.
- Additional content and product reviews are used for drawing new clients, growing client loyalty and serve as an incentive for ordering products from the website.
- The lessor’s profile page where the lessor is able to post equipment offers, view and manage incoming orders, view order history, view service provision information, including financial.
- The provider’s CRM system allows to manage the company’s product catalogue; provides a database of clients where partnership information is stored; allows to process and manage order information, bind an order to a client’s location; provides an option to create and print out all necessary documentation regarding orders; allows managing managers’ activity of working with clients and their efficiency; allows to display current relevant information about the company’s activities.
- The system core where the system’s operators can manage incoming orders and process client information from the website and phone calls, view and track the history of orders and other processes, collect all the necessary information and help clients in choosing the right equipment for lease. The core also holds a database of clients where operators can see the contacts and other information, analyze it and send out commercial messages and advertisements. Another system core component is content management where content managers organize all information presented on the service, view and change product characteristics, add descriptions, change product info and the gallery of images for products. The system core also allows for provider management. Based on the agreement between the provider and the system owners it is possible to limit the CRM license or cut off the provider completely. It is also possible to view system analytics on deals made on the client side of the website and the sums that the providers are to transfer to the service. The component allows changing the fee for deals made by providers.
- Rating component which allows managing providers’ rating.
We followed standard development processes and agile development techniques. The teams comprised of the following members.
- Project manager;
- Business analyst;
- UI/UX expert;
- 3 front-end specialists;
- 2 back-end developers;
- 2 QA engineers.
- Product Owner;
- Content Manager;
- A team of marketing specialists.
The Results and Achievements
- The service already has over 20 000 users, 49.2% of which return when they need more services;
- There are currently over 100 lessors present on the service;
- The providers on the service have already gathered over 2000 requests.
At the time of the project’s initial launch, it had no real competition and provided a unique set of features, laid out by the Sharing Economy business model we formulated and implemented in the solution. Other services provided a platform where users could leave requests for construction equipment lease services while our solution provided a full-fledged marketplace of services where you could:
- View relevant information on currently available products for lease;
- See the period of time after a certain product becomes available;
- See the product’s location on a map;
- View the conditions under which the lessor provides services;
- Check the quality of equipment and services the lessor provides;
- Place orders on products in real time via the marketplace website or a direct phone call.
A direct phone call also gives users the opportunity to receive consultation regarding the right construction equipment for their particular needs.