V-Zug

Every business will always remember the first client. For us this client is V-ZUG from Switzerland. V-ZUG produces beautiful high-end household appliances in their own swiss factories and sells these throughout the world.

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What did we do?

In Europe they were looking for a system that would make it easier to manage customer service visits, and to help mechanics do their job as best as they can. This boils down to a platform where repairs can be assigned to mechanics and their progress can be viewed in real time. V-ZUG. found us through a relative of our founder Joeri Scheerhoorn. You might not realise this but there are not too many people in Europe that are knowledgeable about servicing washing machines and have knowledge to build a system around this process.

Challenge

V-zug was using a custom build process to manage mechanics, customers, dispatchers, parts etc. Our challenge was to understand the core of all these processes and capture them into one system for multiple countries to improve the information flow. Luckily, we had high involvement and commitment from an experienced manager from V-ZUG that was invested in letting us succeed.

Solution

We came up with an MVP that should work for 1 country first. The country we chose for this was Belgium, keeping in mind that others were sure to follow suit as soon as possible. We set a steep deadline and through a series of weekly meetings we quickly developed a MVP that could do the processes we agreed upon. The fact that we had a steep deadline was a blessing in disguise because it forced us to test our code/ideas in production really early on. We started with just 1 mechanic that was doing part of his work using our platform. The first week we found so many bugs and things we implemented incorrectly, it was a disaster. However we quickly found a way to fix these problems. We did another 5 weeks of iterations and everytime we improved the system by a lot. This led to a stable version in production within 5 months and a country that was getting some huge benefits in its way of working.

Result

The platform ended up being a massive improvement for V-ZUG in many different areas:

  • More insight and therefore control over their repair process.
  • More customer friendly process where both V-ZUG and the customer get consistent information at the right time A big time saver. Automating parts of their process is now saving people a lot of time and allows them to focus on more important matters.

Over time the V-ZUG process has changed, as any other business process will. We have added a lot more features since we first launched and the amount of users has grown steadily. We are still adding changes on a monthly basis and because of our flexible approach we can keep improving for them.

Together we worked together to realise such a system. Using agile development methods we had a running start. Building a simple MVP, just for the Belgium market and expand from there. We realised that it was incredibly powerful to have weekly or biweekly meetings to discuss progress. For V-ZUG this provides incredible flexibility to have influence in the system that they want. For us it was very useful to have direct feedback on the work that we are building. Our knowledge of the technology and the needs of the V-ZUG business grew significantly at the start. Because of this and our flexible way of working, we could use all that we learned to achieve better results for V-ZUG.

The way of working in this project will not sound unfamiliar for most of you, since it is the normal agile way of working. Technically this true, however there is a business side to this that is interesting. We quickly realised that this is a key ingredient to sustainable growth.

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From a business perspective

Together with V-ZUG we found a way to align our goals by working together in a method of working that we call CSaaS. Custom Software as a service. A project where we combine the best things of development and SaaS to align our goals. This means that V-ZUG will pay a monthly fee, based on usage of the software whilst we maintain the software. Here is why we did it in this way:

Benefits for V-Zug

No financial risk at the start. There was very little financial risk for the side of V-ZUG. Simply because we did not charge them for development.

No future financial risk. What people sometimes fail to realise is that software is never done. If a company pays 50k for an application to be developed this year. Because of changing markets and new technology, expect that this needs to be upgraded within 2 years if the company wants to stay competitive.

An IT partner that benefits from V-ZUG doing well. That means:

  • A partner that makes decisions that work in the long term because of mutual interests.
  • Continuously upgraded software and integration of the latest technology.
  • Proactive advice to make sure that both parties benefit.

Benefits for Octopus IT

Long term commitment from a client.

Market knowledge to build products that we own.

Great company as a reference.

Income over time instead of a one time boost.

Progress over time

The project and the application have been named JobDispatchingTool, within the V-ZUG company and we adopted their naming convention. The JDT has been live since Q1 2020 and since then it has changed significantly. We have been working on the tool continuously to move with changes in the market. There are some technical improvements that we keep providing to the system. We are proud of the following details:

Live in 6 countries.

Managing 125 mechanics.

Available in 4 languages.

Stable and scalable on the strong Google Cloud infrastructure.

A happy partnership with a great client.

After this first great adventure we have become excited for our future endeavours!

“The after-sales service interventions have to be planned and prepared accordingly, and for this V-ZUG Europe, based in Belgium, was looking for a system that was simple, efficient and easy to use. With Octoputs IT, we found a very good partner that meets exactly these requirements. During the development of the system, we have had an uncomplicated, reliable and very committed team of developers at our side. I can definitely recommend Octopus IT.”

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Damir Potocanac

Head of Technical Service &

Support International at V-ZUG AG