Clever People. Simple Solutions.
Create a mobile (in the cab) and online system to plan and record the distribution of bulk LPG across NZ.
Nova Energy is one of New Zealand’s leading energy explorers and producers, delivering bulk LPG bottles around the country.
We were appointed to design and build an online booking system that operated on Nova’s existing SharePoint infrastructure, with the purpose of streamlining the existing manual bulk LPG delivery process. The manual system had staff using at least two different systems and there was no way to calculate the cheapest delivery option or track delivery easily.
All these problems disappeared with Think’s easy to use, online booking solution.
|No standard procedures to book LPG delivery.||Develop an online booking system.|
|No system to record the delivery of LPG.||Develop an iPad app that sits in the truck cab for the driver to record shipments.|
|No system to calculate the cost of delivering LPG.||Implement a calculation engine to determine the cost of delivery in cents per litre.|
|No visibility of advanced bookings.||The system displays all booking to the user.|
|No ability to understand the potential saving by selecting the quickest routes.||When making a booking the system calculates the cheapest delivery route depending on the criteria entered.|
|No easy way to manage the resulting paper invoices etc.||Implement a document management system that enables all paperwork and associated costs to be captured and reviewed.|
|No easy way to track delivery costs.||Costs for each journey are captured and available in Excel for analysis.|
Staff costs reduced by 25%
Deliveries are tracked
Costs of delivery are now easily available
Paperwork is eliminated
Bookings have been standardised
Mobile Application Development (Native iOS)
Provided .NET related support, business analysis of business-critical systems, as well as iOS, Android and Windows Mobile development services.
We were appointed by Zespri at the end of 2012 to support their .NET team, who were on an extremely tight deadline, in preparation for the start of the kiwifruit season.
Thanks to our scalable, flexible approach and clever people, Zespri has extended our role. We now provide a full service/support of business-critical systems from consultation, support, business analysis, development and testing.
Zespri’s legacy systems are complex and interface into many external systems in technologies, including SAP and SharePoint. We have a dedicated team working both on and offsite.
|Highly complex, poorly documented, business-critical legacy systems to be supported 24/7 and enhanced. Zespri were moving to an outsource IT model; enormous change was occurring creating a whole new way of working/communicating using disparate, global teams and new technologies.||Provide real-time information on all environmental and operational parameters of the orchard (Temperature, soil moisture, pump and valve status, irrigation and frost protection status.|
|The current news letter is produced as a black and white .pdf. Printed and emailed out at a significant monthly cost.||Create a mobile app based newsletter for tablet and mobile that enabled text, photo, video and .pdf content to be easily and cost effectively using Zespri’s existing SharePoint infrastructure as a back end.|
Provide a team of technical consultants, business analysts, project managers, developers and testers to take over the support of existing systems
Move the newsletter onto a mobile/tablet based platform
.NET, SQL Server, SharePoint, Windows Mobile
Introduced mobile technology to remove the use of paper-based systems for orchard and packhouse auditing and audit allocation.
EastPack are the largest Kiwifruit packhouse and coolstore company in New Zealand, packing over 38 million trays of Kiwifruit a year from over 800 orchards.
We have developed two separate applications that allowed a move from paper-based to real-time auditing systems.
Both systems provide the auditors with Android applications that they use to complete audits, which are immediately sent back to a central database where the administrators can monitor activity and manage the allocation of audits to external contractors.
Audits can be done in offline to allow the devices to be used in remote locations. Data is then collected and synchronised when in range.
|Information from auditors out in the orchard can take over a day to be delivered back to Eastpack because the systems were paper based.||Auditors have Android mobiles designed for offline use in difficult conditions. This enabled easier, quicker and more accurate collection of information.|
|The received information was manually entered into spreadsheets for managers to assess.||The office no longer has to re-enter the information saving days of work during a season.|
|Coordination of auditors was done manually by phone.||Upcoming work is extracted from externall systems (Radfords) and easily allocated directly to the auditors apps, significantly simplifying allocation and saving time.|
|Managers were not able to monitor the operation in real-time.||Managers can see up to date information of all stages from bin tip, to sorting to packing. Long-term trends can be identified for continuous improvement.|
Removal of paper based audits
Significant reduction in operational demands
Better informed managers
Interface to external systems via web services
Built an interface to provide comprehensive reporting for harvest packing logistics to be accessed anywhere, anytime.
As one of the Kiwifruit industry’s largest fully integrated post-harvest operators, Apata Group Limited pride themselves on having industry leading technology, systems and personnel. They use Radford’s horticultural software to manage harvest and transport logistics of crops.
Apata recognised the software had limitations that was impeding viewing jobs and tracking performance.
We were apointed to develop a system to integrate with the Radford software to monitor pack plan performance and view upcoming pack plans that could be easily accessed by managers, consultants, operators and growers.
|The data is spread across multiple parts of applications and not available on a single screen.||Work with Radford’s to utilise a custom data service to access the information.|
|Staff wanted to see the current operational performance from anywhere for all the three sites.||Create a responsive web application that is accessible via mobile, tablet and desktop, anywhere, anytime.|
|The users wanted to see all pack plans for a grower.||Create functionality to store historical data.|
Strong user experience. Keeping it simple
Make information available from anywhere
Aggregate data from different parts of Radford’s systems
User Interface Design (HTML, CSS, JS)
Web Application Development (Scripting)
Built a system for orchard growers to view real-time data anywhere, as well as control irrigation and frost management remotely.
Conway and Carpenter build automation systems for orchard irrigation and frost control. Their system was robust. It captured real-time data on temperature, soil moisture, pump and valve status, irrigation and frost protection status. However, operators had to be onsite to view data and control plant operations.
We were appointed to develop a system that enabled the orchard manager to not only access plant information from anywhere but provided remote control of irrigation and frost control operations.
The custom software solution had to send trigger alarms when certain criteria were met (such as temperature changes, systems starting, stopping and failures, etc.) The challenge was that not all locations had 3G.
|The grower had to be physically on site to know the current status.||Provide real-time information on all environmental and operational parameters of the orchard (temperature, soil moisture, pump and valve status, irrigation and frost protection status).|
|The grower had to be on site to know if everything was functioning correctly.||Provide information on current status.|
|The owner had to be on site to control the plant.||The functionality to control the plant remotely.|
|Not all growers have smartphones.||Provide txt capability to monitor, control and receive alarms.|
Mapping and plant diagrams gives the user a clean and simple experience
Users can monitor sites remotely
Multiple sites can be monitored from a single location
Integrates with the plant’s automation system
User Interface Microsoft Silverlight
Database Microsoft SQL Server
Working with Think has been a very positive experience. Adam helped us to take a ‘big picture’ approach to our business requirements, holding our hand through the process. He showed us how to shift from the limitations of paper-based systems to highly flexible, workflow based systems to help maximise efficiency, allow unlimited growth and increase profitability.
Supply Chain Integration Manager
Think provided us with a cost effective, mobile app which did exactly what we wanted and more!
I have found Think to be professional, helpful, and willing to go the extra mile for us. I have no hesitation in recommending their services.
Head of IT
Think have provided us with a responsive and flexible service for over 4 years. Their willingness to go the extra mile and gain business knowledge has provided Zespri with a trusted partner that delivers great results. This local company provides the personal face-to-face experience and access to global resources, which is a great fit for us.
Systems and Procurement Manager
Apata went to Think with a solution.
We knew what was possible and what we needed. We even knew how it would look. But we didn’t know how to do it.
And within a very short time-frame we were all tapping our smartphones and receiving the information we needed to be even better at what we do.
We see this as a partnership that will continue to keep us ahead of the rest.
Apata and Think – TOGETHER WE’RE BETTER.