By Leonard Lee (@karbonphyber)
My team and I specialize in tuning aftermarket height adjustable suspension systems for automobiles. We require some math to extract/unleash the potential, which has already been designed by a team of brilliant engineers at the manufacturer. We collect a little over 200 measurements on any given day—something we can’t sugar coat to new specialists who join us. I’m the owner and sole developer of the team. My colleagues conduct appointment scheduling, reading collection and tuning, and up to the usual accounts receivables and payables.
We’ve reduced time spent by 52% on our process, and it’s staggering how Honeycode has helped us achieve that!
In the beginning, I recorded all measurements on pen and paper, along with my trusty calculator. Initially it worked well, but data was never stored and only thrown away. Soon after, an elaborate spreadsheet was used for data collection. It resembled a cell-based form that my colleagues would fill out, with the added benefit of auto-calculation. It looked a lot better too. The spreadsheet went through multiple iterations and supported more complex calculations. This required a full version of the spreadsheet, as well as an operating system—both options weren't something we’d have handy anywhere.
We needed to simplify this behemoth-sized spreadsheet into a highly focused data entry application; one which didn’t require the specialist to scroll through and hunt for the specific cell to enter the data, as everyone looks at spreadsheets differently. Worksheet cell locking did help in ensuring we didn’t overwrite the cells with calculated data, but it was imperfect for this use case. However, it did have graphs for visualization, which helped us greatly, but it wasn’t going to help us adopt data analysis since our data sets were growing well. The reason being that a separate spreadsheet was used for each car, which means I’d have 200 spreadsheets for 200 cars. How is this for efficiency? Not so great.
I found Honeycode, amidst the growing sea of low-code/no-code platforms, of which I personally evaluated for work. Honeycode was a no-brainer, as I wanted a solution that was scalable, facilitated easy data management (namely in creation, storage, usage, sharing and archival), supported little-to-no-code, and offered an easy learning curve for user interface development and data binding.
Being the sort that jumps in at first chance, I decided to model our data in Honeycode. On top of that, I had also modeled a rudimentary ledger system that sits behind a financial dashboard, along with a full set of user pages, which exactly models our operational processes and procedures. Suffice to say, we’ve left our spreadsheets behind for Honeycode. Our single Honeycode app has served us faithfully since August 2020. So, as of February this year, my entire team began operating off Honeycode mobile and desktop. It’s been liberating for everyone.
On any given day, a suspension specialist in my team takes on average 200 individual measurements (212 at the most) per car using a vernier caliper and tape measure where appropriate. With a day consisting of 3 cars per specialist, that would easily exceed 600 measurements/readings. As such, measurements for each car would take around 3,339 seconds, which is a little over 55-minutes. VROOM!
Fast forward to the blessed time of Honeycode. Personal mobile devices follow each specialist while they walk around the car taking measurements and readings. The need to traverse to and from the laptop (located at one end of the car), and has been eradicated, memory loss risk mitigated, and searching for that row-column in a multipage spreadsheet avoided. We’re now able to take all our measurements in literally half the time. Measurement-taking is now just over 26 minutes in total. A spreadsheet would not support that. Plus, I was able to help the specialist focus to the fields he or she needed to fill, by bringing up front-and-center through highly focused pages and reducing all sorts of errors.
On the planning side of things, our appointments are now fully padded with the information required to schedule a tune, mark a deposit as collected, shift dates as required, up to cancelling/forfeiting an appointment as needed. I’ve also been able to produce a rudimentary ledger system, which allows us to track receivables and payables.
I’d love to have visual graphing to match what I had in our former spreadsheets; however, developing in Honeycode has been a breeze, and I can’t wait to keep building. The team and I are currently taking this app for a spin…I’ll share more details when they’re ready!
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