With Accelerator™ well established as a vehicle maintenance system suited to all manner of businesses, the challenge for AppSoft™ was to find ways of bringing extra benefits to users.
For Technopoly founder Graham Helliwell, any advances that could be offered to Accelerator™ users had to bring both convenience and added value. For Helliwell, the way forward lay in making Accelerator™ even more accessible.
He said: "We were receiving great customer feedback for Accelerator™. People were telling us it was ensuring their operations were more efficient and making it easier for them to manage their workload. But I wanted to see if we could bring more of those benefits to their customers as well as the service technicians out in the field. I thought that these people could gain a lot if we could provide them with a swift, immediate and simple-to-use interface with the company’s main system. In that way, there would be no loss of worksheets and immediate recording and invoicing of jobs, as well as online fleet information."
"One early prototype of Go Mobile™ worked with one particular type of mobile phone and required special software to link it to the main system. But it had limited capability, so AppSoft™ started looking at alternative ways of trying to reach those 'out in the field'."
Helliwell added: "The first prototype was hardware dependent, clumsy and costly. But in recent years, smart phones and tablets have developed further and connectivity and coverage have improved with 3G and 4G. As new devices became available and connectivity continued to develop, we realised that internet wireless connectivity was the way to go."
"We spent two years on a development programme to bring our idea forward as a platform independent solution. The result was Go Mobile™."
"For us, the appeal of Go Mobile™ is its versatility and its ease of use. As its web based, any phone, tablet, laptop, or computer can use it. Bringing everything to technicians, workshops fleet operators and customers that they need, wherever they are."
Promising trial results prompted AppSoft™ to give Go Mobile™ users access to even more while away from base.
Helliwell said: "As well as Go Mobile™ linking to Accelerator™ for technicians’ jobs, we decided to offer new modules."
"The age-old problem of drivers having to fill in defects forms led to a blizzard of paperwork that could be lost, damaged or simply not acted on as quickly as it should be."
"We devised Go Mobile™ so that it allows drivers to complete the checks and record them instantly, at any time in any place. With the report going straight back to the fleet manager so that they can respond immediately."
"One extra benefit of this is that drivers now have instant proof that defects have been reported – as they don’t have to wade through paperwork, and that can mean instant responses to any DVSA enquiries – preventing them keeping a vehicle off the road while that difficult-to-find paperwork is located."
The speed and ease of use of Go Mobile™ was created specifically with fleet managers, service engineers, drivers and commercial workshops in mind. It can eradicate all types of bureaucratic hold-ups as it gives a total breakdown of a vehicle’s service history, parts replacement and the personnel who carried out the work. As the documentation is present, it is also possible to book new service dates and approve payments.
There are certainly other systems that have a logistics or service technician module. But Graham Helliwell believes that Go Mobile™ is the first to be equipped with a full suite of modules and applications provided for both the CV workshop and fleet operator, and he is keen for people to benefit from Go Mobile’s™ ease of access.
He added: "Putting it simply, if you already have a logistics or tracking system and you can pull up a web screen then you can use Go Mobile™ and have your drivers - or other staff away from base - online and making the most of what it can offer."
"We trialled Go Mobile™ with a large number of companies who gave us a real thumbs up, which was brilliant. It is also pleasing to see that CVW readers are also recommending it. At present, we are partnering with In-Car PC of Norwich and are seeking other worthy partners and logistics software companies to link to."