Gappless relies on Mendix’s application platform to build an innovative, mobile SaaS application to manage complex compliance and reporting processes across large-scale projects and partners.
Whether it’s a private or public project, companies in numerous industries have embraced a total commitment to quality at every step of a project. In many instances, firms must meticulously document the details of the work they perform and attest that proper best practices were followed to ensure appropriate quality. These documents – so-called “registrations” – have traditionally been trapped on paper and subject to the constraints that paper represents: unacceptable delays, illegible writing, lost or damaged documents, use of incorrect forms, and the costs of storing and transporting paper.
At the same time, however, speed and cost are critically important factors in every project, which means that outdated registrations can hamper agility and profitability. According to Chelly Peterse, Chief Operating Officer, and Reinder Peterse, Chief Executive Officer of Gappless, a streamlined application to automate these cumbersome processes was long overdue – particularly in the construction industry.
“There’s been a lot of focus on the automation of the planning and engineering of large construction processes, but the industry hasn’t previously extended automation to managing the core process of the project: building and ensuring the quality of a construction project right at the job site,” said Reinder. “These paper registrations cost an average of €12.50 each. For a single cubic meter of concrete, the contractor might have to fill out 10-15 forms. Even a small company will complete 30,000 forms each year. Most construction pros are very uninterested in this kind of paperwork – they just want to work and pursue their passion to build great things.”
“We looked at commercial packages, but there wasn’t a solution that could deliver the functionality we envisioned,” Reinder said. “Aiming to transform project registrations at work sites, we decided that we needed to create a new application and consulted several software experts before making our choice. We selected Mendix’s application platform for its speed of development, agile and collaborative approach to create sophisticated, mobile, enterprise applications.” Gappless partnered with FlowFabric and XS2 to design and build its flagship applications.
“The highly structured nature of project registrations lends itself to an app,” said Chelly. “We saw that new generations of tablets and smartphones could make it far easier and faster for job-site managers and supervisors to document the quality of their projects using devices that most of them already had. Mendix had the technology, the expertise, and the partnerships we needed to get this whole endeavor off the ground. Mendix enabled us to build working demos – quickly – and we could immediately see the application flow. It’s so flexible and it’s easy to integrate with other applications. For instance, to begin, we know exactly how construction processes work, so we were able to define how the software should work – not the other way around. We just define the process and use cases, and with Mendix, we were able to build sophisticated SaaS and mobile apps in less than six months. We built these apps from scratch- and we’re still far ahead of our competitors.”
Gappless is used by site- and job-managers across construction, reconstruction, and maintenance projects. “These apps are appropriate for jobs of any scale or size,” said Reinder. “Whether you’re building a new road in the middle of nowhere, patching asphalt, or replacing lights, Gappless ensures you document all of your efforts quickly, properly, and fully.”
The app runs on industry standard tablets, pulling information from back-end servers and updating those servers when registrations are complete. Already Gappless has been used in more than 3,500 registrations for projects valued at more than €100 million. Because of a very intuitive interface that mirrors standard best-practice processes, training is virtually nil.
“Mendix’s application platform allowed us to build, deploy and offer an innovative mobile SaaS application in record time, providing companies with a vastly simplified process and immediate ROI,” said Chelly. “In our analyses, Gappless can reduce the cost of completing a registration by 30-40 percent. Even a smaller company might produce many thousands of registrations annually, which means Gappless can save companies tens or hundreds of thousands of euros every year.
“As a result of the Gappless applications, companies now also have information on their processes that was never previously available. With Gappless, analysts can compare hundreds of metrics across projects to improve core business processes and workflows. Although we’ve initially targeted the construction industry, these apps are very suitable for other process-intensive industries such as healthcare, insurance, logistics/supply chain, and others.”
Gappless provides complementary mobile and SaaS applications for project-based manufacturing and services industries. Customers include some of the largest construction companies in the world.