In our blog, we frequently talk about the services and capabilities of the LANSA low-code platform. In particular, we focus on how LANSA tools help organizations easily and cost-effectively implement digital transformation initiatives and modernize their legacy tools. We also do our best to provide information on how to use LANSA’s products to achieve the most benefit from your digital transformation initiatives.
LANSA delivers business value to organizations in different fields and industries all around the world. Here is the story of one company that chose LANSA to power the development of their core process applications, and how their decision was also highly beneficial for their business.
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Creating a new proof of delivery app for a logistics company
BCA Automotive is the logistics division of BCA Group, a leading UK end-to-end vehicle remarketing services company. As its main business, BCA Group operates marketplaces for used cars. They take second-hand and ex-rental fleet cars and sell them on their auction sites located all around the UK.
Acquired by BCA Group in 2015, BCA Automotive delivers value by organizing logistics. To deliver vehicles across the UK, BCA Automotive operates almost 1,000 car transporters and employs the same number of drivers. The BCA Automotive team has been relying on LANSA tools to develop their enterprise solutions for more than a decade. In fact, all of their core business apps are created in LANSA.
The BCA automotive business case demonstrates how a powerful low-code solution like LANSA helps organizations implement cutting-edge digital transformation solutions. Most importantly, it allows them to do it in-house, using the developers they already have to replace problematic legacy tools with custom-made applications. The result is modern applications with better functionality and higher accuracy that give their users much more powerful management capabilities.
BCA Automotive faced a significant business challenge. They were using poorly customizable third-party tools that failed to meet their needs and negatively affected their processes. As a result, BCA Automotive wanted to replace the electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) application their management and drivers were using. On one hand, management needed an application to assign and track the completion of tasks to drivers. On the other hand, their drivers needed to view tasks assigned to them and deliver vehicles, capture signatures, record damage with pictures, and communicate with office staff by text message.
BCA Automotive’s five-year-old legacy proof of delivery solution wasn’t a good fit for their needs and purposes. Because it was a third-party solution, it had high maintenance costs and very poor tool customization options. Simply put, it didn’t meet the company’s needs. BCA Automotive decided to replace and internally develop a new app using LANSA tools.
The new ePOD app needed to support multiple platforms and be available for both online and offline use. Managers needed to send work to drivers who would receive information and complete all the delivery-related forms on their phones. Other major requirements were text messaging, the ability to capture signatures and attach photos.
The company’s core applications already used LANSA and were easily available as web apps across all their platforms, so BCA Automotive decided to use LANSA to create an ePOD app in-house using their internal engineering team and their IBM i based IT system.
The completed LANSA app features the all capabilities the company needed. This includes an offline mode, with a new database architecture for timely data exchange between the driver’s phones and the company’s back-end. They created all back-end functions, as well as the internal application design, in LANSA.
The new app also includes rich security customization options. The company can now easily track the progress of each delivery task. In addition, they maintain full control over the information each driver sees. On the driver’s side, the app reduces time spent filling out forms, capturing signatures, and taking pictures. It has streamlined the process of receiving and signing off on jobs.
With LANSA’s help, BCA Automotive implemented a powerful transportation and delivery application. The company achieved several business benefits:
Developing the tool internally resulted in considerable cost savings. Firstly, BCA Automotive stopped paying for third-party software. Next, their tailor-made solution improved their KPIs by maximizing the efficiency of their delivery processes and minimizing typical errors.
By developing the app in-house they integrated all their necessary features with their existing back-end infrastructure. Finally, the new app is also flexible, highly customizable, and it can easily implement future changes and updates.
Why was LANSA the key to the success of this project?
Visual LANSA is a low-code, rapid application development platform for building enterprise-grade mobile, web, and desktop apps. It was key to the successful delivery of the BCA Automotive ePOD project. With LANSA, BCA Automotive used its existing development team to deliver a complex new app without learning new skills.
Here are several important that make LANSA a great solution for implementing your digital transformation projects:
A simpler development process
Visual LANSA platform allows every developer to work on any part of an application. Using LANSA’s high-level language, developers apply the same skills to write client-side and server-side code and everything in between. LANSA shields developers from having to become experts in many different languages. In particular, LANSA allows them to deliver products without delays. Developers can focus on app creation rather than technical concerns.
Full-stack developers are not required
Using LANSA saves organizations the expense of hiring costly specialized software developers to create new apps. This is because, with LANSA, developers create their applications in LANSA’s IDE. They use the same development approach for every Visual LANSA application. This also means that you don’t need to have both front-end and back-end developers on your team — every developer can create an entire web application from start to finish.
With the ability to code both client-side and server-side apps from inside the IDE, LANSA’s hybrid low-code approach is the most versatile method for developing apps. It allows developers to stay inside the IDE to create the entire application and easily migrate existing apps written in other languages using LANSA’s bridge capabilities. All the development tools are conveniently located inside one IDE.
Visual LANSA allows organizations to easily deploy their apps anywhere, including IBM i, Windows, the Cloud, and Linux. This also makes it easy for developers to create cross-platform apps that can work on all kinds of devices while being connected to the same back-end capabilities.
Finally, Visual LANSA’s hybrid low-code lets organizations easily integrate new solutions with existing parts of their IT infrastructure. They can connect various components without the need to create time-consuming workarounds.
Ready to empower your digital transformation efforts with LANSA?
You can learn more about BCA Automotive developing an electronic proof of delivery application with LANSA’s tools by watching this video webinar featuring Stuart Smith, Business Systems Manager at BCA Automotive. Stuart talks about their digital transformation journey, challenges the company faced along the way, as well as how LANSA tools helped them to achieve their goals.
Ready to get started with a digital transformation journey of your own? Then contact us to find out more about how we can help.