Sofico specializes in B2B software solutions for companies providing automotive finance, leasing, fleet, and mobility management services. They have maintained an industry leader position for nearly three decades and operate on a global scale, with offices on four continents.
Their powerful platforms serve as an administrative backbone, helping leasing companies to manage their contracts; from car configuration and price quotes in the frontend, to contract management and lease accounting in the back office. Users include both leasing company staff and end users like drivers or fleet managers.
The company wanted to revamp its front office offering based on new cloud services architecture, and thought a mobile app would be essential for its customers to support its drivers and mobility users. They joined forces with In The Pocket to build an intuitive and comprehensive mobile application that would make its users' lives easier.
The product design team from In The Pocket quickly understood what we were after and helped us explore the potential of mobile in our industry. A real eye opener.
We embarked upon a Discovery Track, a fast-paced series of workshops designed to identify a company’s digital potential. We go through roughly two phases (and exercises).
- Understanding the objectives, both for Miles customers (e.g. “Having a more direct, proactive and meaningful channel with their users.”) and for Sofico (e.g. “Being ready for market shifts like private lease customers or mobility budgets”).
- Mapping all of the stakeholders, their pains, potential gains and the jobs-to-be-done.
- Identifying needs to solve. Here, we created different experience maps, visualizing what happens in common mobility scenarios (e.g. maintenance or an incident).
- Identifying all of the different digital products; e.g. a driver app, a sales rep tablet tool, etc.
- Pulling those products apart and looking for themes; e.g. on the road actions, incidents, contractual follow-up, etc.
- Exploring how those themes could play out, what is expected, highlight best and bad practices, ... We often look at examples from other industries and look for parallels.
- Prioritizing functionalities: what’s the absolute minimum (MVP), what would be a differentiator, what should be on our radar but is not crucial at this point, ...
2. Product Design
3. Building the product
To maximize efficiency and flexibility, we developed the new application using the Xamarin Forms framework. This cross-platform Microsoft framework allowed us to write just one version of code and deploy to both Android and iOS.
The app architecture was created in such a way that new Sofico clients can completely adjust the look and feel of the app, as is custom for white-label solutions. Many pages are generic, offering clients the opportunity to fully customize their app experience. Dashboards for example, will show the data that is most valuable to each individual user and attach the appropriate action to each widget.
As we were creating the frontend side of the app, the Sofico team focused on creating a new API to serve it, as well as integrate with their existing applications and website. This multi-party collaboration was built on three core pillars: communication, communication, communication.
The Miles Mobile.Next app is connected to Sofico's Miles software and makes important fleet management and leasing information available to company car drivers on their mobile device. Miles Mobile.Next is a white-label product, which means that leasing companies can offer the tool to their customers and drivers, customized to their own branding, with the functionalities that suit their specific needs.
The app brings powerful features to lease drivers and mobility users:
- Handy on-the-road features, like finding nearby fuel stations (compliant with your fuel card) and parking, registering professional expenses and trips, etc.
- Reminders for maintenance and tire changes, and being able to directly book an appointment.
- Easy incident (breakdown, accident) reporting with a photo function, including assistance requests and follow-up.
- Communicaton tools to touch base with fleet managers and/or lease company (ranging from support questions, speed tickets, invoices, …).
- Everything related to the lease contract (pre-contractual practicalities, mileage, forecasts, end-of-contract takeover, etc.)