As a market leader in traffic control technology and parking applications, SWARCO Traffic Ltd (STL) were on top of their game with their product offering. Unfortunately, their online offer wasn’t reflecting their deep expertise.
When they approached us in 2016, they knew they needed a new software platform for their road sign products – something that would transform how their road signals were sold and updated.
“All of our products were working on Windows while everyone else in the industry had gone web based; we were feeling left behind. We knew we needed to go to cloud but didn’t have the skills inhouse to take it to a higher level of sophistication,” explained David Cousins, Head of Engineering at STL.
From the start, STL made it clear that this was an important strategic project for them. They saw an opportunity to modernise their offering, strengthen their position in existing markets and create new revenue streams by developing a low cost-of-entry centrally hosted subscription model for customers who wanted to rent rather than buy their traffic signs.
“We started off very much as we would with any other development project: we published the specs and gave them to the agency to work to. But, working with Versantus, we quickly realised how inefficient that actually was. Instead of just following our specifications blindly, they looked at the problems that needed solving and carried out a feasibility study that assessed the different scenarios first,” added David.
Taking into account STL’s expected sales pipeline and future target customers, our technical architect worked with their senior team to plan out a possible roadmap for the technology platform. This helped us to develop a common understanding of the project and gave STL confidence that our team could do the job.
We then began producing prototypes and visual designs for key areas of their system, identifying any significant risk areas and confirming their requirements in detail.
With a clear understanding of the challenges and priorities, our team got to work. Working as an agile development team, we gave regular product releases and feature reviews, which allowed us to make changes to features and priorities based on their feedback, and the needs of their customers.
“The entire project moved forward efficiently because of how the Versantus team work. The process was much easier than we had experienced previously. Their transparent problem reporting systems meant that we had access to issues and could stay on track, solving bugs as they occurred to maintain progress continuously,” commented David.
With the new platform, STL has been able to give its users the ability to design their own traffic signs easily with full graphics and text options - and no coding required. Users don’t need to be technically minded to use it and can now change signs every hour of every day in seconds.
The platform has been extremely well-received by STL’s customers who appreciate the straightforward usability.
“One of the best comments we received from a customer about the platform was that they didn’t need our manuals or training anymore, as the system is so easy to use! Another asked how we had managed to create something so simple that is so complex – and why no-one else had managed to do the same.”
“Versantus have a real skill in understanding what your business and customers need, which results in a very user-friendly solution,” added David.
There are several reasons why this project worked so well. Firstly, STL were ready to ramp up online. They had great ideas and big ambition, and their customers were at the core of their thinking. Importantly, they were open to being challenged because they saw the value in solving problems. Our agile way of working complemented their own project management too, so both parties saw continuous progress.
If you want to create a solution that genuinely solves a customer or business problem, your ideas need to be robust and comprehensively thought through. We challenge briefs to help our clients create solutions that deliver and achieve so much more. If you’re ready for a new way of working, we’d love to help you do the same.