Apps to help the environment.
Sustainability and environmental care… one of the major points of the past and future decades, without a doubt, also for oil companies… although with BP perhaps you wouldn’t think so right now.
We’ve been working for one of the largest oil companies in the world since a couple of years and recently we built an online tool that helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions in a very direct way.
The transportation sector is one of the major malefactors regarding the emission of CO2, and a company like our client is heavily involved in container transport and logistics. So to reduce the impact on the environment as much as possible it’s a good idea to focus on the loading of the containers: well stacked containers can hold more items which results in less transport and is both cheaper and greener.
Our client noticed that the trucks are rarely complete or fully charged when customers place an order. They already had an optimization process for this, but it was not mandatory and usually the containers are owned by the end customer anyway. Additionally they were trying to improve the load distribution using a very complex spreadsheet that was not working as they expected (not to mention not very easy to use and even a bit boring).
So, our main challenge besides getting the end customer involved in this process was to deliver all feedback contained in that nifty spreadsheet but in a more visual, intuitive and easy way without losing accuracy in calculations. So after quite some analysis of the spreadsheet, we could translate the complexity into a 3 step wizard delivered as a Flash application. A lot of focus was put on the user interface: making it both visually attractive and efficient in use.
Working with the new tool is very simple and requires almost no time or effort from the customer (and it’s a lot more fun to look at). The aim is well-loaded containers and if that can be achieved by ordering more of the same (or different) products at the same moment… that is what the application will suggest. Might seem pure sales from afar, but in fact it’s usually a win-win-win:
- our client sells more in a one go
- the end customer is cheaper off buying and transporting more at once than in 2 separate sessions
- the environment absolutely adores the less-trucks-on-the-road effect
It’s a lot of fun - and satisfying - to use a technology like Flash to build this type of solution, but at least equally important is the call-to-action. That’s why our client has decided to make the optimization process part of the contractual agreement with its customers as of now: more users of the tool, better results. And even though it’s not going to stop a big oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, I do think it is this type of commitment we need for the future of our big blue ball.
Category: Rich Internet Apps
Foreach has created several websites with Umbraco and was recently named Certified Partner.October 25, 2012