Streamlining and Managing Hoofcare
Mobile farrier application assisting with daily administration tasks.
The company and product
They have been serving farriers, horse owners, and veterinarians since 1832. Equinet, Mustad’s mobile application, marks a milestone in the company’s digital transformation.
Globally renowned for their innovative products, the application, Equinet, takes Mustad’s service offer to the next level. In the hands of a farrier, the application assists with daily administration tasks, allowing for both appointment and inventory/supply management regardless of location or network connectivity.
No more crashes
Together with a team of React Native and Ruby developers, we came to the conclusion that if we wanted a minimal marketable product that supports offline mode, we had to eject from Expo and refactor the MVP to a decent foundation; resulting in a crash rate of 0%.
Scope and Highlights
RUBY ON RAILS
COMMITS AND COUNTING
ON-SITE MEETING AT MUSTAD'S OFFICE
Mustad came to us to build an MVP they wanted to further develop into the minimal marketable stage.
The project scope expanded beyond initial plans and the original MVP faced challenges adding additional features, preventing the application’s launch. In order to move forward, it was decided that ejecting from the MVP’s current framework would be necessary.
In addition to changing frameworks, we also faced the challenge of creating an app designed for a non-digital audience that would function without an internet connection and handle native device functionalities. Working offline was crucial as the designated end user would often be in locations lacking data service.
Mustad APPLICATION SCREENSHOT
Key challenges of the project included:
Offline support (synchronization to relational and document databases).
Native component inclusion on multiple platforms (i.e. camera and photo handling).
Ejecting from Expo framework and adopting React Native and Firebase in order to progress from MVP to MMP.
Based on iterations and feedback, the exact look of the components evolved over time.
This Agile approach worked quite well throughout the development process.
Again, for each new challenge, we were able to choose the appropriate tool or solution. Image attachment management is settled with Firebase. We started using Cloud Firestore, a NoSQL document database. It is not a relational database and this posed a challenge since this was a completely different way of thinking about databases.
Our team decided that moving from an MVP to a minimal marketable product required ejecting from the MVP’s Expo framework. In order to include the required features there was no option but to abandon the Expo framework. In the process, many components needed to be changed, it was almost a rewrite of what the team started with.
For offline support, we used Watermelon, a library to sync device (SQLite) and backend (PostgreSQL) databases and exchange data by API connection.
A restful API would be used in most cases, but now it’s a push-and-pull API where all the changes would be synced when there is a connection. It’s quite a different approach with its own challenges.
To achieve native component inclusion for camera and picture handling, native components which were available for React Native were included.
This is how we made it happen:
WatermelonDB was used to manage offline data.
React Native was chosen to handle native component inclusions.
Much of the original code was rewritten or adapted for the React Native framework.
Trust and cooperation
Having a solid technical foundation and knowledge, the Mustad project became not only a coding challenge, but also evolved into a true partnership. Our team takes an active part in creating the product itself by constantly putting in input about the flow, suggesting different approaches and designing features together with the product owner. Having this amazing trust from the client, together we create an inspiring workflow.
Equinet, originally an MVP project, was developed into a minimal marketable product.
Alongside Monterail developers, external resources were also successfully engaged to reach this goal. Since then, the product has been launched in 4 markets and Mustad is actively helping farriers with their businesses.
The end user benefits by having scheduling, invoicing, inventory, images, and more in one application. As a business, Mustad is able to provide an unprecedented level of customer service and better understand their clients and manufacturing processes.
Key benefits for the client:
Completing major steps in the process of digitally transforming the core of their business.
Creating a platform to support farriers in their day-to-day business activities.
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