Building a Native Mobile App

When you’re looking to expand your client base of insured classic cars, where do you go? To classic car shows. NSM agents needed an app that could effectively log lead gen client data while “on the road” at classic car events throughout the country.

For a quicker quote turnaround, a user-centered native mobile app.

The Project

  • The application needed to be user-friendly, easily upgradable, and have the ability to work without Wi-Fi (offline)
  • It needed to be co-branded without re-keying into two quote systems
  • App data also had to integrate with the established internal data management system

BRIO’s user-centered design and data management expertise informed our strategic build of a native iPad app. Now NSM insurance quotes go from car shows to clients’ inboxes in a snap.

For more than twenty-five years, NSM has been underwriting niche industries that often require niche solutions. Car shows are a vital part of the classic car market, providing opportunities to establish relationships with new clientele. NSM was using a paper-based legacy data collection process, causing costly delays between initial interactions and emailed quotes. Data would be imported and then actioned post-show.

NSM needed a mobile application allowing for on-site data input that enabled agents to toggle between the insurer’s two brands. Users should be able to deploy it at enterprise level (not installed via App Store, but internally), accommodating the limited or non-existent access to Wi-Fi at most car show venues.

And to add just a little more complexity: the data sync processes also needed to be collaborative. With an NSM database already established, the app needed to integrate and use data reciprocally so the internal NSM team could manage it.

A collaborative approach helped make app integration feasible.

How would BRIO make it feasible to store information locally (on the iPad) until agents could access reliable internet to upload the data to NSM? The answer was within the integration with the existing lead management system from NSM.

BRIO collaborated with the in-house team at NSM to develop the appropriate API calls to send data directly to their existing lead management system. With this updated process, leads can follow standard sales processes, while the internal team manages and maintains the data. This allows NSM to bypass the former manual process, saving agents’ time while also securing more completed deals.

Multiple needs streamlined into one solution.

BRIO developed a native iOS iPad app which moves potential leads through a series of self-service questions to collect data to inform the follow-up insurance quote. Alternatively, agents can walk the client through the questions (there is an agent and client mode), allowing agents to create stronger relationships with potential clients during this “first-touch” interaction.

To develop the app to run on iOS, BRIO used Xamarin—a free, cross-platform, and open-source system for building mobile apps. The local NSM database was on SQLite, which BRIO built into Xamarin. The NSM development team set-up APIs on Azure to collect the data and insert it into the SQL database. BRIO posted to the API via HTTPS, encrypting this data with TLS 1.2.

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