Customer Portal Development

When a key customer told this national logistics and construction management firm that they would win more of their business if information and reports were available online, they came to BRIO to find a way to securely pull information out of their existing on-premises system and make it available for customers on the web.

The Project

  • Cloud-based webapp built with .NET MVC and a SQL Server database
  • Secure API endpoint with Windows Console app
  • Role-based permissions that segment access
  • Notification engine to generate and send emails
  • Azure hosting

An easy to use customer portal allowing self-serve rental requests and on-demand reports gave this rental company a competitive edge.

For more than 20 years, this national firm has specialized in waste services and job site logistics. Operations run 365 days a year, with same or next-day services. With changing service demands, our client needed to add a self-service customer portal allowing clients to request, change, and report rentals.

Their system running rental operations met internal needs, but didn’t provide a front-end interface or client accessible website. However, developing a web app displaying internal information brings their data online, and allows customers to enter information online for source system processing.

Customer input and feedback whittled down a giant list of potential features to a manageable set that provided the most value.

First things first: let’s understand the users and the data, and how they’ll interact with each other.

BRIO ran a series of interviews with project stakeholders — both with our client and our client’s client — to understand what various parties needed to get out of the final project. We then dove into the data available in their existing system to understand internal uses for different fields and modules. We also considered their dependencies, processes kicked off, and managers.

With a clear idea of internal business processes, BRIO then turned to future users of the system. We learned what features the customer needed to consider the portal competitive:

  • It had to be simple and mobile. With a user base that isn’t technically savvy, the interface needed to be intuitive whether it’s being accessed from a desktop or mobile device.
  • It had to offer different levels of access. People using the portal don’t all fall into one category, and need to see different information based on their role.
  • Reporting was essential. With stricter regulations and requirements around recycling, the client needed to be able to pull reports about the materials disposed of for each rental.

A mobile-friendly customer portal that’s easy to use and useful, too.

The new client portal is a central location for customers to request, view, and report on the rentals. On the front-end, clients get a user-friendly and responsive website to request, manage, and report on their rentals. In addition, the portal lets registered clients request service and pulls in rentals created traditionally after a phone, text or email request, and gives a complete view of all jobs, past and present.

The portal includes functionality for:

  • User management and roles
  • Request forms
  • Notifications
  • Customizable reports
  • Data exports

Instead of a phone call, text, or email — requests, data, and reports are just a click away.

In the first year of use, the portal fielded 100s of requests that would typically have required a human interaction. Not only does this give clients the option to request service or look at orders anytime, anywhere — it also frees up internal resources to work on more productive tasks while still maintaining a relationship with their clients.

As adoption picks up among more and more clients, we continue to collaborate to define and implement enhancements, such as:

  • A two-way integration to remove the need for manual source system updates.
  • Advanced reporting capabilities, using more data points and graphic data visualizations.
  • An approval process that allows clients to require that rentals requested by certain employees are reviewed by a supervisor before being submitted.

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