Case study: Braemar Seascope
A bespoke web application built using the Microsoft ASP.NET MVC framework.Download as PDF
Global shipbroking company Braemar Seascope has taken the use of web-based tools to a new level with their new application, the ShipApp. Codehouse has built a bespoke web application from scratch using the Microsoft ASP.NET MVC framework giving the brokers a unique tool to automate processes, increase service levels and make a positive contribution to the bottom line.
The need for a bespoke web application (the brief)
When global shipbroking company Braemar Seascope approached Codehouse the brief was to develop a bespoke web application to help them keep track of more than 60,000 vessels worldwide. The application should be able to help Braemar's brokers provide an exclusive service to their clients and on the technical side it had to be built flexibly enough to allow changes as the market evolved, as Aaron Terrett from Braemar Seascope puts it:
“We wanted a web based shipping application built that we could modify and maintain ourselves so it meets our needs now and moves with the needs of the business as it grows. This also allows us to adapt to new requirements which can be implemented quickly and more efficiently than before whilst still being user friendly and intuitive.”
Agile.NET MVC (the strategy)
Codehouse decided to build the application on the ASP.NET MVC framework and take an agile approach with short iterations allowing for a flexible developmental process and a constant, visible progression of the project. The advantage of the MVC framework is that the business logic is kept separate from both the user input and the user interface so that further development and change requests are easier to manage and the risks of regression errors are minimised.
This way the application is designed to be flexible enough to meet Braemar’s request for an easily expandable and modifiable application and it has been possible to launch the first steps of the application quickly whilst the application was further developed and expanded with more features and functionality added along the way.
A strong collaboration (the execution)
Codehouse and Braemar Seascope started a close collaboration where the project team worked closely in short-lived, iterative development cycles. The teams met regularly at the end of each cycle to discuss the current status and agree on the priority of further development.
The development process thus took on a very flexible form enabling the teams to modify the features of the application in order to meet the requirements the best way possible. The wishes and ideas for modifications came from both sides of the table as Braemar became aware of the need for even more functionality as the application took shape. Codehouse transformed feedback, change requests and new feature requests into functionality during each development iteration.
By working closely together in short-lived, iterative development cycles Codehouse and Braemar Seascope collaboratively took business objectives and converted these into features and functions. The new application is thus a textbook example of the perfect symbiosis between technical development and business awareness.
“Codehouse have been an invaluable partner. By working in a phased approach, designing functions and pages in short development cycles, we’ve been able to release the application, phase by phase to brokers, which has eased adoption of the new application by the brokers.” Aaron Terrett, Braemar Seascope.
Through the continuous collaboration process the application has grown to become feature rich and quickly able to gather, process and present an enormous amount of data (from more than one hundred different vessel parameters) to the brokers. These actions had earlier been managed manually so once implemented into the brokers’ work environment the application has made life both easier and more responsive to the clients needs.
“The biggest challenge with the application has been making an application which is rich in functionality but still performs fast enough for the needs of our broking and chartering teams around the world. With Codehouse's help and expertise, we've been able to meet this challenge effectively,” says Aaron Terrett from Braemar Seascope.
Being a shipbroker, only better and faster (the results)
The result of the close collaboration is an application that will help Braemar's brokers input and access up-to-date information on vessels and their charters and so help the brokers provide an exclusive service to Braemar's clients. The application brings together multiple parameters for analysis and tracking of the vessels thus giving the brokers an in-depth insight into where the ships are going, when they are due at destination, when they are next available for charter, what they are capable of carrying, etc. The application also tracks vessels that are for sale as well as client purchase enquiries.
The application is based around a feature-rich, multi-faceted search engine enabling brokers to complete complex searches of the database of vessels and then save those searches as well as export the results to email and Excel. Each vessel record contains a mine of information on the vessel's characteristics and capabilities as well as the commercial history.
The reduced response time for enquiries and increased speed to market will ultimately drive business, increase revenues and so impact positively on the bottom line:
“This application will enable the brokers using it to work faster and more efficiently, allowing our broking and chartering teams to work closer together sharing information in one central application and database, thus enabling us to link up our offices worldwide,” says Aaron Terrett from Braemar Seascope.
About Braemar Seascope
Braemar Seascope is part of Braemar Shipping Services and is one of the largest chartering and sale and purchase shipbroking companies in the world. Braemar Shipping Services plc is a leading international provider of shipbroking, consultancy, technical, logistics and other services to the shipping and energy industries. Clients are located around the globe and served from a network of international offices.
Codehouse is a Microsoft Gold Partner focusing on web development on the .NET platform and in Sitecore and Umbraco content management systems. We are proud to be one of the most experienced Umbraco and Sitecore Solution Partners worldwide.
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