Developing a Job Management App for On-Demand Physical Checks
About this project
Shepper provides digital reports of physical assets. Shepper sends real people to real locations in order to check on assets and collect vital information and data. Shepper needed a team that could scale fast when needed, build a reliable, high-quality product, and deal with looming deadlines.
Ordering asset checks in 3 easy steps
In a world where Google can provide most information with the click of a button, Shepper really stands out. This startup appreciates that technology has brought many advantages to enterprise, but acknowledges that we still operate in the real world and as such need physical assurances too.
Shepper sends real people to real locations in order to check on assets and collect vital information and data. Having built a strong international network of trusted local people, Shepper is able to provide results fast in addition to driving down costs for business customers across property, media, retail, transport, and financial services, to name a few.
With Shepper, the magic happens in three simple steps:
- The customer requests a custom inspection at a particular location;
- A Shepherd accepts the job and completes it;
- Shepper quality assures the report and sends it on to the customer.
Calling on a global network of Shepherds
Shepper began as a direct response to a market need. Many businesses and individuals struggled to find efficient ways to check on their assets (such as holiday homes) remotely. Initially, the app was directed at the real estate industry (mainly Airbnb homeowners), but its scope has expanded to include other fields such as advertising, transport, public sector, utilities, security, and finance.
Real-life examples of Shepper in action include:
- A luxury property management company checking on their portfolio of homes;
- A car sharing service inspecting their vast fleet;
- An insurance provider keeping an eye on claims reported by their customers.
Now, Shepper focuses on B2B clients and large-scale projects that deal with properties at a distance. The service is available in more than 12 countries to both small- and large-scale businesses.
Merging the functionality of two apps
Shepper started out with two separate applications for their ‘Shepherds’ - the agents in the network performing the jobs. The first app developed by Shepper allowed Shepherds to create reports while performing inspections.
The second app was a third-party solution that gave them the means to publish job offers on a marketplace. Combining both apps was a necessary step in order to merge the functionality of both, improve on the overall experience, and remove any dependencies on external systems.
Finding the right team for the job
Initially, Shepper wasn't sure about the cooperation with Netguru, but our Product Design Team delivered good work and made their expertise in UI and UX design obvious. This was enough to convince Shepper’s team that our cooperation would be beneficial.
Moreover, Shepper needed a team that could scale fast when needed, build a reliable, high-quality product, and deal with looming deadlines - it turns out we're the ones who could deliver all that.
The first phase of the project prioritised UX and UI. We made sure that the designs would suit Shepper’s large and demanding target group. Then we focused on mobile app development. Netguru’s developers used React Native to build a brand new application for Shepherds, making their job of conducting inspections and preparing reports easier.
It took us about six months to build a React Native app from scratch, combining the functionality of the two original apps. Netguru’s project team included a Senior React Native Developer, two regular React Native Developers, a dedicated Quality Assurance Specialist, and a Project Manager.
Investing in close cooperation
Once we’ve spent several months working on Shepper and familiarising ourselves with the client’s business, Netguru’s team could not only provide a reliable partnership and the best technological fit, but also share insights and knowledge about product management and development.
We established a good communication flow. In the words of Jan Vanhoutte, Shepper’s CPO, “Netguru’s people ask a lot of questions to find the best answers. They care about the outcome of the project.”
It’s true that we’re very inquisitive - we surprised the client with how much each of the developers wanted to learn about the business context. They wanted to understand the purpose of the software they built and see the business perspective - all to make the best possible decisions for the project.
Introducing the Shepper Jobs app
Shepper’s goal is to revolutionise how businesses monitor their revenue-generating assets. The app uses information about available inspection jobs from Shepper’s database via the API. Each Shepherd - a local who can easily get to the asset and perform the job - can create an account with a specified area of work, search the marketplace of available jobs, and send in reports via the app.
The main features of the application
The main features of the Shepper app include:
- Account creation,
- Custom areas (job search according to individual parameters)
- Location tracking,
- Job marketplace,
- Job walkthrough (sections and tasks),
- Report multimedia (video recordings and photos added through drag & drop),
- Reports and feedback,
- Offline state (handle offline activity),
- Payments (accepting bank accounts from various countries),
- Notifications (e.g. about nearby jobs).
Delivering value to customers worldwide
Shepper’s mission is to deliver value to businesses all over the world and prove that companies can leverage the power of the gig economy if they do so with care and respect. The results of such an approach speak for themselves.
The platform serves customers from over 12 countries, with a focus on several main markets: the US, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Scandinavia. Over 100 corporations already use Shepper on a recurring basis. Shepper has completed more than 425,000 inspections to date and expanded from property inspections into other industries, with the support of investors like Aviva.