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15
Oct
2019

“This is a big step for the whole world to know about the quality of our service.” – Alexander Bylinsky, Managing Director at Alverden

Clutch, a B2B market research firm headquartered in Washington, D.C.listed Alverden on its annual report of top B2B accounting firms.Alverden was featured as a premier provider for restaurants, medical institutions, and small businesses. This award is nothing short of a complete honor. We’re thankful that Clutch chose us as a top provider.

Although Clutch highlighted us for our accounting services, that is just one of our many offerings.  Our team focuses heavily on development; in fact, over half of our projects involve some form of coding. Our team is well-versed in many of the industry-leading languages, and we can supplement our software deliverables with data consulting and system integration as well.

Wondering how we landed at the top of Clutch’s list?

The firm’s research team is able to identify and rank companies by using a variety of data sources. They combine market trends, portfolio content, and case study-like reviews to populate their directories and annual reports. Our Clutch profile is home to a collection of reviews that cover a wide range of different projects.

Whether you want to estimate the project by yourself or use one of the solutions offered by the third party provides, you need to decide which estimation technique suits best your business. To do that, you should answer such questions as: Do you have a clear project idea? Do you need an approximate estimation? Do you require a quick quote? We offer you to use the questions below to find the project estimation technique that suits your specific business needs.

The usage of the top-down estimation technique allows John to find a similar project to the one that he plans to develop. He compares his current project with the identified past project and gets the valuable information about the duration, team size, and cost of the current project. Applying analogous estimation, John may quickly decide whether or not he has enough resources to implement his project.

7 reasons why .net will beat java in 2018

Because of the positive feedback we’ve received on Clutch, we’re also featured on The Manifest, a Clutch-owned B2B knowledge resource. The Manifest has us ranked highly among the world’s top financial accounting firms. Visual Objects, another Clutch sister site, is a comprehensive portfolio database. It can be used to compare the development capabilities of leading companies around the globe. Check out our profile to see some of our incredible work!

This award from Clutch is a major milestone for our company. It is sure to provide us with more clients who will benefit from our world-class services. If you have any interested in joining our network of happy customers, send us a note. We’d love to discuss your business needs and goals.

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7
Oct
2019
     
When the requirements are poorly defined, you are left with many question marks and holes in the project that lead to its failure. Besides, if you have missing requirements or poor specification, it will take a lot of time to correct it, and you will have to conduct additional meetings or interviews with the customer to discuss everything through and update your specification.
    
   

Unclear Project Idea

In certain cases, customers can’t clearly describe their ideas, making the process of requirements gathering rather painful and challenging. Multiple iterations with the customers might be required to reduce misconception and better understand what should be included in a project. It all turns requirements gathering into a long-lasting process.

Inadequate requirements

Inadequate requirements result in poor cost estimates that may be higher or lower than the actual project cost. Besides, requirements errors may lead to resources wasted on unnecessary work and project defects.

Solution  

Most businesses want to spend less time on requirements documentation so they produce bare outlines without any detail. Such approach often results in the above-mentioned problems since the lack of detail leads to the possibility of increased errors. 
To eliminate this problem, we offer you to use a ready-made requirements gathering tool that will help you easily collect and prioritize project requirements, thus saving your time. As a possible solution, we offer our customers to use our requirements gathering tool. It’s a survey in which all the questions are organized by the type of project requirements, including functional, technical, and business requirements. Such survey has all the necessary information structured in a logical way. It helps our customers to reduce the time spent on requirements gathering and eliminates errors and overtime work.

Questionnaire

There are various techniques and tools for requirements gathering available on the market. We recommend you to check out our survey and share your requirements gathering experience. Based on your replies, we will help you come up with the most effective requirements gathering technique that will save your time and ensure accuracy.


1) What approaches do you mostly use to determine the project scope? 2) What techniques do you use to estimate the project cost? 3) What tools do you prefer to use to elicit your project requirements? 4) How much time do you usually spent on requirements gathering? 5) Is it difficult for you to prioritize the solution’s requirements? 6) What techniques do you use to pinpoint/avoid missing requirements? 7) What business intelligence tools do you currently use in your organization? 8) Do you generally use one technique or multiple techniques to baseline your project requirements? 9) Do you always use the same requirements gathering technique irrespective of the situation? 10) Please, name the difficulties/challenges that you usually face during the requirements gathering stage. 11) Have you ever experienced any problems when discussing project requirements with your customers? Please, name them. 12) Have you ever underestimated the time/effort needed for the project? 13) Are there any tools that help you to gather requirements faster? Name if there are any

Fill in this survey and in the next article, based on your answers, we will help you to find the effective requirements gathering technique tailored to your business needs.

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23
Nov
2018

Our customer is a logistics company that wanted to transform the way truck transportation is handled. The main idea was to automate the whole process of cargo shipping. Previously, many processes such as request handling or data processing were done manually and caused slow performance. So the customer decided to build a mobile app that could reduce manual work and enhance productivity.

Solution

We were chosen for this project due to our extensive experience in Xamarin development. The customer chose this framework since it empowers developers to use the same API to build iOS, Android, and Windows applications. With Xamarin, about 70% of the code is the same for all the three platforms, which results in cost savings and faster time to market.Using Xamarin, our team built two types of apps for Android and iOS platforms that could be used by shippers, carriers, and drivers.

Order Processing Portal

The first app was designed for shippers and carriers to streamline their operations from the initial pick-up request to real-time shipment tracking. It helps the shippers to find the right carrier. When a shipper has a request, he fills in a form with trip details. Using this data, the app generates the price and provides a quick quote. When shipper’s request is submitted to the system, a broker collects this data and compiles offerings.

Driver Tracking App

Driver tracking app was designed for drivers to ensure their better performance. Using the app, the drivers can view all the trip details. Besides, the driver may send a picture of the freight to the shipper, thus allowing for a better freight management. Due to real-time tracking feature, both shippers and carriers can check truck movement anytime and anywhere.

Xamarin Challenges and Solutions

During the development process, we faced several common issues with Xamarin. Yet, they were resolved easily.


UI Customization

Though Xamarin allows you to share the code across platforms, UI code is mostly platform-specific which means that you need to create a separate UI layer for each platform. To solve this issue, we decided to use Xamarin Platform Renderers. Xamarin user interfaces are rendered using the native controls of the specific platform to ensure the applications retain the appropriate look on each platform. Custom Renderers allowed us to override this process, being able to customize UI and interactive elements on each platform.

Carousel Page Performance

We’ve had several issues with the Carousel Page. This problem was resolved by installing the original Carousel View developed by Xamarin team. It allowed us to resolve the problems with navigation and get a smooth transition from one page to another.

List View Performance

Besides, a common issue in Xamarin development is scrolling performance. Yet it could be resolved quickly, through re-using rows. It is important to ensure that only those cells that are visible on screen are loaded in the memory whilst the content is loaded into the existing cells. When dealing with this issue, we’ve found that in our case the problem was in the images that were the part of the list view. Optimizing the images, we reached good performance and made our list view scroll very smoothly.

High-Resolution Images

When using the app, our users can upload photos or images. The sum of these images may cause slow performance. To prevent such issues, we decided to display on the app thumbnail versions of images still preserving their original size.

Right-to-Left Support

When we started working on the project, Xamarin didn’t support RTL layouts. That’s why we implemented a different solution to ensure that the app supports different languages, including right-to-left languages, such as Arabic, Hebrew, etc. Besides, 4 months later Microsoft released RTL support, allowing the developers to easily flip layouts to match language direction.

Results

During the development stage, we haven’t faced any problems with Xamarin that couldn’t be resolved. With Xamarin, you get a single codebase that targets all mobile platforms, making it an ideal choice for cross-platform development. Besides, Xamarin is an open-source solution that is actively supported not only by the developers’ team but also by a large community. All the issues that we faced during the development were resolved with the help of NuGet packages that we added to our project. We used NuGet packages to resolve the issues with Carousel View Control, Custom Tabs, Modal Popups, and Data Caching. As a result, it allowed us to provide our customer with the solution that includes:

- absolutely unique and stylish UI;
- local data storage;
- push notifications;
- GPS tracking;

The solution developed by our team empowered the customer to automate all the processes of shipment transportation, allowing for a better and faster order processing and shipment tracking. Both the apps automate manual tasks and eliminate paperwork, contributing to better performance and cost reduction.

Key Figures

     

70% Less Paperwork

The shipment management app, created by our team, empowered our customer to reduce the paperwork by 70%. Using order processing portal, the shippers and carriers no longer have to fill in the freight details manually, that saves their time and increases productivity.

30% Increase in Freight Delivery

The usage of driver tracking app enabled our customer to increase transparency, boost on-time delivery, and minimize delays by 30%.

40% Increase in Productivity

The developed solution automates manual processes, improves driver efficiency, and streamlines all shipment processes, thus helping our customer to increase speed and productivity by 40%.

30% Cost Reduction

The usage of order processing portal and driver tracking app minimizes errors and ensures accurate shipment management, that allowed our customer to achieve 30% cost reduction.

70% Process Automation

The delivered solution enabled our customer to reduce manual work by 70% which led to process optimization and logistics automation.

Increase in Driver Performance

The delivered solution helped the customer to increase driver performance due to real-time tracking, route planning, and push notifications.

Better Customer Service

Such features as freight tracking and driver performance tracking enabled our customer to achieve 100% increase in customer service.

Better Scalability & Speed

With powerful automation features, the customer can easily manage logistics operations, which results in better scalability and speed.

Transparency into Freight Movement / or Complete Transparency into Freight Movement

Real-time fleet tracking, the possibility to check route deviations, and instant communication with the drivers make shipping more transparent.

Better Communication Between Shippers & Carriers

The created solution automates the data exchange between shippers and carriers, that results in an enhanced service.

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