DisputeCRM CaseStudy – Creating a Meteor CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Application in 90 days!

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This is a client case study of a project that MeteorNerds delivered solutions for in creating a Custom Customer Relationship Management System built from scratch with Meteor. The timeline to deliver the MVP was 90 days. The MVP resulted in being delivered within 60 days and a production version was delivered in 90 days that allowed the client to transition from their old systems to DisputeCRM.

The FIRST Fully Functional Meteor JS CRM that is available to be customized to business. From Lead to client management to digital document signing, email marketing, ecommerce, document management and tracking completed with a Learning Management system and unlimited affiliate/reseller program this projected resulted in more than just a Meteor CRM. We have created a platform that can run any business from any device anywhere in the world.

Our future plans are to expand the functionality of the CRM by adding a Point of Sale (POS) solution and along with expanding the already API integrations to over 400+ software applications.

Client Background:

The client is in the USA financial services industry and is using seven (7) different software solutions to operate their business. Even though this client is a $3 Million dollar a year business they are experiencing growth challenges due to their systems. One of the challenges is that none of their systems communicate with each other creating workflow and reporting issues making it difficult to know the real time business position. The result of this is that the business is very reactive rather than proactive in the day to day operations.

Some of the clients software solutions are also starting to fail. They are experiencing increased downtime, lost data and general system performance issues due to the size of their business but also due to the reliance on systems that are outside the companies control. This has left the client in the position of having to do something or continue to suffer data lose which costs them $100,000’s each time the data lose occurs.

One big concern this client had going into this project is that custom software scares them. They have developers on staff who are already overwhelmed with the backlog of tasks and have started many custom software projects only to not complete them or result in having to shelve the project. They are not waiting this to occur again.

MeteorNerds was able to structure and agreement that put the deliverables of this product based on performance and meeting the predefined milestones. Due to the nature of the project and the experience of the MeteorNerd team we were able to exceed the clients expectations. The client actually doubted that we would deliver the MVP within 90 days and yet when we delivered the finished MVP in 60 it took them a week to accept we achieved the milestone.

The MeteorNerd team presented a demonstration of features every week to the client and outlined the intended goals for the following week every Friday. This allowed the client to have real-time input into the progress of the development schedule.

The Client also has the ability to sell this software once the a production version is ready to other parties who would rather pay for a SAS solution rather than experience the burden of custom software development. Part of this project architecture required building the multi-tenant solution to allow for an SAS offering.

The MVP and version 1.0 have successfully on-boarded paying clients for the DisputeCRM SAS version.

Project Scope:

(This may seem like a lot but we have a good team of Nerds that were able to attack this project and since we had the momentum we continued to build this out to make the best possible solution for our clients industry for which we have already started receiving industry wide recognition for the solution created)

The scope of this project included building out the following elements within the Meteor JS Framework:

  • Digital Document Signing – To work on any device from desktop to tablet to smart phone
  • Webforms – To allow for the submission of leads via websites
  • API- To allow of the integration of other vendors or solutions. Providing growth and expansion of the system. Our team took this one step further by integrating with Zapier to allow for over 400+ API integrations out of the box.
  • Lead Management – The ability to track leads, lead source and move them to a paying client
    • Ability to Send Email.
    • Ability to Track Phone Calls, Messages, Notes.
    • Provide leads with access to training portal for Marketing Materials.
    • Lead Document Management
    • Allow for Affiliates or referral partners to submit leads.
    • Track what lead become paying clients and track the associated commissions payable.
  • Client Management
    • Client Hangout (Portal) – Ability for Client to update and track the progress of their file in real-time along with submit and track communication with their file managers.
      • Clients can submit documents via taking photos via their phone.
    • Client Record Management – Make sure all information is up to date on file.
    • Using letter Templates to create letters to based on clients matters.
    • Track letter responses.
    • Track email communication between client.
    • Rewards system allowing client to refer friends.
  • Ecommerce – Ability to process sales via the merchant API’s
  • Affiliate Tracking – This allows for the tracking of who referred the client and payout of the associated commissions for these sales.
  • Affilate / Reseller Hangout (Portal)
    • Secure area for the different resellers to become educated via the Learning Management System along with access their marketing and promotional resources.
    • In this area the clients and submit leads, track clients progress in real-time from within the hangout.
  • Email Marketing – We make use of 3 transactional email systems to provide redundancy for email sending but to allow leads to be communicated via one service and clients via another. This is to increase the deliverability rates and allows for our team to leverage the best transactional email solutions in the world rather than trying to build our own SMTP servers to deliver email.
  • Access Controls based on user roles.

Why did we select meteor?

MeteorNerds recommended the meteor framework based on the reactivity of the system along with the speed in which development could occur. The solution needed to be 100% multi-platform and mobile compatible from the beginning and needed to handle large data very well. Based on these needs and the requirements to be able to build this system quickly due to the competitors in this industry Meteor was presented as one of the most viable solutions.

As a result the MeteorNerds Code Library for Meteor JS Framework is not extensive with many of the elements of this project becoming packages that can be used in any type of project in the future.

How We Did It:

The first thing we did with defining this Minimum Viable Product (MVP) was to define what were the must have features that allowed the client to still operate their business in the new system. Once this was completed we understand that it was mainly about Client Data collection, letter tracking and template letter creation. Based on this our team was able to prioritize the functionality that was needed to be built. The concept was that if the clients other software crashed tomorrow what would they need in the new system to allow them to at least do their job and still bill clients to continue their business.

This was time well spent because when we spoke with sales people they listed 20 features of the system that they thought people would want and need however when it came down to the daily must have operational requirements the feature list was vastly different.

One of the main parts of the system was the letter creation logic and determining that there was over 90 templates for letters with the various logic for the variables used within these letters that are created. This resulted in creating AI like letter creation based on the input options selected during setup. This resulted in the client being able to transition 2 staff to other fulfillment positions within the company, since the DisputeCRM automates the transition of Leads to clients within one system.

One of the things we wanted to focus on with this project was to spend more time on functionality rather than design. So we made the decision to use the UI elements from a design template and make use of all the available UX and UI elements of the provided template. This made us keep things simple and focus on functionality first within the parameters of the template.

This was also a $18 design decision and allowed is to move rapidly forward with building out the functionality. We did not waste time on complicated UI design due to the template. We used this template https://wrapbootstrap.com/theme/neuboard-responsive-admin-angularjs-WB0M35410

NeuBoard_-_Responsive_Admin___AngularJS___Admin___Dashboards___WrapBootstrap_-_Bootstrap_Themes___Templates

One of the cool things about this template was that there was a Meteor version which made it even easier for us to install and create a good looking User Interface. The user interface is certainly something that the customers of the SAS solution are looking for along with users of the system itself. Even though we will be doing a lot more work on the UI over the next few months it has certainly been good enough to make people want to buy access to the system.

Here is what the system looks like due to this template:

screenshots2

screenshots_client_management

devices_reject_accept

As you will notice we have been able to improve the system user experience by color coding the progress of leads and clients based on their current file status. These and other simple visual cues are helping processors understand what need to happen on the file much faster when clients are on the phone.

Our team has started to implement some of the gamification elements like points, badges, leaderboards, virtual currency, rewards system and several other game mechanics. It helps that one of the nerds of MeteorNerds is “Mr Gamification” a gamification and engagement strategist. This has helped in many ways during development to create a system that people want to use and enjoy using.

Where the MeteorNerds spent their time was focused on building out user work flows and wireframes for the project along with the relevant logic associated with such daily tasks. One of the benefits of our client already using 7 systems was that there was a lot of options available for workflow logic. But the realization was made that this was not also a good thing. Why?

Because the client had created work processes around what the software required rather than the ideal workflow. With this in mind there was a lot of strategy sessions with the clients different staff members asking them what would be the ideal way to complete this tasks. And if you could have a dream system what would it do and how would it do it?

“…massive productivity gains for the company…”

This resulted in some massive productivity gains for the company and it is estimated that currently that DisputeCRM is providing our clients staff with an additional one (1) hour of productivity due to how the system work flow was implemented. Rather than asking the client to do things multiple times or require data to be entered in various systems we were able to create complete workflows from lead to sale to fulfillment and file closing.

How the Meteor Platform has shined in this project..

Two of the workflows that the client had a difficult time with in the other systems was;

1. Allow clients to see the progress/ status of their file.

2. Assigning tasks to the clients to complete and speed up the process of collecting documents from clients.

This is how we solved both of these challenges with meteor which has resulted in one of the main selling benefits of DisputeCRM.

We needed to be able to allow for clients to access a secure area which we called a hangout but you could call it a members area or portal page where the client would have the REALTIME status of their file along with the ability to upload files instantly to their account. It is always a challenge to get end users to log into their portal so we made this easier with the Social Login packages.

But one of the impressive elements is how the data updates within the CRM and the hangout in real time without being refreshing the browser. This has impressed the clients and users when they are on the phone with clients and they ask end users to upload a document and it instantly shows on the screen of the Phone Operator to validate. This alone has saved much back and forth between processing staff and the clients. It is a simple thing but not having to wait for the databases to populate along with the real time reactivity of meteor is making Meteor a powerful advancement in CRM platforms.

When clients log into their Hangout they are able to see in real time the status of their files and submit support tickets and emails directly to their file managers. We will soon be adding the live chat functionality to make it even easier to communicate between client and file handler.

A similar challenge was experienced by the resellers and affiliates who wanted to be able to see the real-time status of their clients files, along with their pending commissions. One of the challenges with paying sales commissions is dealing with refunds, charge backs or bounced payments and with the speed in which DisputeCRM recognizes these transactions is impressive. This alone is helping the business owners provide their resellers with more accurate reporting of their sales ledgers.

One of the Challenges of using Meteor…

One of the challenges that the Nerds had to deal with was that not all packages were viable to use in this project. So our team had to spend time to create packages for this project that would be viable short and long term. There was many times we were chasing buts within packages and getting them to be fully viable. This is a challenge because we needed to factor in additional time for this.

However with this challenge it also creates extensive opportunity since we have been able to now create our own impressive code library complete with advanced affiliate commission programs and email marketing solutions. So rather than being able to just pull a log of package from Atmospherejs we had to assess what we could and could not use. And if there was any conflict in other parts of the system. As the code based started to get larger this testing and continued testing has taken on a life of it’s own. But this complaint is not a bad thing it is just something you need to factor into your development but the reality is it may not take that much longer anyway and Meteor is certainly faster to build in than other platforms.

How does the system handle as we are scaling?

We are using the AWS EC2 server network (Amazon) and we have not had any issues with that at this point in time. The speed and reliability has been extremely good to date.

Some of the clients in DisputeCRM have over 9,000 client records with hundreds of data fields per client with attachments of various file types. We are using the EC2 instance along with the Amazon S3 for File storage and the responsiveness of DisputeCRM has amazed all users to date. We have been trying to push the system to it’s max and at this point have not been able to cause the system to crash or fail even though it is on a medium size instance.

We are running backups every 15 mins to protect the data and even though we have users and clients of the system who are accessing across the USA we have not had any complaints to date. We have plans to increase the instance size along with expanding the Scaleability options leveraging some of the other Amazon options.

With any project we have learnt a lot about the platform and we are more in love with developing for Meteor than ever before so this is a good thing. The output of even one developer has been impressive and comparable to using 3 developers for some of the other systems we have created in the paste.

As we start to push DisputeCRM to the mobile devices using Cordova we are optimistic about the future opportunities that are going to be created because of what we achieved with DisputeCRM and creating an impressive Meteor Package Code Library with several developers just grinding out for 90 days.