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W.L. French Adopts a Cloud-First Strategy by Leveraging AWS Lambda for Developing a Field Management Mobile Application

Client Introduction

W.L. French is a full-service contracting and environmental management firm that delivers innovative and cost-effective solutions. Headquartered in North Billerica, Massachusetts, and established in 1972, the firm specializes in site development, remediations, excavation environmental, and soil management solutions. W.L. French is acknowledged for its culture of inclusivity, unmatched talent, and fleet. With a fleet of over 275 pieces of heavy equipment, W.L. French serves both government agencies and commercial developers.

Business challenge

W.L. French has close to 300 drivers and field staff. Though the firm had an existing system to track, manage, and monitor operations with regards to task allocation, worksite assignments, material usage, and machinery management, the system was heavily manual. The manual approach involved site supervisors relying on calls and paper trails. The manual and rather disconnected process had a high turnaround time and was error-prone, affecting the client’s ability to focus on the available opportunities and revenue.
Being a forward-thinking company, W.L. French the client aspired to reimagine its core business operations to enable agility, speed, accuracy, and efficiency. It looked to build a reliable and efficient mobile application on both iOS and Android platforms that would automate the complete process of field management.
W.L. French looked for a new cloud solution that could:
Provide superior support for a serverless architecture for mobile backend
Be cost-effective

Maintain, create, secure and monitor APIs

Support the initial build of iOS and Android platforms

Support other Progressive Web Applications (PWA) that would be planned in the future.

Trigent solution

W.L. French partnered with Trigent to leverage Trigent’s cloud capabilities. Trigent’s team suggested the client enable a cloud-first strategy to drive business acceleration and gain connected insights. The team expeditiously participated in a three-week discovery engagement to understand the client’s operational processes at sites. Trigent’s domain experts developed a customized, risk-mitigated cloud strategy and leveraged Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform as the cloud computing platform.
In addition to developing wireframes for illustrating the mobile application, the team also analyzed a few homegrown applications that need to be integrated with the new mobile applications. The UI was built considering the bright sunlight conditions of the excavation and outdoor construction environment.
Custom native mobile application was built for iOS leveraging Swift and Xcode and for Android leveraging Java and Android Studio. The application used AWS Lambda in a serverless architecture.
A simplified ticketing system was developed in the application for:
Leveraging Amazon SNS (Amazon Simple Notification Service), push notifications were sent to the crew with regard to their assignments and other alerts.
The native application ensured automated tracking of the work hours for all employees and pushed data to the backend legacy system. The application also accurately captured the records with regard to the time-frames of a field employee’s on-site visit. The information was captured by the application leveraging the GPS. Amazon VPC (Amazon Virtual Private Cloud) and NAT Gateway (Network Address Translation Gateway) were leveraged to securely connect the cloud application to on-premise legacy applications. The operational health of the application was also constantly monitored, leveraging Amazon CloudWatch .

Client benefits:

The native mobile application enabled W.L. French to:

Technology stack: