Fleet Complete is on a mission to bring transformative solutions to any fleet-owning business by providing them with a wide range of services for effective and efficient fleet management. Fleet Complete utilizes PDF Generator API in their Field Service Management solution. We sat down with Kristjan Annus, Fleet Complete’s Technical Manager to discuss the value they receive from PDF Generator API.
What was the problem that you set out to solve? How did you come to the understanding that you have a problem?
We use PDF Generator API mainly to support the Field Workers task management functionality in our software. This comprises a mobile app and a browser-based web interface meant to support the logistical features in our software. Task management enables field workers, let’s say plumbers or delivery drivers delivering goods etc, to receive tasks assigned to them via our mobile app. However, while completing a task, additional information is usually collected from the client – in a very simple case their name and signature for example. In more complex cases, such as a courier service, additional information might need to be gathered – a timestamp to indicate exact time of delivery, the number of individual packages or even a photo to prove goods delivered. In most cases clients also require some sort of document as a form of acceptance of the transaction or service rendered. At first, this used to be a simple, static, generic printout in either a PDF or other format. But many clients turned to us with a request to modify these generic printouts to reflect their branding or specific business processes – which data to show, how to position it on the document etc. and we really didn’t have a workable solution for this.
We have used PDF Generator API for a couple of years now and I don’t think we have had a single problem with it so far. It works as intended. Considering that our clients expect the documents to roll out as soon as they finish their job, this is a major achievement.Kristjan Annus
What type of requirements did you have for the solution – what was it meant to do?
Our main requirements for the solution were a proper WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) template editor, possibility to incorporate photos and other elements such as signatures to produce the final polished document. Those were the main items on our initial wishlist.
How many clients do you serve currently?
This figure changes constantly, but we are talking about thousands of clients. As our main product offering is centered around GPS tracking of assets, then the number of clients using the specific task-related and document generation functionality is a bit tricky to evaluate.
How have you integrated PDF Generator API into your software?
We have seamlessly embedded PDF Generator API into our software so there is no visible sign of it being a separate service. The client is therefore able to, for example make changes to their templates without leaving our environment.
What type of technical requirements did you have for the solution?
Obviously, we expected the solution to provide us with enough flexibility to allow for the creation of very different document templates. Also the speed of document generation was important for us. On the other hand – the solution was expected to operate without the need for involving development resources. Furthermore, the solution had to be integrated with our systems in a way that the integration remained hidden from the end-user – making it as easy as possible for them to use – all they would need to do is create the templates without having to visit any external sites or pages. I suppose you could say we were looking for a seamless, white label integration.
Who were the main stakeholders within Fleet Complete involved in the project?
The project was mainly run by our Product and Development managers.
And consequently – how difficult was it to reach a consensus on the final desired solution?
In our case, the need was definitely there and recognized by relevant stakeholders. Hence there was no question of whether we will go ahead with the project. We realized early on that developing a similar product in-house would not make any sense when there are well-working solutions such as PDF Generator API available on the market. There was no point of trying to invent the wheel one more time.
How long did the integration process take for you?
The integration process from beginning to end took a few days. Usually, this is of course dependent on how deeply the solution is embedded, but in our case – no more than a few days. The integration process for PDF Generator API is relatively simple and straightforward.
How long have you used PDF Generator API and have you had any major problems with it so far?
We have used PDF Generator API for a couple of years now and I don’t think we have had a single problem with it so far. It works as intended. Considering that our clients expect the documents to roll out as soon as they finish their job, this is a major achievement.
Which other benefits of PDF Generator API would you highlight?
Definitely the capability to further modify the already existing templates – for example add additional data sources to the data model and add or remove elements. Further updates to the data models during the initial integration have been very easy to implement – this has not taken more than a half an hour.
How many people do you yourself have working in development?
Roughly 30-40 people work in development roles at Fleet Complete in Estonia. And about twice that in development offices in other countries (Canada, Mexico, India).
In conclusion – would you then say that Fleet Complete is happy with the service PDF Generator API provides?
This rounds up our first case study. We hope these case studies will help anyone interested in ways to utilize PDF Generator API to further their own business to gain insights, examples and best practice in making the most out of the tool. More case studies will follow very soon.