Capmation helps Compeer Financial revitalize Carbook Showroom application
Full Stack Development
Compeer Financial is a member-owned, Farm Credit cooperative supporting agriculture and rural communities. The company provides loans, leases, risk management and additional financial services in the upper Midwest to approximately 73,600 member-owners with a focus on enriching rural America.
As a part of its work with the rural and agricultural communities, Compeer Financial offers a vehicle lease program. One component of the lease program is a web-based application called Carbook Showroom that allows both clients and Compeer team members to research and compare available vehicles, then partner with Compeer who procures and secures the vehicles. The legacy version of Carbook Showroom was developed by J.D. Power and was soon to be discontinued by the proprietors of Chrome Data’s API.
Compeer Financial needed to develop a new custom-built version of Carbook Showroom controlled by Compeer before its legacy app shut down. This new application would need to maintain the familiar features of the original Carbook Showroom, while allowing the company to make scalable adjustments over time.
The biggest challenge of this project would be coordinating technological communication between Compeer Financial, Capmation and the external Chrome Data API.
Capmation had previously worked with Compeer Financial to develop interactive software its insurance officers use to compare and evaluate hail insurance rates. The collaboration gave both teams a strong launching point for the Carbook Showroom app.
“The thing that we really appreciate about Capmation is that they pay attention to the goals we have,” said Compeer’s Vice President of Technology Development and Delivery. “It doesn’t start with the technology. It starts with a business story and how we accomplish our business goals. Capmation really took ownership of what was important to us and brought that through in the solution.”
The initial project meeting included an in-depth discussion with Compeer’s business stakeholders about the leasing business and how the application sits within that business.
“They didn’t just take what we said at face value. Capmation’s willingness to ask us deeper questions enabled them to uncover additional value. You can be really gifted in technology, but if you’re able to find better ways to meet your partner’s business goals, that’s where the relationship really makes a difference,” said the VP of Technology Development and Delivery.
Once the statement of work was complete, Capmation worked closely with Compeer to recreate Carbook Showroom by carefully extracting car data from J.D. Powers. During the transfer, it became apparent that Compeer might need to pay additional fees to retrieve its full set of crucial data. Every interaction with the J.D. database was logged as an API call and Compeer was limited to 10,000 interactions.
The Capmation development team solved this challenge by adding a cache memory on the backend of the app to store data and reduce repetitive API calls.
“We had standards that we needed to follow and Capmation did a good job staying within the lines of the road,” explained a Senior Project Manager at Compeer Financial. “We worked together as a team to come up with creative solutions. Any issues we had were small and we managed them.”
Throughout the four-month development process, Capmation worked closely with Compeer Financial using an Agile methodology. This continuous communication included daily standups, shared PDFs via Citrix and component testing throughout the different stages of development.
After two 8-week sprints, Capmation and Compeer Financial launched the new Carbook Showroom application with strong results. Users are able to access their favorite features and designs, while Compeer gained technological independence.
What’s more, the new Carbook Showroom app allows users to search vehicles by make, model and type. They can also customize vehicles according to user preferences and compare up to three vehicles side-by-side for simple evaluation. Additionally, when users submit a quote form, the PDF file automatically downloads to their computers.
“What really came through in the end was a product that sits well within the way our business unit wants to operate. Capmation didn’t just stop at replacing what we had, which was the mission to start out with. Instead, they uncovered value and opportunities we may not have discovered with another provider,” said the VP of Technology Development and Delivery.
Most impressively, Carbook Showroom now includes an interactive Media Gallery with API integration that features real-time color changes. The new code also includes mobile web formatting for easy access on mobile devices as well as a pop-up contact form that integrates with existing customer emails.
To ensure easy maintenance going forward, the app includes built-in troubleshooting maintenance and code refactor tools.
The end result is an app that provides Compeer Financial independent technology and the ability to scale its tech needs to its growing customer base. Through strong collaboration, Capmation and Compeer completed a second development success story.
“Our business partner who owns the app is thrilled with the product,” said the Senior Project Manager. “In my mind, this is the model of how to work with a technology partner on a results-based contract.”
The VP of Technology Development and Delivery echoes those sentiments. “It’s refreshing to work with a consultancy that focuses on the customer relationship the way Capmation does. Other experiences I’ve had tended to be more transactional and this was more about the relationship,” he concluded.
Length of Project
8 Sprints: 16 weeks (approximately 4 months)
A combination of modern cloud products and popular backend/UI frameworks were utilized during the course of this engagement.
- Modernized software allows for future scalability and growth, while eliminating dependency on a legacy application.
- App preserves previous user-flow to maintain brand familiarity, while enhancing functionalities for increased efficiency.
- Built-in troubleshooting maintenance and code refactor tools provide easy management by Compeer Financial.