How construction worker feedback is helping shape app development for Mueller, Inc.

Share this post:

Construction worker feedback helps Mueller app developmentI always joke that my knowledge about an MVP (minimum viable product) came from HBO’s hit show, Silicon Valley, where a motley crew of developers race to create prototypes for clients. But, it’s true.

When Mueller partnered with the IBM Garage to create the Material Estimator app, I knew that we’d work together to build a working prototype that would streamline the pricing process for our sales team and our customers. During the Design Thinking workshops, I expected to sit in a room together and brainstorm about the tool’s functionality and design. What I didn’t expect was for the IBM Garage team to put on hard hats and come out to Mueller building sites to talk directly to our contractors and construction workers.

Direct real-world feedback shapes app development

Getting this type of real-world feedback and insight from the field, from the actual people who will be using our app, was a complete game-changer. In some cases, construction workers confirmed assumptions that we’d made about how we thought the app should work. In other cases, they pointed out issues we never could have known because we don’t have that field experience.

For example, we had the innovative idea to include smart voice search in the first iteration of the Material Estimator app. This was genius … until construction workers pointed out that they often have jackhammers or other loud machinery roaring in the background of job sites. So, voice search would never work. Text search, even though it wasn’t as revolutionary, made much more sense.

A new approach to business

Seeking out this type of empathy, not just for the user’s problem, but for the users themselves, was so different from how Mueller had worked before. We looked at the customer relationship in a new way, and our product is so much better for it. Instead of guessing what the user would want, we knew what the user needed – because they told us. Talking directly to our customers was so simple, yet so profound. The IBM Garage has taught us a completely new approach to business.

Watch the below video to see the many ways the IBM Garage changed the game for Mueller and learn more about this project by reading the case study. Ready to get started? Schedule a no-charge visit with the IBM Garage.



More Apps stories

French insurer teams with IBM Services to develop fraud detection solution

Auto insurance fraud costs companies billions of dollars every year. Those losses trickle down to policyholders who absorb some of that risk in policy rate increases. Thélem assurances, a French property and casualty insurer whose motto is “Thélem innovates for you”, has launched an artificial intelligence program, prioritizing a fraud detection use case as its […]

Continue reading

Cloud innovation in real estate: Apleona and IBM rely on new technologies

Digitization does not stop at the proverbial concrete gold — real estate. In fact, the real estate industry is on the move. Companies are realizing the benefits of digital transformation and are capitalizing on the power of new technologies such as cloud, AI and blockchain. Take, for example, Apleona GmbH, one of Europe’s largest real […]

Continue reading

Accessible bookcast streaming service becomes securely available on IBM Cloud

Accessible entertainment isn’t often easily accessible. The mainstream entertainment industry doesn’t cater to people who can’t see or hear well; people with PTSD, autism or epilepsy; or those who are learning English as a second language. These population segments can become isolated, and then marginalized when they can’t enjoy the latest feature film – even […]

Continue reading