Looking Back – Building HCS
This article is an adaptation of PIER71’s interview with Haulio’s Product and Development team.
On 20 February, Haulio officially launched their very own driver-centric app, the Haulio Connectivity System (HCS). The mobile-focused app which is driver-centric and connected to PSA’s Port Messaging system will digitize drivers’ daily trip forms, where jobs can be deployed and reconciled seamlessly.
In reimagining the Haulage industry, the team drew inspiration from the drivers in the haulage chain, who are also called hauliers. With other sectors of the maritime industry going digital, Haulio wanted to ensure that hauliers were also on the same journey towards technological innovation.
Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Sebastian Shen shared that learning about the industry was a challenge in itself.
Another key challenge was working with older systems that often had limited documentation. This resulted in a lot of experimentation to understand these systems to figure out how they work.
To overcome these challenges, the team put in extra effort to get to know the users, systems and workflows.
For example, the product design team understudied and followed users’ in their working environments, documenting what they did to gather data and feedback. They made use of their learnings to build wireframes and showed it to hauliers again thereafter, to get their feedback.
In essence, HCS was really built with the users’ at heart.
“In essence, HCS is really built with users at its heart.”
What was the one most important lesson when developing the product for a more traditional audience?
Understanding and respecting what users want and what they’re used to, in order to build something that fits their needs is not easy. The product also needs to be innovative enough and value-add to their processes, yet not too different such that users find it hard to use.
As shared by Chun Lin, our CTO, “Striking a balance between all these is not easy, but we have learnt a lot from this process of building HCS, and we will continue learning in order to build the best products for our target audience.”
How is Haulio’s app different from other services?
Haulio’s job pooling (Haulio Community Portal “HCP”) and driver’s app platform (Haulio Connectivity System “HCS”) is the only solution in the market that is open to integration with hauliers’ current Transport Management System (TMS).
Integration with HCP allows hauliers to seamlessly share jobs and pickup jobs, with milestones and information updates synced directly.
With HCS, hauliers will be able to send jobs down to drivers directly from their TMS, and communication of trip details will be synced back to their TMS seamlessly.
Other than reducing the tedious workload, hauliers who download the app have lots to gain – in future updates, Haulio will be including additional features which complement their busy work schedules. This includes real-time alerts on weather and industry updates, as well as information like the nearest petrol stations and food stalls.
The Haulio Connectivity System is now available for download on Android and Apple iOS.