The Solution: Connecting the Mobile Workforce

COINS-mobile is a managed service for the mobile workforce that connects the back end systems to your field workers using a range of mobile software operating systems. COINS-mobile is designed to be open – we can connect to any back-end system.

However, as the "mobile business" part of Construction Industry Solutions Ltd (COINS), the immediate focus of COINS-mobile is to provide solutions to COINS customers. Our current applications are designed for and integrated with the COINS ERP system.

As well as the connectivity,

COINS-mobile develops the application that resides on the device and provides 24/7 support to ensure that users are always connected, always ready to support your business.

COINS-mobile also provides a portal solution for you to achieve real-time visibility of your field operatives using Google Maps.

A mobile window into the COINS ERP solution

COINS-mobile provides both an extension to the functionality of the core COINS ERP solution and a mobile window into the data held in that system.

For example, our mobile goods received note application allows the user on site to input receipt information directly onto COINS Procurement in real time. This creates an electronic GRN in the procurement module – together with any supplier delivery note references, cost codes, signatures and photos captured on site.

In another example, many COINS customers require the business managers to go into the Procurement module to approve invoices. This function can simply be presented to the manager on their smartphone with an easy log on and quick access - to approve invoices or other transactions, on the move or between meetings.

We can bring your data from COINS alive on the face of a tablet or smartphone – for review, amendment or sharing with stakeholders.

All COINS-mobile applications are standard and are already fully integrated with COINS ERP. There is no development cost required to get started with COINS-mobile and lead times to get operational are short.

Why do businesses need Mobile expertise?

When using a mobile working for a business process there are three critical issues that need to be addressed.

  • Persistence
  • User Interface [UI] design
  • Security.

Persistence relates to the continuity of the session and securing any data captured. A mobile application is quite different from a simple web access session to a back end system.

Any connection that relies upon mobile networks is vulnerable to a lost connection. If the user has engaged a remote web session to a back-end system, the loss of connection breaks the session and means that the user has to re-connect and sign in again. It will probably lead to the loss of data too. A mobile application, however, is designed to cache information captured on the device and hold it until the data has been transmitted completely. If connection is lost, data is not. What is more, the user can continue to work capturing task information, taking photos and completing jobs. All the data is stored on the device with a time stamp – and automatically sent to the back end system when the connection is recovered.

UI design is critical to the ease of use and adoption of the mobile Application/technology. Designing the UI to work on a mobile device is more hat just screen layout. The essence of a mobile app is simplicity of use and clear functional lay out. A good mobile application should be designed so that it can virtually be picked up and used by anybody who knows how to use a mobile phone.

Security is built into a COINS-mobile application. This is because the data interaction is determined within the app. Small amounts of data are received from the back end via web [services] and mobile channels and are stored onto the device. Certain pieces of data, including images are stored on the device and transmitted in the opposite direction, back via web services to the COINS system. The interaction is completely regulated and wholly non-intrusive. There is no capability to establish a live session through the company’s firewalls.


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