Donker Groep designs, builds and maintains gardens, grounds, neighbourhoods, playgrounds and parks, employing more than 800 gardeners. It was looking for a low-code development platform that it could train staff to use, to streamline its administrative processes and turn employees’ ideas into new applications fast.
Donker Groep knew it wanted to work with a well-established company that could provide a low-code platform and co-operate with Donker staff to help develop it. CLEVR, a low-code and no-code specialist, met these conditions and brought extensive knowledge and experience of relevant IT and administrative systems. Donker also liked the flexibility of Mendix, the applications platform used by CLEVR.
Donker staffer Beau followed a three-day rapid development training course at Mendix and became a core part of the development team from the outset. The first application was a timesheet system. Up until then, all gardeners had to fill in timesheets, which were then processed manually, which was time-consuming and open to error. Donker had already done a lot of homework on the design of the app, had made a process diagram and had collected internal requirements. This helped speed up the development process. Indeed, that homework and adopting CLEVR’s Agile sprint-based approach to the rest of the project meant the app was developed and launched at its first location within just three months. Within six months, all 18 branches of Donker Groep were using it.
The app itself has been integrated into Donker’s administrative systems such as invoicing and salaries. Meanwhile, Beau has continued to learn more about Mendix.
Some 500 employees now use the app to fill in their timesheets, significantly reducing the back-office administrative burden, saving time and money. Furthermore, Beau has become a confident low-code developer having learnt on the job with experienced CLEVR developers and Donker has plans to train another colleague for its next app – which will be contract management.
“Developing in sprints was new to us, but it went very well. This is certainly a good approach towards the organisation. We can make a new change every time, and it feels less colossal”
Niels Hellinga, IT manager, Donker Groep