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ConcreteDirect UX for Holcim

Complete digitalization of concrete logistics for clients, dispatchers and drivers

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«How can logistics processes be simplified to improve user workflows?»

Samuel Frischknecht

Head of UX, Adnovum

Definition of problem


When we were brought in to the project, Holcim's logistics workflows suffered from a lack of transparency. The business processes were based on the experience and knowledge of the dispatchers and drivers and were not integrated into a modern IT system. Therefore, a lot of mutual trust was needed between the dispatchers and drivers. However, in reality this was not the case. For example, it often happened that clients had ordered goods but these never arrived. This caused the client's entire supply chain to fall behind schedule, which is highly unfavorable.

To track down the missing goods, the clients called the dispatchers. They then assured them over the phone that the goods were on their way, but they could not verify this in any system. There was no way to track where the goods were. Accordingly, they had to blindly assume that the goods were on their way and that there was no problem on the driver’s side. This unsettled and angered many clients.

Due to this non-transparent system, the dispatchers had to take a lot of unpleasant calls from clients and were therefore under enormous pressure.

Design process


Adnovum UX took over the project from a design agency and was well integrated into the responsible team at Holcim. At the beginning, the goal was to develop an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and thus test whether the existing ideas were feasible. To define the functionality and the information architecture, Adnovum UX did an in-depth exploration. In the process, Daniel Mischler (UX Designer) conducted extensive user research. Among other things, he shadowed the drivers on site and observed and questioned their workflows. To further deepen and verify the information gathered, targeted interviews were then conducted.

Many ideas for features emerged from the exploration and a prioritization of key features took shape. In addition, important issues were discovered: for example, drivers used the existing app only because they had to. It did not add any value for them and was very cumbersome to use. They could hardly read the small font size. This resulted in many errors during manual data entry. Because of this, many drivers started using competitor apps.

In addition to these results, the findings of an existing user research conducted in the USA were integrated into the analysis and included in the evaluation.

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Holcim is the global leader in building materials and solutions and active in four business segments: Cement, Agregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions & Products. It is Holcim’s ambition to lead the industry in reducing carbon emissions and accelerating the transition towards low-carbon construction. With the strongest R&D organization in the industry and by being at the forefront of innovation in building materials, the multinational seeks to constantly introduce and promote high-quality and sustainable building materials and solutions to their customers worldwide – whether they are building individual homes or major infrastructure projects. Holcim employs over 70,000 employees in over 70 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.

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Added value for Holcim

Non-visible problems discovered. The user-centered approach (design process) helped Adnovum UX discover many problems that were not visible previously. This has reduced risks and solved potential problems in user workflows.

Great user acceptance. From the very beginning, user acceptance was significant (adoption rate). The implementation therefore went smoothly, despite significant changes to decades-old workflows.

Classification for MVP. By evaluating the user research, it was possible to easily classify the functionality of the software as core or sub-features. This allowed for a more focused MVP.

Improved processes. Through the results of the user research, the management has received many tips for optimizing the non-digital processes and has introduced improvements derived from them.

More transparency. The improved user experience made the entire processes more transparent and strengthened trust among employees.

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«The most important user is the foreman on site and in the office. He decides whether the app is used or not.»

Daniel Mischler

Senior User Experience Designer, Adnovum