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ASMBL’s team plays a key role in letting thousands of workers take care of business


Case study: Coordinating the commute

ASMBL’s team plays a key role in letting thousands of workers take care of business


Getting people to and from offices around the world in the most efficient ways possible isn’t always easy. But every day, workers at one of the world’s largest companies navigate their commute with the help of an app ASMBL developed.

For the first few months of the COVID pandemic in 2020, it looked as if much of the world's workforce would be making a permanent transition to working remotely. The only people who would be required to commute into a worksite appeared to be those labeled as essential workers – people who had to leave their homes to provide much-needed services. Streets were empty, offices shuttered, and public transportation options were restricted and shut down. But in the post-pandemic world, people are heading back to the office. Today, less than 15 percent of U.S. workers work full-time from home. Office work is far from obsolete.
Knowing the importance of having employees gather in shared workspaces, a long-time client of ASMBL's recognized a need to coordinate their employees' commutes into various offices at locations around the world. With tens of thousands of employees in hundreds of locations, the logistics of getting those people to work were quite complex.
"The idea was to create an app for employees to use to find shuttle rides to and from the many offices the company has around the globe," said of one ASMBL's engineers who works on the project. "In some cases, there are several locations within some cities, and the app needs to coordinate all routes and schedules so they can know when to expect shuttles to arrive."
The complex nature of commuting requires the app to reflect scheduling and route changes in real-time. While some of the company's employees saw their commuting requirements offices reduced at the height of the pandemic, the need to get those people back to the office increased as COVID restrictions eased.
Today, the app – available in several languages – is used by about 15,000 employees of the company at work campuses around the world.

Because of the sheer size of several of their campus-style work sites, the tech company owns a privatized fleet of commuter shuttles. To operate those vehicles at maximum efficiency, lessen the company's overall carbon footprint, and make commuting easy for its employees the company needed:

  • Technical advisement and assistance with software architecture
  • Assistance with web development
  • iOS development

A website already existed for employees to access shuttle schedules and plan their commutes, but the website was dated and didn't provide a great user experience. The ASMBL team knew the app would need to be much more user-friendly, reflect real-time changes to routes, and needed to match the company's unique design standards.

ASMBL's team had a long-standing relationship with the tech giant and there were several other projects in co-development. That trust component was vital.

"Having worked with them in the past certainly allowed us to be a bit more familiar with their overall ethos and corporate philosophy," said one of ASMBLs engineers on the project.
The ASMBL team flew to the client's corporate headquarters to interview those employees for whom the app was being designed for.
"We did a dozen one-on-one interviews and conducted a survey," said one of ASMBL engineers. "We got lots of data and clear answers on how they wanted the information organized. We left there with a pretty clear blueprint. It was awesome, really a cool experience, because it left us really informed as to what the end users really needed out of the app."

The project took nearly two years before the app was launched as fully functional.
"We pushed hard to conduct a broad survey of users and to get a lot of data," said an ASMBL engineer. "The process was very in-depth,  because both the client and us have very high standard of quality. The last five percent of the project went through many, many iterations. We worked on a couple of alpha and beta versions before we pushed it live."
The app was launched early in 2020 – just before COVID changed the concept of work-from-home . That slowed the rollout only temporarily, and today, as COVID restrictions ease and people are going back to the office, the app   

What ASMBL delivered was an app built for the daily function of getting employees from point A to point B via the most optimal route possible. Large organizations require seamless communication, but ASMBL took it one step further and added another important efficiency: mobility. 

It integrates mapping, adjusts to real-time schedule changes that are by-products of things like traffic and weather,  meets the company's exacting design standards, and has proven simple to update and refresh.  
The purpose of this program was to provide employees with a sustainable, easy way to get to and from work, removing the friction of the daily commuting experience, and making it easier for employees to get to work from further away. 

And that's as important now as it's ever been.