A new suite of apps for a busy regional car dealership


A set of software requirements for vehicle technicians


An Agile process of discovery, building, testing, deployment, and iteration


A suite of apps built using a Netlify and AWS architecture

OPPORTUNITY: A set of software requirements for vehicle technicians 

Helston Garages operates 40 new and used car dealerships throughout Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset. 

In late 2019, the team approached Headforwards with four software requirements: 

  • An Android app for vehicle health checks that could integrate with existing in-house tools 
  • An email and SMS workflow to send customers technician reports and request approval for work 
  • Additional video and image capabilities for more detailed reports 
  • A new platform for personalised sales videos 

SOLUTION: Build a serverless architecture with flexible applications

We started the discovery process with a full-day workshop, to scope out Helston Garages’ requirements. As the team was mostly looking for completely new tools, we wanted to get software in the hands of the users as quickly as possible, so we could establish a fast, effective feedback loop using two-week sprints. 

For low maintenance overhead and rapid development, we opted for a serverless architecture using Netlify and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Netlify gives us the ability to quickly deploy and iterate on apps, while AWS provides off-the-shelf functionality we needed for identity verification, video transcoding, and email and SMS delivery.  

RESULT: A whole new approach to sales and reporting – with more work on the way 

Soon after we started work, our plan to deliver the new apps in sequence was disrupted by COVID-19, as the mobile reporting tools became a key part of Helston Garages’ social distance-friendly operating model. 

So, we took a stripped back approach, delivering basic features and introducing new functionality once the fundamentals were in place. The first tranche of work gave technicians the ability to complete and send vehicle health checks using their Android device, which owners could then review and respond to if their car needed work. Within a few more weeks, Helston Garages had fully migrated to their new sales video platform. By the end of 2020, technicians’ reports were fully kitted out with video and images. 

Our next project is a web app for sending warranty evidence videos to manufacturers – so the team won’t have to use their dedicated sales video platform as a workaround anymore. 

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