How low-code internal tools are helping save time at work? 
This article will cover the importance of low-code internal tools and some popular use cases that will help you understand why low-code is the optimum way to build customized internal tools.
Internal tools are apps that your company can build in-house to improve day-to-day internal operations. These might be technical tools, platforms, and libraries built to increase the productivity of teams or CRUD interfaces that enable customer support to resolve support queries or a payment tracking app to streamline admin operations. You can either make them from scratch or on top of your existing systems/databases to meet custom requirements. These tools can exist for various reasons; one of the most important reasons, I feel, is empowering your employees to make decisions and execute actions, as they are typically tailored to accomplish repetitive business-critical tasks.
The targeted users of these tools affect how they are built and their features — whether it be admin panels, customer success tools, or an inventory management tool for helping distributors.
Along with creating internal tools, it is critical to building internal tools that are easy to maintain. Typically, internal tools are built the same way, like any other code going into the product. That means mapping to a business case, understanding core functionality, and getting continuous customer feedback. In this case, the “customer” of an internal tool would be another employee at their company who uses the tools, like a support agent or a sales rep.
The key difference between building internal tools and the product is in the design and review cycles. There isn’t a stringent design process for how it looks or behaves, but more on how quickly it can be built and iterated on as needed.
Why Low-Code Internal Tools?
According to this report about saas trends, the average employee uses 8 apps per day, companies with 501 to 1,000 employees use an average of 151 apps, while enterprises of 1,001+ employees – 203 apps. This is one reason low-code internal tools have arisen as an essential recommendation. As the need for new, customized applications emerges, you can position yourself to build highly customized, scalable, and secure apps in-house at a low cost with low-code app dev platforms. Using those, you can empower employees and turn business ideas into functioning solutions in a short time.
Some Customer Success Stories
Here are some top internal tools customers are building with low-code
Lead Generation App
Using DronaHQ, the customer built a lead generation app that made it easy for sales reps to sort through leads and take actions like updating info, extending trials, and enriching lead information.
The tool integrates with Slack, MongoDB, Zendesk, Intercom. The integration with Slack helped to get SDR notified whenever a lead took action like filling a form, signed up, downloaded an ebook, etc. So as soon as a new lead is added to the database, SDR can work on follow-up actions.
As the business relied on a sales development database, the customer built a dashboard on top of their database that allowed customer information to be easily looked up and updated. The dashboard was both accessible and secure. The robust customer dashboard now acts as a centralized control center for business teams to view, edit, and configure customer accounts.
The customer-organized virtual events have many moving parts like event ideation and creation, virtual platform management, invitations and promotion, day-of coordination, and follow-up with attendees. They built a virtual event management app to track events, ticketing, and promotions.
Want to build internal tools using low-code? Start here.
Customer Support Tool
The app allowed customer support teams to get 360-degree customer views on activities like what they bought (orders), what was refunded, emails they opened, surveys they’ve given, and much more. The app offered the team members the ability to quickly look up customer information, see a complete history of interactions, and handle the customer’s issue accordingly.
The app also offered a customer onboarding dashboard to help the team with partners and customers before doing business with them. The onboarding and approval tool gave a better way to manage the approval process rather than using a method prone to human error like a spreadsheet. The customer quickly built a new customer activation tool on top of the database and managed the onboarding process without the overhead of building a custom application from scratch.
Since their business supported hundreds of customers, they needed a tool that allows customer support and sales teams to locate customers quickly. With DronaHQ, they could easily connect to their CRM, payment processor (Stripe), and anywhere else where customer data resides to surface relevant customer information in a single application.
For more such customer success tools, you can check this out!
The operations and admin team works the most with spreadsheets. The customer realized that while data updates are a major part of their work, an app for instant data entry to the database without scrolling thousands of rows would save them an hour per day. The admin panel streamlines and digitalizes admin & operations functions. Using the app, the team could import spreadsheets into the platform to produce a mobile and web app for you within a couple of seconds!
When they moved the data to DronaHQ’s Sheets, it instantly changed to structured data to control each column’s data type. Once the column’s data type has been fixed, all rows must enter only that type of data. Thus the team loved it, as it allowed us to collect data in a structured manner. Within a few more minutes into the app, workflows created unified dashboards, added business logic, and created a customized app that streamlined work in the best way possible. They immediately started using this app, shared it with others, controlled users’ access to information, and transformed the way to manage data.
With this, they bid farewell to unstructured, overflowing, difficult to manage spreadsheets and get the flexibility that spreadsheets lacked.
Want this for your organization? Here’s how!
Project Management Dashboard for KPI Tracking at a Glance
The project management dashboard displayed KPIs about specific projects, like dividing the whole project into smaller tasks and subtasks, allocating tasks, assessing risks that can cause delays, communicating project status with clients and stakeholders, or overall performance.
The app helped progress visibility across all projects in one glance, helped monitor timelines, and share project status in real-time.
It improved accountability by giving timely project updates to people at all levels, a summary view of all projects, overdue tasks, avoid missing deadlines, and no more confusion regarding individual roles and responsibilities. It helped keep the central location for all project details & updates, store project files in a secured location, and project the templates to stay consistent.
Refund and Discount App
The refund and discount app offered quality control and inventory tracking. It helped strengthen returns & replacement logistics to gain higher customer loyalties. Implementing this enhanced warehouse inventory and supply chain administration optimized the overall profitability by efficiently recovering the value of returned goods. It helped in sorting & consolidating return items, syncing back to the original inventory, managing refund issues, etc.
The app helped accelerate the return processes, reduces turnaround time with simplification and customization of returns processes, thanks to a centralized database. The ticketing system was implemented using REST API, Zendesk, to seamlessly connect the customer support team with customers across all platforms. It brought forward customer interaction and ticket details. Shopify was used for tracks sales, orders, inventory.
The app resulted in helping to keep the customers satisfied, thanks to improved turnaround time. Simplification of customer return & refund processes through good integration of front-end & back-end tasks makes up a satisfying e-commerce experience.
Benefits of building your internal tools using low-code
- Faster transformation: In today’s digital world, a transformation is needed. Low-code development removes complexity from building great, modern business apps. And, reduced complexity means smoother sailing.
- Improved agility: UI builder will allow you to develop visually instead of coding, resulting in a faster development process. In the long run, this will enable apps to be built to become agile.
- Reduced costs: With the ability to build more apps in less time, the cost will decrease. The use of low-code development will reduce the need for more developers, reducing hiring costs.
- Boost productivity: It will allow more apps to be built in less time. What takes months will now take days or even minutes. Using low-code, time will be no longer a barrier to real innovation.
- Better customer experience: This development process will impact more than the IT department. The downstream effects of increased speed will include a better customer experience. Businesses will be able to adapt to customer needs or market changes quickly.
- Effective risk management and governance: With ever-changing regulations, and the sheer scale of them globally, low-code will allow fast change so you can meet requirements and stay ahead of deadlines.
- Easy edits: Making edits in apps or adapting them to suit new requirements will now be like a breeze of air. Without the complex coding, low-code platforms will facilitate immediate change when it’s called for.
With these low-code benefits, organizations will be better equipped to adapt and respond to fast-changing business conditions quickly.
DronaHQ allows you to build internal tools using the model-driven development approach. You can map your business workflows, add automation and business logic, and more. It also offers Sheets as a cloud-based database and ready connectors to integrate external databases and other third-party applications. The low-code platform also provides enterprise-grade security to secure your enterprise data. You can create an app from scratch or choose from ready-to-use apps from DronaHQ’s marketplace and customize them according to your business needs.
If you decide to roll out your own internal tools with powerful features, you can explore DronaHQ, a low-code application development platform.
Originally Published on Medium.
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