Utility Bill Analysis Software
The Mbicycle experts have developed from scratch a SaaS utility bill analysis tool to assist tenants and managers of commercial and other types of facilities.
Client & Context
While searching for a team for this project, the client turned to our partner we’ve been cooperating with for a long time via the out-staff model. After a successful collaboration on a previous project — an insurance broking software — this partner turned to our company to develop an MVP for their new client. That was a SaaS project for a US-based startup for tenants and managers of commercial and other types of real estate facilities.
The main idea behind this SaaS solution was to keep records and analyze utility bills for various real estate objects, as well as track bill payments, analyze these bills, and check and generate monthly reports based on this data.
Challenges & Requirements
When the client turned to our company, they only had an idea for their future project. The initial tasks for our team included launching a discovery phase, compiling business documentation, and creating app prototypes. The client also asked us to draw up a roadmap for the entire development process and estimates for the implementation of the upcoming functionality.
Stated requirements from our client for this software project included the following challenges for our team:
- Integrate two bill tracking services — Xiro and QuickBooks — into our solution and set up proper data gathering from both.
- Develop a convenient UX for classifying and filtering reports.
- Implement a tagging by payment type feature.
- Develop a tool that will collect all the relevant data and build graphs based on it.
- Set up sending notifications about unpaid bills.
- Add brief information on accounts in a convenient form.
- Introduce separate categories for different property types.
- Add the ability to pay custom bills from the service directly.
Our Business Analyst and Project Manager started by running a discovery phase. Then, we created several prototypes of the future SaaS utility bill analysis tool, and a designer from the client’s side drew mockups based on them.
As a development methodology, we decided to choose the classic Kanban. We released the first MVP 2.5 months after the project started. In this version, we’ve implemented every feature from the initially stated challenge list, except for integrating a third-party service — Xiro.
As a solution for this project, we developed a web version of this utility bill analyzer app in the first release with the plans to expand it with additional functionality and develop a mobile application for the service. Our team has successfully made the following steps to equip the client’s web solution with all required features:
- Designing a convenient UX to work with the in-app reports efficiently.
- Setting up tagging by payment type for easier filtering.
- Developing a specific functionality to gather relevant utility billing data and build graphs based on it.
- Integrating a bill tracking service — QuickBooks — into our solution and setting up proper operation between it and our solution.
- Setting the ability to pay custom bills from the service directly.
- Categorizing real estate objects by type to make the billing process faster and easier.
- Adding a notification feature to inform users about unpaid bills.
- Displaying brief information on user accounts in a convenient form.
We’ve also added the subscribing option for the service already at the MVP stage.
Technologies & Tools
Following the completion of our cooperation with the client, they were completely satisfied with the results of our work — both the terms of the project development and the final solution. At the next major stage of development, we are about to integrate the Xiro service into the client’s app. Our team has been already working in this direction.
In the final stage of this project development, we are going to release a mobile version of this utility bill validation and verification software.