How a Custom App Elevated this Business into Efficiency Heaven

How a Custom App Elevated this Business into Efficiency Heaven


Custom-built business system and hosting


Claris FileMaker


A bespoke system that manages the entire administration function including quotes, order processing, despatch, deliveries and invoicing which integrates with the accounting system.


Track a job from start to finish in the one system Real time metrics facilitating easy management reporting Create business efficiencies by removing tedious, repetitive tasks from employees

How a bespoke app transformed this business into a well-oiled machine

Glass Australia Pty Ltd is a wholesale company that specialises in the supply of flat glass products to customers across Australia and overseas. The 30-year-old family business operated on antiquated paper-based, manual systems with isolated processes across customer service, accounts and dispatch.

General Manager, Claire Weatherley said, ‘Our systems were primitive; we didn’t have a holistic view of what was going on in the business at any time. Worse, the amount of time spent on repetitive, manual tasks was unsustainable. To stay ahead of the industry, our business administration had to evolve.

The administrative functions of Glass Australia ran in multiple data silos with isolated processes that were paper-based and often required double handling of information. Stock management, invoicing, quoting and dispatch were all handled in independent programs.

Appica Founder, Daniel Smith, explains, ‘As the company was starting out with a single business function, the challenge was to wholly understand the way the business worked and engineer a software solution for their immediate needs. But it was also vital that we understood how the system would need to integrate into the business once they were ready to scale.’

After several dead-ends, a solution that ticked all the boxes

Claire told us her search for a solution kept leading to dead-ends: ‘I started researching off-the-shelf systems simply because I thought you’d have a proven system, high level expertise and the support to help us achieve our goals. But none could completely tackle the problems we needed to solve. And they came at a hefty price tag.’

‘Then I was introduced to Daniel Smith at Appica, and his solution ticked all the boxes.’

The engagement started with several meetings with Glass Australia’s General Manager and Operations Manager for a deep dive into the business. The sessions allowed us to identify the organisation’s pain points, potential risks and define what a “home run” would look like for the business. How the system would be introduced and managing change with employees was also raised early in the consultation.

‘Daniel undertook comprehensive work beforehand, showed us what was possible, and made any transformation look quite simple, really,’ said Claire.

At the heart of the solution was the ability to track a job from start to finish. At any point, an employee could respond quickly to a customer enquiry as to the status of their order.

After our discovery stage, Appica designed a desktop app that centralised data entry including the creation of a master customer database. The app integrated with the existing MYOB so the accounting practices were unaffected. We also standardised the product lines into coded items,  facilitating automatic calculations with that data fed directly into MYOB for seamless invoicing.

“When Daniel showed us what the system could do, it was well beyond expectations. Before the new system, we would physically calculate invoices daily, which were then manually entered into MYOB. The new system removes the tedious tasks, significantly reduces room for error in calculations, and has created far greater efficiencies in many of our core functions.”

Claire Weatherley, General Manager, Glass Australia Pty Ltd

Employee buy-in was a breeze once they saw how it would make their job easier

The app design, build and implementation spanned three months. At set milestones, we demonstrated the system to the Glass Australia team to get practical feedback on the app’s functionality and usability’

During the final stage, the client was given access to a test platform so employees could familiarise themselves with the system prior to handover. In final delivery, the system was pre-loaded with the organisation’s data ready for a complete switch over, allowing the team to hit the ground running.

Real-time data supports informed planning and decision-making

Claire explains that the investment made into the system has paid off in spades. ‘When we started this journey, success meant improving efficiencies in our service delivery and streamline time-consuming processes. We also wanted to position ourselves as a progressive organisation to both external and internal stakeholders. The outcome is far greater; we’ve achieved all this plus generated cost savings across labour and consumables, and relieved a senior resource of mundane tasks who can now focus on big picture tasks to help grow the business.’

‘We estimated the ROI to be 2-years, but the system paid for itself in 6-months. We’re now ready to scale the system across other parts of the business,’ says Claire.

Claire’s favourite part of the solution? ‘The whole process was so much fun! But what I love most is the accuracy of the data, and how I can use it to make the business even better.’

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