Fleet Kaptan (Kaptan means Captain in Hindi) is a platform providing end to end tyre management as a service for fleets with >100 vehicles on an average.
My work at FleetKaptan is under NDA. This case study reflects the process, challenges and learnings during the project. The main challenge I faced was less time to ship for a product that needed to be designed without any reference (similar products did not exist/were not publically available).
JUNE - AUGUST 2022
A MVP developed as a PWA (web, mobile and tablet view) and soon to be deployed in 16 fleets in Gujarat, India (currently actively tracking 7 via tha application)
A 'Vague' Problem Statement
What factors affect the health of vehicle tyres in big fleets travelling long distances and how can they be addressed?
Gujarat, India has a pretty big transport industry. For majority of these fleets, tyres constitute a significant cost yet the tyre health tracking and management is unorganized. The innovative people at Fleet Kaptan aim to empower the fleet owners to make the best allocation of resources for their fleets, backed by scientific tyre metrics tracked by the platform facilitated by Tyre Service Engineers.
Commercial Vehicles in fleets
Trucks in fleets
Using the application I designed to log the tyre metrics, the incredible on-ground team of FleetKaptan (the VP - Operations and the Tyre Service Engineers) manage ~700 vehicles, a mere 3 months after their launch.
#1: FleetKaptan was unique.
UNCOVERING THE CHALLENGES
How do you design something you've never seen before?
Looked into what factors contributed to tyre health
Interviewed people working in the field to identify the major issues
Distilled the research into features, iteratively verified by the key stakeholders: the management, the tyre inspectors and the fleet owners
#2: Hard to define scope without starting operations on ground
Sitting in the boardroom, the tyre experts can only define the scope to a certain extent. The on ground team would be able to better define the scope by going and inspecting the tyres - but for this they will need an application. This called for a rapid prototyping and iterative approach to product design and development, aided by a flexible way to log data in bulk when the Tyre Service Engineers tracked metrics on paper when the application was in development stage or QA stage after a new update.
#3: Constraint on time and resources
Fleet Kaptan had a limited time to launch the application and the services after mobilizing the resources necessary for the startup. Delays will allow potential competitors to thrive.
The short time to ship necessitated efficient communication between the people on the ground (tyre service engineers), the management and the developers. I learnt to establish proper channels and methods of communications to avoid miscommunication which would cause time delay.
Being a perfectionist, I used to be hesitant to present anything which was less than perfect. Designing the platform for FleetKaptan left no room for perfection, as we took a rapid prototyping approach to test out various features for tyre inspection with the users. I learnt to be comfortable with testing prototypes which I was not a 100% satisfied with as the lack of time demanded it, and I realized that such imperfections also sparked conversations which led to further improvements. The process is iterative, with no one step being perfect and the final solution.
I liaised with the developers, providing input on the tech stack, the schema and the execution of the design. Being a CS graduate, I am able to check for the feasibility of the design, and the many conversations with the developers aided a keen understanding of the platform developed inside and out.