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React Native – a Game Changer for Enterprise Mobile Development

Calor Gas LiFieldProIconmited is Britain’s leading supplier of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) with a field sales team of over 200 staff. In 2013 they began to invest in apps to help drive efficiencies and operational improvements.

Partnering with RNF Digital Innovation, Calor was one of the first British enterprises to implement an ambitious mobile transformation programme targeting their sales force. What soon followed was the launch of a sophisticated iPad app, specifically developed to assist and boost their Domestic Central Heating business. A first version of the app was launched in early 2014.

The app created efficiencies and cost savings, which actually surpassed the business’ expectations. By simplifying the sales process, increasing the accuracy of the data capture and eradicating many sources of errors, measurably more deals were signed than in previous periods.

Since the original launch, RNF and Calor Gas have extended the app to address the core sales process of LPG to both bulk and cylinder customers. Features include a sophisticated drawing tool, which enables the sales force to annotate customer orders and site surveys with sketches superimposed over photographs and/or maps of the sites to be installed.

CalorTo develop enterprise-grade apps with this level of sophistication has historically been a time-consuming and costly exercise. However, in early 2015, RNF began developing all modules within the Calor programme using React Native.

The adoption of this framework has resulted in significant development efficiencies without any compromises in terms of app responsiveness or user experience.

RNF are one of the first UK companies to adopt the framework and believe they have built what is one of the most complex builds in React Native and possibly the first ever enterprise iPad app using the technology.

And with the recent announcement that Microsoft and Samsung are now fully backing the framework the benefits of developing mobile within business using React Native, the argument for native apps in the Enterprise has never been stronger.

Rob Mannion, RNF Digital Innovation Managing Director, said “The RNF Calor Gas partnership is an exciting one in that we’re developing enterprise-grade apps in record times that deliver significant ROI into both businesses. React Native has been a game changer. To put the productivity-gain in perspective, we have seen a number of instances where around 500 lines of native code get replaced with a single line in React Native. It’s enabling us to evolve and build on early successes of the FieldPro app in a way which wouldn’t have been possible before.”

Alastair Lovell, Calor’s National Sales Manager, said “The Field Pro iPad app has delivered significant efficiencies and cost savings, as well as fundamentally changing our customers’ experience of the sales process. Being able to evolve and develop it both cost effectively and quickly has added further significant benefits.”