“Every problem you solve with Glide just makes you more creative. Once you figure out how to build something in one app, you can go and add that to other apps. You learn a new skill each time and it's really about compiling those skills together. Our executive team saw how much of a difference it made for our company and they started asking, ‘What else can you guys do in Glide?’”
Cliff Switzer and Brian Banks have worked at Lone Star Communications for over a decade. Lone Star Communications works with threat management along two verticals: the medical healthcare industry and K-12 education—think a bedside button to call a nurse or a button teachers might use in an active shooter situation to alert 9/11. Behind the scenes, the company integrates with wireless phone systems, RTLS systems, data analytics, and even the temperature in hospital rooms. A couple of years ago, Cliff and Brian joined the Division of Disruption group, where they were charged with using technology to modernize the business. Since then, the dynamic duo has created over 50 big and small apps in Glide. But it all started on nights and weekends with a passion project to build a better workforce management solution for the 100+ field technicians at Lone Star Communications. Before Brian and Cliff made this app in Glide, the technicians in the field would meet with a client and have to call or log into customer connection websites for each manufacturer.
“When our technicians are out in the field, they have their tool belt on. They might be on a ladder or at a hospital. Before, they would have to log into multiple manufacturers and our internal customer connection portal to get a cut sheet or download an installation guide or other needed information,” says Brian. “So we decided to put that in their hands in a mobile app, where they can get directly to the data they need right there on the spot in two clicks.”
The pair tried other apps like Adalo and Bubble but fell in love with Glide’s interface and how it integrated so quickly with Google Sheets. They started building the app, which they dubbed “TechStar." The app was designed to give internal users access to their manufacturers' technical and support documentation and featured a centralized team member directory. Since its launch, the TechStar app has expanded to share product data, support learning modules, and even host user-generated notes and comments from field technicians. It has saved Lone Star an incredible amount of time in the field and has seen instant adoption. In the past year, they've had over 80,000 interactions in the application from over 250+ users. The executive team soon noted and asked Brian and Cliff to continue building in Glide for the business.
"We continued creating and building more, to the point where some of our peers within the industry saw what we were doing and became interested in us creating Glide apps for them. This all happened within a year and a half."
Some notable apps they've built in Glide help with project management, team member engagement, time-tracking, a company newsletter, and even an internal social network for the low-voltage industry.