In 2019, Pierce unveiled the 100’ Tower with a more agile truck length for easier positioning, weight-optimized design, shorter stopping distance and tighter turning radius. This made it a hit at trade shows nationwide. Soon, the orders were coming in – with many to be filled by September 2019.
To program their trucks, Pierce uses a custom-developed application named Synergy. It generates the program code that controls the apparatus electrical system. However, their new 100' Tower apparatus uses a new module that Synergy didn’t support. If Synergy wasn’t updated to support the new 100’ Towers, their engineers would have to spend 20 hours manually programming each tower instead of the usual four.
With dozens of orders to be filled by September, quadrupling programming time was an unacceptable risk. With their internal Synergy team occupied by an ERP project, and time running out, Pierce contacted us for help because “we know Core has some of the best developers in the area,” said Greg Martin, Digital Technology Manager at Pierce. “We trust them to provide the right people to help us complete our projects.”
“I literally did nothing but sign some papers, and we were under budget and ahead of schedule. It was awesome.”
Greg Martin | Digital Technology Manager Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.
Pierce estimated the work to take approximately 1,000 development hours. To hit their deadline, we provided several technical resources (technical lead/architect, senior software engineer, and software engineer), as well as a scrum master/BA to run the project on an agile (scrum) basis. Our team also worked closely with Pierce’s product owner, user acceptance testing personnel, subject matter experts, and stakeholders.
Time was the primary constraint, and it became tighter when paperwork and processes delayed the start. To make the deadline, our Scrum Master on the project spent the delay working with Pierce to build out tasks and clarify details. Once the paperwork was done, our developers were able to hit the ground running.
Working in two-week sprints, our project team delivered two weeks ahead of schedule. Our developers then went above and beyond what was required by also completing 15 additional nice-to-have bug fixes and enhancements. Throughout the 3-month project, our developers consistently worked with the BA to suggest more efficient ways to do development. Delivering ahead of schedule helped Pierce protect their reputation by avoiding missing due dates.
After delivery, we provided a two-week flex for a developer to provide post-go-live support. “It gave us peace of mind,” Martin said. “Since Core’s developers were in the system, they were able to quickly make changes.”
At project start, Pierce had received 119 orders for their 100’ Tower. With 20 hours of increased time per truck to manually program the towers reduced to four, we saved them $297,500.
Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.
Pierce Manufacturing, Inc. is a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of custom fire and rescue apparatus and a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation. Pierce is among the largest fire apparatus companies in the world.