Are there tasks or processes that, despite getting the job done, feel a bit clunky—perhaps relying on multiple spreadsheets or lacking real-time updates?

It’s possible that a web application could help you streamline the process and make things more efficient, effective and reliable.

While you might not know exactly what a web application is, you probably use at least a couple almost every day – web applications power today’s businesses. Things like productivity and project management software, customer service tools and marketing platforms can all be web applications. Whether you work remotely or in the office (even sometimes from your phone), you’re likely using multiple web applications regularly.

Some of the most widely known business web applications include Quickbooks Online, Google Docs, Trello, Salesforce, and Slack.

What Is a Web Application?

Web applications, or web apps, operate seamlessly through web browsers, eliminating the need for downloads or installations.

Unlike traditional software installations, web apps operate remotely, offering universal accessibility through various devices. Whether you’re managing internal processes or establishing an online presence, web apps provide a flexible and collaborative approach to digital solutions. Web apps are platform-independent, accessible across devices, and cater to scenarios where collaborative experiences and dynamic interactions are key.

How Web Apps are Different from Mobile Apps:

In contrast, mobile apps are designed for specific devices like smartphones and tablets. Installed directly onto the device, they leverage device-specific features, making them ideal for on-the-go functionalities and unique mobile experiences while generally web apps leverage web browser technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and can be broader in their reach and operate on different devices (mobile and desktop)

Now that you understand what a web app is and how it’s different from a mobile app, you might wonder if a web app could help you in your business. Sometimes the best way to understand if a web app could be a good solution for your company is to learn how other businesses have used one and what they were able to achieve by doing so. Here are a few examples that illustrate some of what a web app can do.

Real-World Scenarios: When Web Apps Shine

  • Enhancing Logistics in Manufacturing
    Hillmar Industries, a manufacturing company located in Delta, BC, had to manage the complexities of parts production in China and integration in Mexico. Navigating the logistics of such operations can be a logistical nightmare. A custom web app, acting as a scheduling tool, helped automate the tracking and flow of parts through the entire production process. By providing a centralized view of the production timeline, delays can be minimized, and the overall efficiency of the supply chain is vastly improved. In this case, the implementation of such a tool resulted in significant time savings and a smoother production process over three countries.
  • Optimizing Customer Interaction with a Door Molding Company
    Western Pacific Building Materials based in Portland Oregon and specializing in the manufacturing of mouldings, doors, and windows and faced a common challenge—managing customer inquiries about order statuses. The constant influx of phone calls requesting updates on door deliveries created inefficiencies and impacted receptionists’ workload. An intelligently designed web app allowed contractors to access real-time information on their orders, eliminating the need for frequent calls. This not only reduced the workload on receptionists but also enabled the company to operate with fewer staff members, leading to substantial cost savings.
  • Enabling Introductions Between Fund Managers and Investors
    For the past 20 years, Hedge Connection has facilitated introductions between high assets investors and Hedge Fund managers using their online web application. The application allows investors to discover suitable hedge fund managers to manage their investments using messaging, video calls, and a variety of other features.

More Than Technological Solutions

In exploring these real-life scenarios, you can see that web applications are not merely technological solutions; they are strategic assets that can transform how businesses operate, enhance collaboration, and drive tangible results. Whether optimizing internal operations or establishing an online presence, the scenarios in which web applications shine are diverse and impactful.

If you’re now even more intrigued about the potential uses and impact of a web application for your business, keep reading.

Here are Some Things to Consider:

  • Identify Pain Points:
    • Pinpoint tasks consuming excess time and resources to understand where a web app can make the most impact.
  • Define Clear Objectives:
    • Clearly define the objectives you aim to achieve with a web application. Whether streamlining communication, improving data accessibility, or enhancing customer interactions, having precise goals will guide the development process and ensure the end product aligns with your business needs.
  • User-Centric Design:
    • Prioritize user-centric design. The success of a web application hinges on its usability. Consider the end-users and their needs. What features would make their tasks more straightforward? What interface would enhance their experience? A well-designed web app not only solves problems but does so in a way that is intuitive and user-friendly.
  • Scalability and Flexibility:
    • Anticipate future growth and changes in your business environment. A good web application should be scalable to accommodate increasing demands and flexible enough to adapt to evolving requirements. This ensures that your web app can grow with your business.
  • Security Measures:
    • Prioritize security. Assess the sensitivity of the data that will be handled by the web application. Implement robust security measures, following industry best practices such as those recommended by OWASP (the Open Web Application Security Project). OWASP is a non-profit organization that focuses on improving the security of software. OWASP provides resources, tools, and best practices to help organizations develop secure web applications and software.
  • User Training and Support:
    • Plan for user training and ongoing support. Even the most intuitive web applications may require some level of user training during the initial rollout.
  • Regular Maintenance:
    • Recognize that a web application is not a one-time solution but a dynamic tool that requires regular maintenance to stay efficient, secure, and aligned with business goals.

If there’s an element of your business that you think a web application could be a potential solution for, the team at 14 Oranges is happy to walk through the considerations above. Book a call today – we’d love to hear what’s bogging you down and see how we can help.

Sylvain Marcotte is CEO and President of 14 Oranges.

A Web Application Could Save You Time and Money: How 3 Companies Are Making Web Apps Work for Them