Rheal Software

  Client Background

BuyBackPro Inc. is a California based software development company offering software solutions to scrap yards, recycling centers and processors since 1989. They started their business with a DOS based application and eventually moved to MS Visual Basic app with an Access data base backend. The primary objective of the application was to help scrapyard owners quickly record the transactions and generate various reports to submit to the governing agencies.

  Challenges

BuyBackPro wanted to redevelop their legacy application so that they could provide the client the required functionality in the every changing regulatory environment in the scrap industry. The legacy BuyBackPro application was developed using MS Visual Studio with an Access database which, in addition to its inherent limitations, had the following drawbacks that hindered its adoption in the changing environment.

  • The application lacked the ability to take pictures of the scrap material from different angles which is required as per the stringent federal rules and regulations for the scrap industries.
  • The application could directly interface with the weighing machines but lacked an easy switching method between scales, making the process error prone. This led to discrepancy in the inventory due to operator input error.
  • The application could not handle electronic payments and required manual handling of the same leading to potential mismatch of records.
  • The application had a centralized data store but not a true client/server system and hence it was difficult to analyze business performance for larger clients with multiple locations.
  • The application did not have any way to connect to external accounting systems thus necessitating the need to manually maintain separate accounting systems leading to potential discrepancies in the accounts.
  • The application lacked support for kiosk based systems.

  Solutions

BuyBackPro contacted Rheal in 2007 to help upgrade their system so as to overcome the above limitations. After analysis of their existing MS Visual Studio Access DB based system and their new requirements, Rheal implemented the following modifications to help BBPro come up to speed with the current market needs.

  • Instead of making incremental changes in the MS Access (jet database) application, Rheal rewrote the entire application from scratch in .Net in order to fully leverage the advantages offered by the new platform and make the application more robust & scalable.
  • Developed an interface with IP Cameras in the application so that the application could shoot multiple pictures of the materials and link them with the transactions to submit to the government authorities.
  • Used existing hardware interface to communicate with the weighing machine so that the weights could be directly read from the machines and also added optional IP camera setup to the weighing process which would point the camera to the scale machine and take pictures of the scrap and scale machine reading so as to maintain visual evidence of the weighing.
  • Implemented an interface with cash dispenser machines so as to avoid human error in cash handling.
  • Redesigned the database using MS SQL Server so as to make the application more scalable. With the new design the application could now support multiple locations while maintaining a central database. For small clients with single location, the application was configured to run using MS SQL SERVER Express edition so that the license procurement costs for the end client were reduced.
  • Added support to integrate the accounting data with the popularly used QuickBooks and PeachTree accounting systems so as to provide easy and seamless accounting integration.
  • Added a switch option to make the application touch screen friendly for the kiosks.

  The Result

BuyBackPro is now an end to end solution for the scrap yard industry. The application provides all the features scrap yards need to manage their daily needs as well as meet stringent government rules and regulations. With features such as custom pricing policy being built into the application, BuyBackPro doubled into client base from 200 to over 400 clients after the first release and has been growing ever since.

"Rheal has been a valuable partner in our ongoing success in our vertical market. The special applications required for both state and federal compliance issues have been met with timely solutions from Rheal Software. We started out on a trial basis and soon realized they were invaluable to our growth in the industry. It has been now over 8 years and I do not see going on without them a a business partner. This is a long and lasting relationship and very much appreciated."

Everett Duty
President, Buy Back Pro, Inc.