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me&u: Shipping business apps 5x faster across 3 VPCs with Superblocks

The Superblocks Team
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Multiple authors

August 1, 2023

3 min read

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Challenge: Scaling technical support for hospitality automation

Me&u is an Australian-based technology company that offers ordering, payments, and marketing solutions for the hospitality industry. The platform allows customers to view menus, place orders, and pay for their meals directly from their smartphone or tablet, eliminating physical menus, cash transactions, and the need for waiting staff to take orders. In addition, me&u provides data insights and analytics so restaurants can understand customer preferences and enhance their operations. me&u focus on operational efficiency doesn’t stop with just their platform though. Internally, they saw challenges affecting the customer experience and opportunities to introduce automation:

  1. T1 and T2 Support teams struggled to keep up with requests for refunds, updating orders, or editing user information. These tasks all required manual intervention from Engineering and slowed down ticket resolution time.
  2. Enterprise venue companies had to repeatedly go through me&u's Support team to update large numbers of venues or staff, with no way to manage this themselves. This created strain on both parties.  

Solution: Superblocks Applications to scale restaurant customer support and operations

With Superblocks, me&u was able to build user interfaces for their Support team and select enterprise clients, enabling these groups to visualize restaurant data and make updates to backend configurations on their own. 

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1. Support Admin Tool

The Support Admin Tool allows T1 and T2 Support to interact with customer data that was previously only accessible through SQL queries to CockroachDB. Using a series of Tabs, Tables, and Form components, a Support agent is able pull up restaurant guests and staff for a specific venue, search them by email or mobile number, and edit a particular user’s information. In addition, they can see all menu items, live orders, and issue deductions on their own, instead of making these requests through Engineering or writing their own SQL.

2. Enterprise Venue Management

Me&u's larger enterprise clients have hundreds of venues and thousands of staff to support. At this scale, routine changes like editing, updating, or adding new staff were time consuming as they depended on me&u's Support team to make adjustments manually. With Superblocks, me&u created an application to allow these enterprise clients to manage these operations on their own. Now, they can immediately pull up all the staff for any one of their venues and make changes like bulk updating, removing, and creating staff within seconds instead of hours.

Why Superblocks

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1. Easy to deploy On-Premise Agent for data security

With the Superblocks On-Premise Agent, me&u was able to connect securely to customer data stored in CockroachDB and S3, while receiving the latest UI features from Superblocks Cloud. Their SRE team can deploy and upgrade a single Helm Chart in minutes, instead of maintaining a full on-premise software installation. 

2. Integrate all environments with Profiles 

Me&u's previous Retool apps were hosted on a different domain and cluster per region, which required duplicating these manually across environments, introducing drift between applications. Superblocks Profiles enabled me&u to integrate with all of their environments throughout the development lifecycle in a single application. They can now toggle the underlying data to show a specific region and environment (e.g., Staging environment in Australia or Production environment in Europe), instead of managing multiple applications per environment. 

3. Ease of use for creators and end users

Combining sequenced event handlers with step based APIs made it easy for Engineers to connect frontend components to backend APIs with all the required business logic. They could also share these applications with end users like Support and enforce granular permissions with RBAC

Results

Me&u has been able to build applications 5 times faster with Superblocks compared to building from scratch. The tools have enabled their Support team to action customer requests in just minutes, ensuring a seamless dining experience for restaurant staff and guests alike.

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Matthew Blode
Senior Software Engineer, me&u

"The Support team can bring us an idea for an application and our Engineers can deliver them a working user interface within an hour. Not only does this save us days of developer time but also increases Support’s productivity and efficiency for solving customer issues."


Nadeesha Cabral
SVP of Engineering, me&u

"Previously we were using Retool but found the self-hosted version challenging to deploy and expensive to maintain, as it required running 6 RDS databases in clusters across three VPCs. The pricing model was also limiting for our scale. Moving to the Superblocks On-Premise Agent made it much simpler to deploy the data plane as a stateless container, and build apps for multiple VPCs with Profiles. In addition, the pricing flexibility enabled us to roll out Superblocks to hundreds of Support agents in a cost effective way."