Case Study: InRhythm Product Studio
Black Book, a division of Hearst Media, is best known in the automotive industry for providing timely, independent, and accurate vehicle pricing information, and is available to industry qualified users through subscriptions to its website, web services, mobile applications and licensing agreements. Comprised of groups dedicated to Lender Solutions, Automotive Solutions, and Subscription Services, Black Book offers the insight necessary for success whether its clients are buying, selling or lending. Black Book data is published daily in both the U.S. and Canada by National Auto Research, a division of Hearst Business Media, and maintains offices in Georgia, Maryland and Ontario.
At Black Book they had an old client server system, Autobahn, that was developed using legacy Microsoft tools like VisualBasic 6.0, third party components, and SQL Server. Black Book was seeking a partner to provide analysis, design, development and deployment expertise to redevelop Autobahn. The Goal of Autobahn 2.0 was to provide an advanced tool for expert curation of automotive pricing supported by advanced analytics. Autobahn is designed to make the editors more efficient and to equip them with all relevant data and analytics.
The InRhythm Impact
InRhythm took a rapid iterative approach to helping Black Book meet its goals and pave the way for sustained high-velocity software delivery. The InRhythm team used Agile & Lean principles for customer-facing product development from ideation (e.g. research, requirements, concept, design, and validation) through deployment and helped Black Book deliver customer-focused digital products rapidly and frequently.
InRhythm worked to replace Autobahn with a state-of-the-art system that provides a foundation for new products and services to support Black Book’s growth as a business.
The revamped Autobahn increased support for editorial staff, automating work as needed to improve productivity, increased the use of analytics to support editorial staff, including both ad hoc capabilities and advanced analytics tools, apply analytics to the pricing process, where data is available, using machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide suggestions and recommendations. Autobahn now prepped for using a greater number of data sources to report and understand the market. InRhythm rebuilt Autobahn on a new technology platform that reduced technical debt and leveraged the power of the latest technologies and improved operational processes to reduce reliance on certain people.