How One Citizen Developer is Helping Tourists Find Their Way Through the Caribbean

Tips & Tricks
Mar 8, 2016
5 Min Read
How One Citizen Developer is Helping Tourists Find Their Way Through the Caribbean

Caribbean Photo - building

As a student, Tamika Graham was fond of numbers but never considered a career as a database app builder. Now, just a few years later, she sits at the intersection of business and technology as the primary QuickBase app builder and caretaker at Skyviews, the leading map publishing company in the Caribbean.

“I really enjoy working with QuickBase. It's one of the things I love most about my job,” says Graham.

Skyviews produces tourist road maps & guides for the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua, St. Lucia, Tobago, and five other Caribbean islands. The maps — which are produced and distributed annually — are available free of charge on the islands, supported by ads from local businesses.

Despite this relatively straightforward business model, Skyviews has had to deal with several challenges unique to a business that operates across multiple islands. For one thing, managing advertising sales with paper contracts was labor intensive and not as efficient as it could be. Another challenge encountered by Sales Reps was inefficient tracking & management of administrative information specific to each of their countries as they dealt with various currencies and other differences caused by working in these unique islands.

[caption id="attachment_32724" align="alignleft" width="150"]Photo of Tamika Graham, Skyviews Tamika Graham, Skyviews[/caption]

To help standardize these processes, Skyviews built a project management app on the Intuit QuickBase platform. The app is now the central management system that governs several key processes, from sales to production, enabling Skyviews to communicate with its advertisers to deliver maps on time and without mistakes.

Graham took ownership of Skyviews' QuickBase app in early 2014. Despite her lack of any programming background, she has been able to add functionality to the app that helps Skyviews transform its business.

For example, Graham worked with Juiced Technologies, a QuickBase Solution Provider, to integrate DocuSign functionality into its sales process in QuickBase. Previously, a sales rep might replicate an advertiser's prior contract and collect a signature in person. Then a Skyviews admin would manually upload the contract information into QuickBase. Now, the sales rep can go into the advertiser's account in QuickBase first, duplicate a record in seconds, and collect an electronic signature on a tablet while visiting the advertiser.

The DocuSign integration also helps gather signatures from business owners who might live elsewhere, because contracts can be generated in QuickBase, exported into a DocuSign-enabled PDF and forwarded to anyone with an email address.

Using QuickBase as a central management system has even sparked creative ideas for adding value to their customer relationships. For example, some advertisers run small restaurants or shops and don't have logos or images to use in creating ads. Now, sales reps can take a photo of the storefront or nearby location, upload that photo to the record in QuickBase, and request that Skyviews' creative services create a logo to use in the ad.

As Skyviews' business grows, Graham's skills grow in parallel. Her contributions as a citizen developer are one reason for Skyviews' burgeoning success.

“What I love about QuickBase is that it just keeps evolving. I never feel like I've learned everything I can do with it. I love learning how to develop apps and make the apps we use better.”

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