SupplyAlly - Simplifying Nationwide Distribution
SupplyAlly, or Sally for short, is a mobile app that facilitates the process of logistics distribution, especially in times of need during COVID-19 and the post-COVID era.
How did Sally come about? It started with a phone call on April 1st.
Steven Koh, Director of Government Digital Services at GovTech, received a call from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the People’s Association (PA). They wanted to know if GovTech could develop an app that would digitalise the nationwide reusable mask distribution exercise.
When was the distribution exercise going to start? April 5th, came the reply. In the span of four days, GovTech engineers repurposed and refined an existing application into SupplyAlly. We had to develop an app that was designed with a low barrier to entry for users, as we did not know how many people were involved in distributing masks. We also developed a form of authorisation and authentication that was scalable with the size of the volunteer efforts.
A timeline of Sally and its achievements! PHOTO: GOVTECH*
Given the time constraints, speed was a major consideration – what are the essential steps for using this app, and what is the most basic way of verifying identities? These were key concerns for the team as we worked round the clock to meet the deadline.
A helping hand for the community
Once we set Sally up, it enabled MTI and the PA to distribute reusable masks across Singapore through the various Community Centres. To date, 4.2 million masks have been issued through this campaign.
Once we saw how successful Sally was after the mask distribution, we realised that there was great potential for Sally to support charitable efforts in Singapore. During the Circuit Breaker period, home-based learning was implemented but some children could not participate as they lacked access to internet laptops. That’s when we decided to partner Engineering Good to distribute refurbished laptops to underprivileged students for home-based learning.
Since June, we’ve also worked with the Community Development Council (CDC) and PA to distribute voucher booklets to families in need - Sally is utilised to distribute vouchers to more than 250,000 households out of 400,000 eligible households.
Sally also directly contributes to the national contact tracing effort against COVID-19. Together with our parent organisation, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) and the Agency for Integrated Care’s (AIC) Silver Generation Office, more than 10,000 TraceTogether (TT) tokens were issued to the elderly who do not own smartphones and other digitally-excluded members of the population. Subsequently, in September, we started the distribution of TT tokens at the Community Clubs in Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar areas.
More recently, we engaged Food from the Heart, a charitable organisation and gave out hot meals to the elderly and other service users around the Mountbatten area. Sally vastly simplified the process of tracking and recording items distributed, ensuring equitable distribution of essentials for individuals and households.
Technology, the driving force behind Sally
By utilising cloud technologies on our Government Commercial Cloud framework, Sally is able to run different distribution campaigns simultaneously with the use of unique QR codes at an effective cost model. In addition, by staying true to our DNA, we are able to significantly lower the lead time required to roll out new campaigns by leveraging on reusable components.
Sally’s DNA PHOTO: GOVTECH
From our journey and the feedback we’ve received, we’ve identified some new features that Sally can benefit from.
- Enable the capability to appeal for extra collections when entitlement limits are reached
- Improve the intuitiveness of error messages and in-app messages for better user experience
- Enhance the login process for Sally to minimise human error when using QR codes to log in
- Displaying distribution statistics within the app
- Multi-Language support
To learn more about supplyally, click here!https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/supplyally-simplifying-nationwide-distribution