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Colle+McVoy TapServer

How do you get employees at professional service firms to finally finish their timesheets? Beer.

the TapServer is a multi-keg beer

deployment system that provides free beer as a reward for up-to-date timesheets. Over the course of a year, our IT and creative technology teams partnered to prototype, test, and finish the project. Users simply tap their keycard to an RFID reader and, depending on their timesheet completion, are presented with several beer selections. Employees choose their brew, pour, and enjoy.

Knowing the barrier to timesheet completion is inertia, we knew our solution had to be dead simple for employees to use so it would actually work as an incentive. In addition, we had to meet the following business requirements:

  • Authenticate users based on timesheet completion
  • Display information on rotating taps since there was no bartender
  • Abide with the company’s alcohol policy based on the time of day
  • Regulate beer temperature and C02 levels automatically
card swipe

The TapServer integrates quite a few disparate systems, including RFID authentication, Colle+McVoy’s timesheet software and solenoid-controlled flow sensors to monitor how much beer users are pouring. We used Node.js as the primary language and MongoDB for the database. Independent pressure and cooling lines are housed in a custom-made tap tower.

The first iteration of the TapServer was a free-standing kegerator on wheels built over a 48-hour period. We originally used Raspberry Pi to power the system, but found an SD card wasn’t the best fit for a production environment. The final product, TapServer 2.0, is a completely integrated system built seamlessly into the backsplash of the agency kitchen. It features four rotating taps controlled by iPhones.

keg tops
tap handles

Since its launch, the TapServer has become a gathering place at the end of the day where employees can unwind and catch up. And, most importantly, timesheet completion has maintained a consistent weekly completion rate of over 90%, up from 75%. We can all toast to that.

people at tapserver

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