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Improving store operations with better support of hand-held terminals

Hand-held terminals (HHT) are crucial for supermarkets’ store employees. By taking on responsibility for support, Objectivity has improved the availability of the critical software running on these devices.

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Case Study Hht Support 800X400

The Client

The Client, a big company listed on the London Stock Exchange, retails groceries through a chain of supermarkets and an online home delivery service. The Company serves customers across the UK through approximately 500 stores and offers food and groceries, much of which it sources and processes through fully own manufacturing facilities (over 10 sites across Britain).

Industry Retail
Technology SQL Server (2000, 2005), Classic ASP, SSIS, CLR, VB6

Key Achievements

  • Optimised service with improved incident SLAs
  • Enhanced development capacity thanks to the introduction of DevOps practices
  • Better monitoring resulting in increased efficiency of the store supply chain

The challenge

Business Need

Our Client’s store employees use handheld terminals for ordering stock from the warehouses, to make sure all products are available, to report waste, and many other processes to assist them. These services are critical and enable our Client to delivery excellent customer service, therefore it is imperative, that issues and incidents are dealt with in a correct and timely manner. The Company did not have a dedicated Windows Applications Support team at the time. As a consequence, the Windows Development team took on support for the handheld terminal services (HHT). This brought with it an additional strain on their development work. To free up the development team from support activities, our Client decided to outsource support to a trusted partner, Objectivity.

The solution

Project Details

Objectivity proposed a phased approach for taking over support from the Windows Development team. During the first phase, the Objectivity Support team focused on analysing the most significant issues with the HHT services: most common incident recognition and recurring, time-consuming tasks identification. After this phase, Objectivity took over the support responsibility of the Client’s development team. During the first year of our support, the percentage of breached incidents dropped down and we maintained the SLA at appropriate level.

In the following stages, Objectivity took over the deployment process and created a “clear incident queue” plan, creating room for proactive problem prevention. As a result, the SLA improved. Objectivity added further task automation. The support team introduced more ITIL oriented processes to be able to manage incidents in accordance with best practice. Objectivity’s team worked together with the Client on a backlog of improvements. This led to further increase of SLA performance and system availability.

The results

Business Benefits

The percentage of SLA breaches has decreased. This is a result of having a dedicated Agile Support team, that has also implemented numerous service improving enhancements. Next to this, having an Objectivity Agile Support team in place, our Client’s HHT Development team can now focus solely on developing new functionalities for the HHT System.

The Client’s development team keeps working closely with Objectivity’s support team. In this way, we created grounds for DevOps environment. New features are regularly added to the HHT Services. Processes are continuously monitored and improved. Moreover, in case of incidents, they are dealt with in a correct and timely manner. As a result, the Client’s employees in the stores are now able to stay focused on other tasks: making sure that shelves are stocked with the right amount of fresh produce and ambient products.

The cooperation on HHT Support put us in a position, where the Client has enough confidence in our capabilities to trust us with providing support for all their Windows Applications.

Key achievements

  1.  Improvement of service (percentage of breached incidents dropped down).
  2.  Freeing up Client’s capacity, enabling them to develop new functionalities.
  3.  Increased efficiency of store supply chain.


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