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Improved business intelligence through rapid development

As part of a business-wide transformation, we helped our Client to gain an improved business intelligence tool that supports their whole supply chain. We leveraged rapid development to quickly test and deliver our solution.

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International retailer

Our Client is an international fashion and homeware retailer, with a multi-billion pound turnover. Their business success depends on having the right products available in stores for their customers to buy.

Business problem

The challenge

In December 2017, our Client started to replace their existing distributed stock management system with a centralised system; previously, each store operated its own system. The new system needed to provide all the functionality of the distributed system, enabling both stores and head office staff to have visibility of the supply chain and to create, access and distribute reports.

The centralised system provided the back-end part of the solution but it required a more user-friendly front-end to enable access to reports throughout the business, both in stores and at head office.

We were asked to deliver the front-end of the solution.

What we did

Our action

We delivered the front-end part of the system using the Mendix platform, a low-code application development platform. Low code development platforms enable developers to design and develop software quickly and with minimal hand-coding, allowing greater focus on user requirements, quality and innovation.

The team delivering the front-end of the new Stock Management solution comprised 20 people from Objectivity working with Mendix specialists. The team’s geographical distribution spanned Poland, United Kingdom, Portugal, and India. We held regular teleconferences and video conferences to stay aligned and informed.

The front-end was designed to be user friendly and can be used on both desktop computers and on tablets. The front-end communicates with the centralised back-end system using a Rest API. It extracts data from the entire supply-chain and allows users to analyse the data using Tableau or a built-in reporting system. It also allows users to send and receive files and issue automatic reminders via e-mails.

The system is designed to be used in hundreds of stores internationally, as well as in head office – there is initial capacity for 5000 users.

What we achieved

The result

The new centralised stock management solution has been successfully deployed, supporting the entire supply chain, including stock adjustments, price management, store-to-store transfers and depot-to-store transfers.

The new front-end developed in Mendix allows users to view detailed reports, to analyse data using Tableau and to view the reports on mobile devices.

Key achievements

  1.  The new stock management solution is aligned with the client’s strategic software landscape transformation.
  2.  The centralised back-end has simplified and rationalised supply chain management.
  3.  The front-end was designed and styled to be user friendly. Its efficiency in processing large quantities of data in real time has enabled store managers to analyse and view information immediately, with the convenience of being able to access visualisations on tablet devices wherever they are. This has enabled greater insight to customer demand.
  4.  Head office staff can analyse data at a macro and micro level to gain greater insight into individual store, regional and national trends.

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