Client background & business context

  • Client profile: electronics retail company 
  • Project: OMS integration 

Challenges

As a leading electronics retailer, the company has more than 1000 stores in 15 countries. These countries have different laws and regulations that require a further customisation of the system to make it compatible with the legal standards. Also, another challenge was the diversity of platforms (one for each country). Some of these platforms contained 80% of the solutions needed, while others had none. 

In this case, undergoing the rollout of an integrated OMS, required complex tasks like infrastructure set up, initial data load, and data migration, all while making sure that the company's processes were not affected from a business point of view. 

  • Different platforms for each country: these differences made the rollout execution difficult and prone to error. 
  • Business, operational, and legal particularities for every country in which the company does transactions: these can differ in the actual FSP integration, fiscal documents that need to be provided upon purchase or payment methods.  
  • Difficulty to extend functionalities and prepare roll-out at the same time: the owners struggled to balance functionalities and development to further extend the OMS and to maintain a “one platform approach”. The alternative would've implied high cost on implementing and maintaining 3 different platforms with different technology stacks.  
  • Create a model of development that can be done in-house starting from an already developed solution. 
  • Extend business and technical functionalities: changing the existing software-as-a-service solution. 
  • Reduced release time and become a release independent solution: be able to adapt to new legislation changes, business requirements. Also, this reduction would allow the business to send change into production quickly and without dependencies.  

Our approach

Being already a strategic partner for MediaMarktSaturn and understanding the existing landscape of applications, Accesa was directly involved in creating the system's architecture. In terms of architecture, we helped the company to define business flows, that would make possible a seamless integration of the new OMS, thus maximising the features that the OMS platform brings to each country.

With competences in Sterling development, integration, testing, and devops, our team managed to create a custom solution that would respond accordingly to the business needs.

Due to the complexity and the particularities of each country, in a consultative approach, our teams focused on the client’s life cycle business flows (that includes Home Delivery's, Pick Up's, Returns, Modifications, Exchanges, and many more). This enabled us to focus on providing an end-to-end solution with a positive impact on the business flow. In a proactive endeavour, we have created a performance testing framework that identifies the current state of the implementation and highlights sensitive areas that could be negatively impacted by the high traffic. This allowed faster response to eventual critical situations that may have appeared during or after the implementation. 

We used our know-how in areas like branching, improving code quality, CI/CD. Always focused on the need for high customisation, we have developed a new solution from scratch that responds to the company’s specific needs. 

Relying on the API architecture we enabled automation and performance to a framework that supports a fast and scalable release plan. Our teams used their knowledge both on enterprise service bus (ESB) and on API design, thus making the transition to the “API first” approach smother. 

Also, to reduce time and complexity of new environment set-up, the application was containerised using Docker and Vagrant. For better performance, we implemented an automation process that undergoes the repeating and long-lasting manual configuration for new countries and eventual stores set-up in those countries.  

Technologies

Technologies

  • MongoDB
  • Java
  • Git
  • Spring
  • Apache
  • Gradle
  • Kafka
  • Docker

Results

The new OMS offers the ability to customise the order execution and enable more flexible business process definitions. The platform ensures adaptable fulfilment models that can respond to each country’s particularities and legal needs. Also, implementing all the new country set-up can be done within 3 days. This enabled a decrease in time and costs, as sometimes such an implementation tool even more than a month. 

In the current state, we can have monthly independent releases on multiple countries for the OMS and for the spin-off solutions. This approach enabled us to provide hotfixes in under 2 days or faster, instead of up to a month as it was previously happening. Having fixes faster, we were able to provide better stability of the system, with positive business and customer-experience impact. 

The containerisation of the OMS, led to faster local set-up, enabling new developers to ramp-up and fix eventual problems in a timely manner. Improvements have been also seen regarding the testing duration. Testing on multiple instances is done using test automation, on scheduled time frames, thus reducing a lot of time, effort and errors. For example, regression testing was reduced from 2 weeks to 3 days

During our early performance-testing, our specialists timely identified load problems which allowed the development team to fix them timely and proactively. This endeavour allowed the company to have the most successful Black Friday’s in 3 consecutive years. By means of testing and continuous development, we made the platform to increase from 140 orders processed/sec to a top of 400 orders/sec without any problems.  

The aggregated order capability collects orders from multiple order capture channels (online, call center and store) and provides a single source of order status information across these channels. This led to an increase in sales during Black Friday of an average of 194% from the previous year.  

The financial gain for our partner comes from the design of the new ordering platform. Different from the previous solution that generated a cost per transaction, the new OMS has no such costs. While costs do exist with the new platform, these are not related to the number of orders. As the company increased the initial to up to 32.000 orders per day with a peak of 1.000.000 orders, this meant a significant reduction of costs. 

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