B2B Marketplace with Supply Chain Automation

Services

  • Agile Transformation
  • Custom Software Development
  • Managed product development
  • Service Desk

Technologies

  • Angular.js
  • Ansible
  • Behave BDD
  • CircleCl
  • Github
  • IBM PaaS
  • Postgre DB
  • Python Django
  • Solr
  • Vue.js

Background

To gain a competitive edge over business rivals, meet customer demand, and keep costs to a minimum, organizations large or small opt for supply chain management solutions. Digital age has turned processes that were disorganized, time-consuming, and burdensome and managed to cut the delivery time to mere hours in some cases. Automation and high-speed, efficient communication have paved the way for the increase in demand of supply chain management software.

Client

Virtualstock Ltd is a UK-based digital supply chain and marketplace SaaS platform which operates within the Retail and Healthcare markets. The company helps retailers/hospitals and sellers connect their supply chains to operate more efficiently and offer an enhanced range of products. Virtualstocks’ retail clients are 5 of the top 10 tier 1 retailers in the UK, as well as working with the NHS in the UK.
Challenge image

Issue

Due to expansion of the business, in 2016 Virtualstock were looking for a near-shore software development partner to augment their existing on-shore development team. The additional engineering capability was required to work with the client to build the additional functionality required to meet increased market demands. The client needed help with extending the core modules for their SaaS platforms; The Edge® (Retail) and the Edge4Health™ (Healthcare). 

Augmenting the team was a challenge for VirtualStock, as they faced a need to deliver the product to new markets and scale their engineering capability. One of the key requirements was that the teams adopt their preferred lean agile style, this would enhance productivity and speed up the delivery.  

Solution

To help VirtualStock augment their in-house capabilities, Symphony Solutions: 

  • Established 4 cross-functional, Scrum teams: 2 per sector (Retail and Healthcare), each consisting of Python developers, QAs/AQAs, a Scrum Master per sector and a Business Analyst (trained and moved into a Product Owner role) within the Healthcare sector.
  • Set Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to optimize cross-team collaboration, gain more control over features dependencies, and at the same time achieve transparency of the delivery to the business.
  • Worked with in-house engineering and product teams to deliver new and enhanced functionality to the clients product portfolio.
  • Defined software requirements and QA/AQA processes; active part of the continuous improvement programme.

 

Once part of the Product/Engineering team, Symphony Solutions practitioners worked side by side with the rest of the VirtualStock team on developing two SaaS products: The area of our work included:  

  • Constant product improvements for new markets.
  • Developing functionality around automated order management, price negotiation, product description management.
  • Implementing or updating the following features of The Edge: adding and managing product either individually or in bulk; publishing products; order management (acknowledgement, dispatch, cancellation, messaging, returns management) supplier and user management.
  • Supporting the development of the following features of the Edge4Health: suppliers registration; catalogue, price, and cart management; requisitions, orders, and invoices; shared business layer (administration of health providers, permission groups, user management); framework contracts; direct punchout functionalities based on integrated with 3rd party Inventory Management systems (Oracle iProcurement, eDC, Ingenica, Powergate, etc.).
  • Integrating with the 3rd party systems for tracking the delivery process.
  • Integrating with Retail/Suppliers systems for E2E supply chain management process coverage.
  • Providing governance for quality assurance and software development process.
  • Providing 3rd Level Operational Support.

Results

  • The Edge & Edge4Health platforms are GS1 and PEPPOL certified.
  • VirtualStock rolled out operations to new healthcare markets and secured prestige new customers, including the NHS in the UK.
  • VirtualStock won the prestigious HCSA Procurement Technology Award 2019 for their Edge4Health SaaS platform and their partnership with the NHS.
  • Accelerated time to market supported by the lean agile principles.
  • Ongoing software development with new product versions being released every 2 weeks.
  • Partnership with Symphony Solutions has expanded from a small team to 30+ engineers organized in 4 teams in two locations.