Accurately distributing large numbers of deliveries from warehouses to stores is a challenging task for major global retailers. Facing this issue themselves, our customer, a leading sports retailer in Europe, trusted Wunderdog’s developers to build an application to scan all deliveries on arrival in the stores. The project would ensure the items coming from warehouses would always match the items the stores were expecting to receive.
The bright idea
Our customer reached out to us wanting to use IoT devices—in this case network attached RFID scanners—to ensure the accuracy of their stock information once the deliveries had arrived in a store. Their goal was to find out if it was feasible to use scanner gates to reach a high enough accuracy. Following Design Thinking principles, we crafted a more sustainable solution: keeping the scanners as devices, setting up a cloud infrastructure and building a comparatively simple web application instead of the android application.
Why a web application?
Done right, web applications are more versatile than applications specialized for one platform, like Android. The effort of developing a web application is lower and in the long term it minimizes costs. It does not lack any feature but quite the opposite: it is as good as the android application but with more desirable benefits.
How does it work? The software allows monitoring and collecting information coming from the RFID scanners. The scanners scan the tag of the product and send the information to our software. After that we can visualize the information to give a direct overview of the results and export the data in a format that can be analyzed further.
The project was hosted in a Google Cloud environment and we built upon Node.js and Vue.js using WebSockets for live communication between the backend and frontend.
No matter what the original problem is, consulting can help you implement new technologies that will optimise your path towards your desired end result.
The inevitable challenge
Design thinking processes take some time. You need to talk to your customer, discuss their possibilities, what they want to achieve and ultimately adapt to their needs while proposing feasible solutions. This project required an optimal communication between all the involved parties, such as recurring negotiations with suppliers. After many collective discussions about the development of the project and listening deeply to everyone involved, we opted to save our customer’s resources providing functional and uncomplicated technical solutions.
So, how did it go?
A common understanding and agreement in the initial phase of the project is crucial for a good execution, as well as good communication between all the interested parties. Our involvement in the project showed how design thinking can help any business find the best solutions to their challenges. No matter what the original problem is, consultancy can help you implement new technologies that will optimise your path towards the end result. In the case of this retailer project, we made sure the deliveries are now in the place they belong to.