Global Retail Giant To Drastically Reduce Inspection Time

Anticipated increase in customer satisfaction and sales for our client’s 2,580 retail units

One of our clients, a discount retail giant, has locations in 27 countries, including Mexico and Central America. A division of the company in Latin America employs approximately 239,000 associates, with stores in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.

At-A-Glance:

  • First location in Mexico opened in 1991
  • 2,580 total retail units as of July 2020
  • Division operates in 6 countries

The Challenge

When a supplier arrives at the retailer’s warehouse, an inspector must manually review the product that’s arriving using a PDF checklist. This process takes around three hours to complete. 

Our partner was looking for a way to execute a complete inspection when perishable goods arrive at their distribution center. The client needed an agile app that would speed up the inspection time – helping to register and update products and their characteristics upon receiving. 

Our Solution

Work with our partner began in September 2019, with an in-depth research process lasting through November 2019. Our studio in Mexico worked with the client’s team through workshops to gain a deep understanding of the business area, the Quality Center. Using InVision, the teams designed a prototype to have a clear, thorough vision of the requirements. The Cognizant Softvision team also identified multiple areas of opportunity where the client could improve their business process through the development of a new product within the quality control area.

The project began with phase one, where the team worked to define the best architecture based on the customer’s tech stack and the final device that would be used by inspectors. Prototypes were defined to visualize the application, taking the environment, user experience and design thinking into consideration. The team developed a mobile application where a user could inspect fruit and vegetable products. 

The application implemented Strati, which is based on Azure, as cloud services. For reference archetypes, the team used Java 8, Springboot, Hibernate, Azure SQL, Angular, Redux, typescript, Java for Android and Appium for automation testing.

Cognizant Softvision pulled in the right experts from the guilds network to build a high-performing team called a pod, that enables the most expeditious delivery of the go-to-market solution. 

Each guild is a world-class community of expert talent in an area of expertise. For this partnership, the following guilds led to the delivery of success: 

  • Design & UX
  • Full Stack Web
  • Mobile
  • Quality Engineering
  • Agile Transformation

WHAT’S TO COME

When a supplier arrives at the warehouse, the inspector can validate the product through the application, taking into consideration multiple factors, such as measurements, color, weight, diameter, temperature, pressure, and maturation. The application can walk the user through the product validation process to confirm if it can be received.  The final decision to either accept or reject the merchandise would be made through the mobile app’s automated process. 

The web application would register and update products, their characteristics and various business rules. Based on the business rules captured per product and the inputs the inspector registers in the mobile device, the mobile application will provide a result regarding whether or not the product can be received

This final product has not been released yet to the production environment, but based on extensive user testing, the team expects that the process will take around 10 minutes, drastically reducing the time it takes to complete the end-to-end product validation. We also anticipate an increase in the effectiveness of decision-making.

During phase two, the team plans to add more features, including showing where the merchandise is arriving, adding more factors regarding the product, reviewing the product again before it can be shipped to the stores, selecting which produce needs to go to the ripening chamber, and more features which will help our client serve their customers better.

With the new app in place, customer experience will improve, as only the best products will reach the stores’ shelves and quickly. It is also anticipated that this will cause an increase in sales. 

Our partnership with our retail client has grown into a trusting relationship where our partner is confident in our work, and communication among our teams is constant, collaborative and clear.

Alejandra, our partner’s Quality Center Manager spoke of her experience so far with Cognizant Softvision.

“Thank you very much for the work that you did…you really cannot imagine the amount of things that are going to change with this, you cannot imagine the amount of areas that you removed, the amount of processes that you touched, and the things that will change in 2021 due to your work and the technologies that you create.”

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