Our client is one of the largest pawn companies in the world. They provide pawn loans, sell merchandise forfeited from pawn lending operations as well as used merchandise from customers. With competition steadily increasing in the market, they continue to invest heavily in providing an industry leading customer experience.
- Founded in 1989
- Offers non-recourse loans secured by tangible personal property, including jewelry, consumer electronics, power tools, sporting goods, and musical instruments; and sells merchandise, such as collateral forfeited from pawn lending operations and used merchandise purchased from customers. It also provides payday and installment loan products through its financial services stores
- Satisfies the short-term cash needs of consumers
- Operates numerous pawn shop brands through three segments: U.S. Pawn, Latin America Pawn, and Other International.
As one of the leading pawn companies in the world, with the added complexity of each territory having its own regulatory requirements and operational rules, our client required a nimble solution that would not only re-architect their legacy point of sale system into a scalable, microservices-orientated solution, but one that would flex to meet all necessary requirements set forth by each operating territory. Additionally, our client desired to increase in-store customer engagement.
COGNIZANT SOFTVISION’S SOLUTION
Unlike a traditional retailer, our client is a mix of retail and financial services, where team associates need to conduct traditional retail tasks from building a virtual shopping cart, and to facilitating customer retail transactions, to having the ability to qualify customers for small loans based on the assessed value of their collateral. To drive a leading customer experience, the client has introduced a new tablet based point of sale solution that not only drives
new sales and financial transactions, but improves engagement – moving the associate from behind the counter and onto the sales floor. The resulting product is a tablet-based, point of sale application that provides the freedom of movement required to drive the new engagement experience. This total solution creates fresh value for our client in the form of additional transactions and personalized customer interactions.
The Cognizant Softvision team initiated a cognitive laboratory in May 2019 designed to observe, document, and truly understand the operational realities of the client’s environment and the potential impacts the proposed solution would have. Throughout this discovery, both Cognizant Softvision and client teams were engaged to ensure that the resulting product design would produce the desired business outcomes. Cognizant Softvision product and design leaders, as well as technical directors, alongside client executive leadership were all involved, helping to better understand what team associates were looking for in a new solution, validating hypotheses, and incrementally improving the product design with direct feedback from future users. After a thorough understanding of the client’s in store business operations, the Cognizant Softvision team was able to craft several product strategies and a clear project roadmap for a pilot program of 25 stores. Following the pilot program, refinements would be proposed, those with the most value would be implemented, and the product solution would immediately begin to scale within the client’s network of stores.
Using Agile best practices, Cognizant Softvision pulled in the right experts from the Guilds network to build a high-performing team called a Virtual Pod, that enables the most expeditious delivery of the go-to-market solution. To date, there are two complete Virtual Pods dedicated to the client – one dedicated to the mobile point of sales system and one to the legacy backend system transformation. The Pods, located across the U.S., Argentina, and Mexico leverage a virtual workflow to build the solution that would ultimately rollout to over 800 stores globally.
To ensure the engineered outcome is a cohesive, unified platform, the Cognizant Softvision product and design teams, and the client, are held to mutual governing KPIs, measuring on velocity, quality,product impact, and autonomy allowing for a seamless transition upon rollout.
Each Guild is a world-class community of expert talent in an area of expertise. For this client, the following Guilds are leading to the successful delivery:
- Agile Transformation
- Design & UX
The point-of-sale mobile application enables digital transformation of the retail operation using a very tailored and strategic technology stack including:Java 11, GIT, Spring, Spring Boot, React Native, Azure DevOPS, Selenium, Azure API Management, Azure Service Bus, Azure Application Gateway, and Docker.
WHAT’S TO COME
The client’s business places a heavy influence on the holiday season. In an effort to minimize the learning curve for associates during this all important retail sales period, the Cognizant Softvision team proposed and executed on an initial product launch date of October 2019- only months after the initial engagement!
The client’s Vice President of Project Management said, “We had a very tight schedule, a lot of scope, and many technical unknowns. I know how difficult it is for a team to commit to a delivery where those three constraints exist. Cognizant Softvision’s team has done an exemplary job of working through the issues and not losing sight of the big picture; the ultimate delivery of the application in support of the business. I’ve been very pleased with the team’s ability to deliver on what they committed to.”
With a clearly defined product roadmap, the client and Cognizant Softvision team initially expected a larger rollout to more stores across Texas, Nevada and Florida to immediately adopt the new product and operation. However, with the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, social distancing disrupted a large part of the new business model, halting various rollouts and enhancements. As a result, the Virtual Pods quickly pivoted to providing key designs and features to the internal client team to showcase how to adapt its operations. The features ideated on would be built to adapt their business model to the new environment.
As with any product of this type, the client plans to add new functionalities that drive value core to their business and Cognizant Softvision is looking forward to continuing the momentum.