Becoming the digital company
Our client is one of America's largest manufacturers and distributors of commercial hardware products such as doors, door frames and access control devices with 40+ manufacturing, distribution, and corporate facilities across the nation.
Between massively distributed operations and multiple acquisitions, the client was facing the daunting challenge of integrating, standardizing, and automating their fragmented, ad-hoc, and often paper-based processes.
The client’s CIO reached out to Rapidops with a vision and initial strategy to unlock potential opportunities to improve operational efficiencies, monetize digital innovations, and delivering seamless customer experiences.
Breaking barriers to better business
The client was using an industry-specific ERP system for their core business which was a desktop-based solution with intranet only access - no integration points or documentation. Besides, most of the newly acquired businesses were using their own isolated ERP systems with similar limitations. To build any digital solution, we at least have to make these systems talk with each other. This was the first and by far the biggest technical challenge.
We analyzed the client's enterprise systems, architectures, and technical implementations and engineered a platform that orchestrated and integrated their disjointed and isolated business and data systems. This removed the roadblocks to reshaping the client’s business.
Integration & Automation Platform
As client’s business was expanding and growing rapidly, we had to make sure that new platforms, apps, and optimizations can evolve, adopt, and scale to meet the changing needs. Our team designed and engineered the platform that orchestrated and integrated multiple system, and also offered a reusable API framework to develop automation.
The API-driven platform allowed us to be extremely lean and agile in delivering apps and automation in a matter of days - reducing time to market and costs. The platform is becoming the strategic digital asset which keeps growing as we continue to digitize our client’s key business processes.
Building Next-gen Infrastructure on Azure
Hence, we had to adhere to the highest standards of reliability, performance, and scalability. We built a world-class infrastructure and architecture on Microsoft Azure Platform that automatically scales on-demand and restores from failures without human interventions.
Crafting a consistent experience for all apps
When we started the initiative, the client did not have a design system for developing digital apps.
Our design team went deep into client’s branding and user needs to build the design system -- a well-crafted collection of reusable UX/UI components and standards. It enabled designers and engineers to ship beautiful & consistent products in a matter of days. Anytime we had to update UX/UI, we only have to change one component in the design system, and all apps get the new update automatically. Feels like magic!
Most of the new apps were going to be used by the employees across all locations, and a consistent experience improved productivity, adoption, and resulted in fewer user errors.
Automating the Last-Mile Delivery
The client does the last-mile delivery of finished goods to their customers from its warehouses. The current process was complex and paper-based involving multiple steps, people, and locations. It often resulted in increased delivery times, missed deliveries, higher costs, and bad customer experiences.
We designed and developed an end-to-end last-mile delivery platform that digitized the entire process for delivery managers, warehouse staff, and fleet drivers in just 60 days.
The product enabled these key business features:
- Order processing, grouping & shipment design
- Real-time tracking & alerting of all shipment at each stage
- Smart delivery cost, SLA, and route optimization
- Shipment loading, dispatch and management
- Multiple shipping methods - use fleet or a third party (like FedEx)
- Capture digital proof of delivery & feedback
- Real-time monitoring & planning app delivery managers
- Delivery driver’s app with offline mode for remote areas
Digitizing Procurement Approvals
The client was using the existing intranet-based system to get approvals for procuring materials and supplies. Purchase requests often got stuck in the approval process and cause significant delays in procuring required raw materials to deliver the client projects. The client wanted us to digitize the entire process and deliver transperacy, efficiency, and accountability for all purchase approvals.
We found that the current process was manual and relied on emails and phones. People tend to forget to prioritize these requests, and the pain multiplied when the requests had to escalated for more senior approvals. We delivered a flexible workflow automation app that enabled employees to raise, review, and approve purchase orders across multiple locations and organizational heirarcies. The approvers get notified for requests and can get all details they need to make quick decisions.
“The automated procurement system helped the client streamline their entire process, eliminate manual work, and increase operational efficiency. The approval time got slashed in half and there was a total transperancy across entire business.”
Digitize Proposal & Discount Approvals
Similar to procurement processes, the client’s sales team was caught up in delays when they need to get discount approvals for the big sales opportunities. Rapidops was able to digitize the entire process with the workflow automation app that we built for procurement approvals in a matter of days.
“The new process automated discount approvals and shortened the approval cycle that enables sales teams to not get stuck in waiting loop and offer approved discounts to customers in record time.”
Automating the operational processes
As a large distributed enterprise, the client has many manual and paper-based processes resulting in delays and lost productivity. We prioritized and started automating key business processes one by one on the new platform.
With thousands of vendors and partners, the accounting team has to dig through orders, terms, and discounts to dispatch the payments manually. The process was fragmented and wasted so many man-hours every month.
In 30 days, we automated the entire payments process with a smart payments engine. The engine integrated with their ERP, payment provider, and vendor information systems. Now all payments are automatically validated, processed, and dispatched to vendors directly - no human touch required.
The client was using multiple disconnected systems to manage their active projects, job workers, and the timesheets, preventing them from gaining important insights about the project, workers, and budgets.
We integrated their ERP and timesheet management systems to identify resource allocation and labor expenses. Besides, we enabled them to unlock the key business intelligence using Microsoft PowerBI integration.
Delivering ROI and gearing up for growth
Together with client team, we have built a digital foundation that will help shape the future of their business. With automation, digitization, and integration of operational processes, the client has realized cost savings, operational efficiencies, and improved customer experiences. With the real ROI on table, there is a significant cultural shift to build digital-first agile business, and we continue to help them transform and grow them.
Over the last 20 years, I've worked with many firms, onshore and offshore, and the team at Rapidops is the best that I have ever worked with. Rapidops’ team’s ability to understand the vision and translate it into digital products is mind-blowing. They are smart, efficient, and knowledgeable. They push our thinking, build high-quality software, and deliver the results. Working with the team at Rapidops has been fantastic!”