Who is the Company

The company is a market leader in digitally connected home fitness solutions.

The Challenge

Over a third of the company’s revenue comes from electronic B2B transactions from retail trade partners using the industry-standard EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) format. The company uses Oracle NetSuite for its internal Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that manages purchase orders, invoices, fulfillment, and acknowledgments. Dell Boomi facilitates the integration between the company’s external partners and NetSuite.

The company was facing challenges in shipping and invoice handling due to mismatches in EDI data flow between NetSuite, Boomi, and the partners. This resulted in unnecessarily slow business growth as the company was only adding one new trading partner every two months. The multiplicity of communication protocols and delays in getting requirements were two additional factors causing slow new partner integration.

Integration development time suffered as new releases often got bogged down during testing. The company was looking for a way to improve testing efficiency while keeping tight control over integration application versions using Boomi as a single data source.

Another challenge was how to implement a corporate-wide NetSuite objects upgrade for legacy partners without impacting sales. Legacy partners, an essential part of the company’s business, could not provide EDI data through Boomi and instead had to use other manual methods to upload data. The company needed to perform the upgrade seamlessly and avoid delays.

In brief, the company required:

  • An efficient new partner onboarding process: The solution also needed to address delays in gathering new partner requirements. The delays had a ripple effect on processing other prospective trading partners.
  • High-quality testing: They were facing version control issues and frequent deployments during testing, causing them to re-run tests. It delayed new partner integration and hampered business growth. They wanted a way to perform high-quality testing more efficiently.
  • A single data source: They wanted to flow all data through Dell Boomi. They needed help in migrating their current commerce tool to Dell Boomi.
  • Seamless new partner communications integration: The sheer number of partners and variety of communication protocols caused communications issues with partner integration. The company needed a uniform way to integrate with new partners with minimal delay.
  • Accurate inventory tracking: Small parcels couldn’t be assigned unique tracking numbers due to integration issues between Boomi and NetSuite. The company wanted to accurately track its inventory and not affect partner requirements for shipping and invoicing.
  • A smooth ERP upgrade for legacy partners: It was essential for the company to upgrade legacy partners with updated NetSuite objects and connect them to Boomi. They needed a way to perform the upgrade without affecting business flow.

The Solution

Three teams got involved in implementing a holistic solution for the company that included business analysis and requirements gathering, application and connector development, and quality engineering (QE). Our teams built a sustainable solution that reduced the development time required to bring new partners on board by redesigning shipment handling and invoicing.

We introduced another innovative solution that improved new partner onboarding by changing company practices. The change we introduced allows for processing two to three new partners in parallel rather than waiting until a single onboarding process is complete.

The QE team addressed quality problems by implementing strict version control and locking the folder containing the application code undergoing testing. They modified the test process by introducing configuration-driving testing and updating the configuration at run time. The team also automated previously manual processes and introduced a common exception handling framework.

The team resolved new partner communications issues by performing proof-of-concept (POC) implementations with various protocols in Boomi before testing the actual partner connection. The team ensured that the recent partner connection was well documented and trained the company engineers on how to perform these procedures in production.

Highlights of the solid and sustainable solution provided by our teams include:

  • Improved turnaround time for new partner implementations: Our solution reduced turnaround time for new partner implementations by 30% by executing multiple partner implementations in parallel.
  • Faster Boomi-Partner connectivity: The company had a different connectivity setup in their higher environment than that of their partners. We developed Proof-Of-Concept implementations for partner connectivity up-front, resulting in smoother deployments when onboarding partners.
  • Re-usable components reduced the development time needed to integrate new partners: Our team introduced a common framework for shipment handling and invoicing that helped reduce the development time required to onboard new partners by 66%.
  • Improvement in test accuracy and speed:The test cycle time was reduced by 30%, and the amount of effort required to perform testing was reduced by 50%.
  • Faster turnaround time for debugging production issues:All test cases, plan definition mappings, and business requirements for both new and legacy partners were thoroughly documented, which resulted in faster issue resolutions.
  • Smoother NetSuite platform upgrades for legacy partners:Our team introduced optimizations that reduced bandwidth requirements, avoiding delays when upgrading legacy partners. We successfully re-imported new NetSuite objects without affecting existing application performance.

Business Impact

Since the initial rollout of the solution, there have been no production defects. Our solution significantly increased efficiency and performance, bringing many benefits to the company, such as:

  • Great future business potential: Efficiencies introduced in testing reduced the amount of time and effort required to develop integration application code. The new solution is sustainable and scalable, which lays a solid foundation for future growth.
  • Increased partner satisfaction: The NetSuite update offered seamless integrations and improved legacy partner satisfaction leading to greater partner retention.
  • Higher profit margins: The solution allows the company to track individual items, even when shipped in the same container, providing the company with better control over inventory and increasing its profit margins.

Technologies Used

Dell Boomi: Integration platform builds, deploys, and manages A2A and B2B infrastructure
Oracle NetSuite: Cloud-based software suite that includes tools to manage accounting, ERP, CRM, and e-commerce functionality
AWS S3: Cloud-based object storage service
Atlassian Jira:An Agile development tool to plan, track and release software
Confluence:Team workspace with Jira integration that facilitates project collaboration
EDI Plus Value Added Network (VAN):Fully managed Electronic Data Interchange network provider that specializes in connecting supply chain participants
Communications Protocols:SFTP, AS2, HTTP, EDI X12 and EDIFACT 

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