Who is the Company

A leading American men’s clothing omnichannel retailer

The Challenge

The company’s legacy stock transfer system had many challenges.

  • A standalone system: It was a standalone system that ran on desktops and PCs. Extending it to other stores was a big challenge and a cumbersome process.
  • Reliability and availability: Real-time updates for stock transfer users were often unreliable and unavailable, and there were frequent performance issues.
  • Inconsistencies in dealing with barcodes: Store associates scanned products using portable data terminal (PDT) scanners and went through a time-consuming process of transferring scanned data into the stock transfer system.
  • Receiving stock for multiple stores: Super admin users faced numerous problems while receiving stock in multiple stores at one time.

In short, the company was looking for:

  • A single unified web-based solution: The company was looking for a uniform web-based solution that would be more robust and user-friendly than the current system.
  • Easily verify, receive, and transfer stock: Company users needed an effortless way to scan the products, and easily receive and confirm stock. In addition, they wanted a straightforward way to transfer stock and manage returns.
  • Safe and secure real-time updates: User information was occasionally lost in the current system and user activity was not available in real-time, which hampered the company’s ability to make proactive business decisions.
  • Multi-featured application: This application needs to support multiple retail activities, such as purchase order (PO)-level receiving, advanced shipping notice (ASN)-level receiving, transferring items between various company stores and third-party logistics (3PL) locations, returning items to vendor, print blind case/carton-level labels.
  • A multi-tiered authorization structure: The company desired a solution with the ability to assign different rights to different users of its stock transfer system. Store associates needed to be restricted to activities involving only their assigned store, whereas the super users required access to multiple stores.

The Solution

The new system is a web-based tool that addresses the challenges faced with the legacy desktop-based system, ensuring real-time updates, minimizing lost changes, efficient barcode scanning, and providing a seamless experience.

Our Application Development team implemented a microservices architecture with well-proven technologies like Java, Spring Boot, Spring MVC, React, Material UI, and Okta, to provide the desired functionality to the company’s store associates.

Image 1 shows the new stock transfer system architecture.

Here are key takeaways from the solution:

  • First-ever connector to Okta: The new stock transfer system application is the first to integrate with the Okta Workforce Identity Cloud platform using Java SAML flow.
  • Modern barcode scanner: Adopted a tool called ‘Scandit’ for barcode scanning and integrated it with the new stock transfer System to efficiently capture data from barcodes, QR codes, and other visual identifiers.
  • Multilevel authorization: Multilevel authorization allows store associates and super admin users to also search for items sent to different stores and receive them remotely.
  • High performance: Our solution uses one API service for each flow so that no single API gets overburdened. We also implemented socket.io, a low-latency JavaScript library, in the UI code. The new system now supports real-time page updates.
  • Future-proof application features: UI components are developed with future reusability in mind. We also built a single common component for the barcode scanning module for use on any page with minimal change.
  • Low maintenance: Our engineers developed trigger and purge tools in the form of database scripts to support auditing and data storage cleanup.
  • Flexible device usage: Users can use the new app on iPads and laptops. With this new device flexibility, stock transfer system users are no longer chained to their desks and can use one device to perform multiple tasks. For example, an iPad can now be used as a scanner and a stock-transfer-system access platform.
  • Best-of-breed software: Our team chose the best possible combination of foundational technologies and software libraries to form a best-of-breed solution. The new application was based on the latest versions of Java, Spring Boot, React, Material UI, and Okta, among others.
  • Cloud development and deployment: Our team used Red Hat OpenShift, a container application platform used for developing, deploying, and managing cloud-native applications on-premise, in public clouds, and at the edge.

Business Impact

  • Higher productivity: The new stock transfer system facilitates higher productivity and efficiency as associates no longer need to go back and forth to the desktop PC from the warehouse or storage place. Associates now don’t lose any work time due to the stock transfer application.
  • Improved user satisfaction: stock transfer users now have a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate stock transfer system application to help them in their work. Users are now able to finish their day-to-day work with more ease.
  • Accurate and efficient stock transfer handling: Using super user access, business users can now receive stocks for multiple stores simultaneously. The new system performs quickly and smoothly, providing the company with better stock management. 
  • Better user coordination: In the new system, users can see the work status of other associates in their store. This increased visibility allows associates to coordinate activities more efficiently.
  • Efficient barcode scanning: The store users can now scan the barcode for efficient stock receiving and transfer without any data loss and inconsistencies.

Technologies Used

Spring Boot
Spring MVC
Spring JPA
Google Cloud Platform

Related Capabilities

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