Who is the Client

An athletic apparel retailer.

The Challenge

The client recently partnered with a Korean marketplace leader to penetrate the Korean market further and was using a third-party integration layer – ShopLinker – to connect with the partner’s marketplace. However, they were experiencing a high order cancellation rate due to delays in the daily inventory synchronization process. The primary reason behind the delay was that their .NET cron jobs were taking 5-8 hours to synchronize the IBM Sterling OMS (Order Management System) with ShopLinker.

There were several factors because of which .NET cron jobs were taking longer to synchronize the inventory, such as:

  • Only one stock-keeping unit (SKU) was synchronized per API (Application Programming Interface) call to ShopLinker, resulting in total 90K API calls to synchronize all 90K SKUs.
  • There were permission-related issues with .NET cron jobs that were causing intermittent failure.

As a result, there were inaccuracies in the inventory items of the partner’s marketplace, which was leading to a high order cancellation rate of 12-13%, impacting their business heavily. Besides, in some cases, the whole order was getting canceled due to partial fulfillment of items.

The Solution

GSPANN reviewed the existing processes that the client was following and came up with a sustainable solution to reduce the turnaround time and involvement of multiple teams. We proposed a new batch upload API process and developed a document explaining batch upload benefits compared to a single SKU per API call. GSPANN came up with a logic to handle multiple failure scenarios to avoid any program failure in implementing the batch API.

We used MuleSoft application to read the OMS inventory from Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 in an XML format, prepared a batch API payload for ShopLinker (XML), and sent it to ShopLinker to update the inventory in a batch of 3000 SKUs per API. We also implemented a logic to determine the available SKUs on ShopLinker out of total 90K SKUs and those that are not relevant.

With the help of Splunk, we implemented the logging of cumulative records to publish a report for the client’s team and log all errors on Splunk. We also configured emails from Splunk to the client’s team for all reports and errors.

Business Impact

  • The overall time taken to synchronize the inventory system was reduced from 5-8 hours to 30 minutes for all 90K SKUs in the new MuleSoft architecture.
  • The new architecture helped in reducing the order cancellation rate from 12% to zero.
  • The team can now handle multiple system failures by easily re-synchronizing the inventory system within the allowed time window.
  • The project's success instilled confidence in the client’s team to partner with other marketplaces and expand their presence in the Korean market.

Technologies Used

MuleSoft. Unifies data to deliver a single view of the customer, automate business processes, and build connected experiences
DataView. Enables the creation of different views of the data stored in a DataTable
AWS S3. A service offered by Amazon Web Services that provides object storage through a web service interface
GitHub. A code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. It lets you and others work together on projects from anywhere
Travis CI. A hosted continuous integration service used to build and test software projects hosted at GitHub and Bitbucket
Splunk. A horizontal technology used for application management, security and compliance, as well as business and web analytics
Jira. An agile project management tool that supports any agile methodology, be it Scrum or Kanban

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