Who is the Client

A US-based clothing retail chain for women, with 560 stores operating in 45 locations. They offer affordable fashion to women of every age.

The Challenge

The client drives major sales from their end-of-season and other promotions. Their marketing team creates an average of 100+ promotions weekly via the Oracle Retail Customer Engagement application and pushes them in an XML format via the file transfer tool to various Xstore-based POS applications used in the individual outlets.

However, due to various issues – like network connectivity, incorrect store mapping, the inability of the Xstore POS application in reading and extracting information due to format inconsistency in XML files, etc. – not all promotions released by the marketing team were reflected in the Xstore POS application. An average of 10+ promotions were missed daily and there was no way to track/report them. As a result, whenever the items were scanned for billing, they showed the usual pricing instead of promotional pricing.

Consequently, store executives raised multiple tickets that took time to get resolved. The POS application was reflecting promotional prices even after the validity period. The 3000+ third-party handheld devices were also showing incorrect prices of the items since there were mismatches in the handheld device price (using Python and MySQL-based applications) and the Xstore POS desktop application.

The whole scenario was adversely impacting the brand’s sales and reputation.

The Solution

GSPANN analyzed gaps in the applications and suggested designs and approaches to solve the pertaining issues. We developed a comprehensive promotion monitoring tool, which can proactively monitor and provide run-time visibility of the applications. We also provided permanent fixes for the third-party handheld devices' software application and continuous support for store upgrades, rollouts, and daily operations.

The promotion monitoring tool combines multiple technologies, like Java/Spring-dependency injection, XML, MySQL, Xstore OpChain (an inbuilt framework of Xstore POS application), and data transfer Xstore framework (DTX), etc. It compares the promotions present in the single database of the Oracle Retail Customer Engagement application with multiple Xstore POS application databases and reports any mismatches to the concerned person in a single email report. The tool proactively sends a report in every four hours so that there is no need to firefight the issues.

After the solution was implemented, there were zero incidents reported in the next promotional period. Proactive reporting helps in avoiding the last-minute rush to resolve any pricing conflict. The outlets don’t miss an opportunity to sell an item because of a price mismatch anymore. The client’s customers don’t face price mismatch issues while buying the product. Since the items showed the revised prices after the promotion period, the client had better financial report reconciliation.

Business Impact

  • Zero incidents reported in the next promotional period after implementing the solution.
  • Proactive reporting helped in avoiding the last-minute rush to resolve any pricing conflict.
  • The client had better financial reports reconciled since the items showed the revised prices after the promotion period.

Technologies Used

Java. A class-based, object-oriented programming language that app developers write once and run on all Java-supported platforms without needing any re-compilation
Database. MySQL
OS. Linux/Unix/Windows
Scripting. Shell Scripting, Windows, PowerShell
Ticketing Tool. Jira

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