Establishing business processes and software development for a Persian rug supplier and seller.
The London Persian Rug Company is an established and esteemed British family business. Their unique collection of handcrafted, oriental carpets, rugs and runners attracts customers from all over the country. British famous department stores, world-class interior designers and clients shop there for luxury and comfort. Silk, wool, and cotton products are valued across the U.K. These products may be excellent but without efficient management and sales software, internal processes may suffer. That was the case for the London Persian Rug Company. We helped by providing two custom software solutions and a complex analysis of business processes.
Our client had three major challenges:
- By using different spreadsheets, employees’ work was dispersed between various files and tools. To make things even more complicated, each employee had a different file with details about the products. Exchanging information was so problematic that it caused frequent frustration for the owner. The problem was accessing information. The path to getting the information was long because all the data was dispersed, unclear and not digitized. Different formats of data, different places for storage, different people having different bits of information. There was no transparent process for managing and maintaining data. All of that made scaling the company impossible.
The company tried to deal with the challenge by using a physical board. Tracking ongoing tasks became simpler but came at a cost. With all the products, differences between them, number of orders and additional information about clients, the board quickly became useless. Additionally, it worked only for those who were at the office. Employees working in the field couldn't track orders or find any useful information.
- Clients personally visited warehouses to see products. Because the company didn’t have management software, and employees didn’t operate on photos and details of the stock, clients had no choice but to visit warehouses to browse. That was highly inconvenient – swallowed the time of sales reps and wasn’t efficient enough for customers. They had to see everything since nothing was clearly displayed and compared. The initial stage of the sale process was therefore frustrating, inefficient, and expensive for the company.
- Since business processes weren’t cohesive, inefficiency took over the products and values for clients. Different employees had different parts of the clients’ data. There was no central space for storage and exchange of basic information. This caused a waste of time and money.
Close cooperation and the client’s domain knowledge benefited the outcome.
We approached the project by analyzing the challenges. Then we created a number of internal processes that had a consistent vision and supported daily operations. Finally, we decided to build two custom software solutions that complemented each other and supported the business goals. All of this – analysis, creating and optimizing processes, setting out on two different software products – was done through close cooperation with the client. Through extensive conversations and workshops, we understood the business and were able to help. Close cooperation and the client’s domain knowledge benefited the outcome.
With consistent business and technical support throughout the implementation, employees knew what to expect from the get-go.
With assumptions and goals for the future, we prepared a system specification to sort out business insights. Then we designed custom software and implemented it. Finally, we configured the Trello app to support different company departments and allow them to understand what’s going on. That helped them cooperate daily as well as exchange information and status.
With consistent business and technical support throughout the implementation, employees knew what to expect from the get-go. That’s why the system implementation time was short and didn’t exceed initial expectations.
- Gathering, processing and exchanging data between various company departments
- One-contact cooperation between warehouses and sales departments
- Central and easily-accessible repository for photos, prices, client contacts and information on products and warehouses stocks
- Easy data import from previously created files and spreadsheets
- Mobile availability – the sales department can access information from anywhere, anytime
The next phase is coming.
That's not all. We plan to add more functionalities:
- Easy access to stock for clients. They will seamlessly browse through the entire catalogue for the perfect rug or a carpet
- Profiling, product positioning, and customer restricted data access. Employees will have the ability to share selective product information with clients, position the offer among various client groups. Varied prices for different groups will drive more revenue
- Specific product requests. This feature will allow the sales rep to communicate the need for a specific product to the warehouse. That way it will be on-show for the client upon their arrival
Two major benefits for the client.
Our engagement solved two major problems:
- Information exchange deficits
- Loss of time and money due to unnecessary phone calls and physical presence
Now the London Persian Rug Company can focus on daily business operations.
Everything was driven by our understanding of the client’s business goals. By looking into processes and opportunities for growth, we took what the company cared about the most and turned it into a practical solution. The client is now more efficient, flexible, and offers products in a different, more customer-friendly light.
- Team - Developers 5 (Team Leader, Full-stack dev, Mid backend dev, Junior backend dev 2), Architect 1, QA 1, BA 1, PM 1.
- Project management - Waterfall for production and Kanban for maintenance.