Insighture’s Success Story in Retail Distribution: Transforming Logistics with a Modernised Distributor Platform

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In 2024, retailers and distributors stand at a crossroads of uncertainty and opportunity.

This is being shaped by digital transformation. AI plays an increasingly critical role across various retail functions, from highly personalised shopping through big data analytics and machine learning to automating product campaigns and managing cloud ERP for online shops. Some of these we explored in a previous blog post on eCommerce trends. The retail sector faces a pivotal moment of adaptation. As consumer behaviours evolve amidst recovering economies and inflation, retailers are tasked with navigating five trends that promise to redefine the industry - which includes hybrid retail channels focused on customer experience and large-scale supply chain shifts. This year demands agility and innovation. Are you ready to lead?

In this blog post, we will illustrate how Insighture, as a consulting firm, helped a client embrace essential principles in retail/wholesale distribution success.

This success story details how we delivered critical functionalities for this client, helping them embrace their competitive edge and supercharge field agent productivity.

The Challenge

The FMCG distribution market is rapidly evolving, with pressure on online and offline retailers to improve customer engagement and streamline operations. Recent data highlights significant user engagement and conversion rate increases for companies investing in progressive web applications (PWAs). This has a huge bearing on conversions in the distributor setting. With the rise of mobile transactions, there’s also a demand for distributor solutions offering seamless access and usability on the go.

Our clients came to us with a couple of challenges related to their online distributor platform:

  • Poorly managed inventory had created a need for enhanced functionality for both “agent” and “admin” roles, particularly mobile capabilities for on-the-ground agents managing inventory, orders, deliveries, and stock availability.
  • Service delivery bottlenecks were exacerbated by inconsistent internet connectivity in different regions of delivery, requiring a system resilient to offline conditions.
  • Outdated platform infrastructure needed modernisation to improve service delivery and adapt to changing consumer preferences promptly.
  • Slower time-to-market demanded swift implementation of this new system to capitalise on market opportunities without delay.

The Solution

Nuxt3 and PWA - Key to our successful systems approach

To optimise productivity, Insighture restructured the development team into specialised units: one focused on front-end development using Nuxt3 and another on API integration and backend implementations. This approach aimed to enhance efficiency, collaboration, and the quality of deliverables.

The client expressed an interest in Vue.js early on in the engagement. They also disclosed to us that they have prior experience with Vue projects. Therefore, we designed the system using Nuxt3, the latest version of Nuxt. This was in alignment with our commitment to maintaining a shared philosophy with clients i.e. creating a strong narrative where the entire team buys into the vision of the client instead of resolutely focusing on implementation. The team efficiently constructed the API layer, reducing the development cycle. We went further, adopting a PWA approach to ensure offline accessibility of key functionalities. The choice of Prisma as the ORM framework and SoD for API input validation streamlined development processes and comprehensive testing of both UI and APIs ensured that the solution met the necessary quality standards.

Implementation and results

The implementation of Nuxt3 enabled agents to access real-time data seamlessly, enhancing their ability to manage stock levels and logistics effectively. There was a single application with a login interface for both agents tracking inventory and administrators. The agent at a particular drop-off point was able to share the stock amount with the buyer immediately and have this data stored securely in the system. In times of poor connectivity, the amount was on hold. Once back online, the system synced up the data and updated the inventory status on the client’s database.

We were able to maximise the mobile-friendliness of the distributor platform as well, using built-in optimisations for low-performance devices such as code splitting and lazy loading, cache API requests and server-side rendering. This heavily contributed to the overall performance of the platform and the efficiency of the distribution process for hundreds upon hundreds of big-ticket orders from their key buyers.

Value-added services

QA automation: We implemented automated testing to accelerate feature development and enhance reliability across system components.

DevOps practices: Leveraging advanced deployment strategies and continuous integration reduced deployment times for new features and updates.

The Result?

The above solution yielded significant business outcomes for this client.

  1. 30% reduction in the time spent on inventory management tasks.
  2. 25% improvement in order fulfilment speed across all regions.
  3. 15% reduction in operational costs associated with inventory handling and delivery logistics.
  4. 40% increase in customer satisfaction ratings.

(Source: Client ERP, surveys and platform analytics etc.)

Performance and user experience

By leveraging Nuxt3 and adopting a PWA approach, the team accelerated development cycles and improved user experience and engagement. The seamless performance and offline capabilities of the system translated into heightened customer satisfaction and retention rates.

Operational efficiency

Integration of services within a single application promoted efficiency by leveraging reusable components and reducing development. Streamlined processes further supported faster deployment of new features and enhancements. However, the security aspect also made a big impact. The emphasis on data integrity and security increased trust and credibility with stakeholders, driving growth and enhancing the client’s position in the competitive retail market.

Cost efficiency and scalability

A simplified repository structure (one for admin, one for distributor agents) enhanced codebase organisation and reduced maintenance costs. In other words, the adoption of the Nuxt framework reduced the complexity, leading to quicker updates and improved scalability.

Are You Making the Right Technology Investments?

The imperative for C-level decision-makers in retail distribution businesses of this scale is clear: adaptability and innovation are non-negotiable. Whether you’re managing supply chains, distribution networks, or fulfilment processes, optimising aspects like logistics can significantly impact your bottom line and customer satisfaction.

You have to ask yourself if you are making the right technology investments. What specific technology and the requisite investment will need to be prioritised by the firm to meet its long-term business plan? How will this impact your distribution center’s service delivery over time? For example, establishing clear implementation timelines, appointing product champions, and monitoring progress against milestones are vital for successful technology integration. Having an external consultant brings in specialised skills in financial analysis and business case development. This can help decision-makers like yourself evaluate the financial feasibility and potential return on investment (ROI) of various technology options.

Insighture’s approach with Nuxt3 and PWA highlights the importance of:

  • Choosing the right technology stack
  • Regional availability
  • Scale on demand
  • Accelerated development and delivery
  • Ability to build, test and deliver faster with more confidence.

These considerations not only optimise operational efficiencies but also position businesses to innovate and thrive in dynamic market conditions. Contact our Solutions Lead today to explore how Insighture can help you leverage technology for strategic advantage and sustainable growth.

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