Case Studies

Don’t just take our word for it, check out the case studies below and see how we’ve helped our clients


Client

This organization is comprised of over 230 independently owned and operated stores in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Their stores are located in cities large and small, and serve all kinds of neighborhoods. Many stores are operated by families serving their local communities.

Executive Summary

The company’s buyers are experts at sourcing product ‘opportunistically’; that is, product outside the normal retail channel, i.e. packaging changes, product overruns, and surplus inventories, to bring the best bargains to their customers. As such, products change ‘in and out’ constantly, which requires highly responsive inventory management.

Business Challenge

The store-ordering system that had been in place for many years was a paper-based ‘batch oriented’ system requiring hand-written notations to be manually entered into the computer system several times each week for each store. In addition, because products change regularly and fulfillment may not occur as expected, there was a need for ‘alternate ordering’ for many line items further complicating the process. The business needed to increase efficiencies in this area to improve productivity and accelerate the ordering process.

Solution

Working in close collaboration with the client team, Apex Process Consultants assisted with the development and deployment of a ‘tablet-based’ store-ordering application in IBM BPM. Custom Order windows are created for each store to enable them to see what is available by item as well as sale margin and other relevant real time information. In addition, advanced filtering is available to quickly find the best items for each order. The User Interface was built using Apex Coach Views toolkit, which served to significantly accelerate development and deployment time.

Results

The following were direct results of the implemented solution that had a positive impact on the organization’s ability to streamline ordering process, reduce errors and associated costs:

  • Increased order fill rates from low 90’s to over 98% (an ‘all-time high’ for the company)
  • Better ordering decisions – established ability to make decisions incorporating sales information in real time
  • Ability to view ‘blended margin’ percentages to keep within desirable ranges
  • Visually see the weight and cube of a truck as an order progresses
  • IT organization learned how to perform Agile development more effectively
  • Ability to implement new business rules to support aggressive growth plan (a key benefit that was not possible with the prior system)
  • A new platform for integration with other systems to improve supply chain efficiency

Client Overview

This client is a U.S. based post-trade financial services company providing clearing and settlement services to the financial markets. They provide a method for buyers and sellers of securities to make their exchange in a safe and efficient way.

Executive Summary

A Customer Due Diligence process was implemented to replace multiple manual and several outdated automated systems to increase the reliability and standardization of the risk rating for each customer handled by this client. By automating the process, it allowed the company resources to focus on managing the risk and not the administration of communicating and updating data in multiple places for multiple departments.

Business Challenge

The previous process of disparate systems and manual data exchange was causing data to be entered multiple times and multiple places with out the desired level of quality reviews. A major system was being deprecated and would no longer be supported by an outside vendor. The challenge was to streamline the remaining systems, create a new internal system to replace the one being deprecated, put a business process in place to automate steps that could be automated, require data to be entered only once and ensure the required quality reviews were being performed by the right people at the right time. Upon completion this solution would provide the most accurate data to everyone who needs it in a timely fashion.

Solution

Apex Process Consultants was engaged to provide the process design, implementation and integration technical expertise to ensure a successful implementation. Using the Agile methodology for this project allowed us to partner with the client to quickly address changes in the data and ever-evolving processes. The use of daily scrums allowed for quick resolution of any issues and a short playback cycle enabled the client to review the work during the development cycle (not just at the end). Apex unified the development team by providing the leadership, framework and experience of best practices for the project lifecycle.

The architecture employed for the CDD application required IBM BPM, Apex Toolkits, best practices, and well-known BPM design patterns. Service-based architecture components were designed with reusability in mind and placed in themed libraries to promote reuse on other projects by other teams.

Results
The new system is serving the customer and its 13 subsidiaries in many parts of the world by providing most accurate customer risk ratings, with ‘near time’ updates as information changes for either the clients or the stability of their residing regions. The client indicated that the solution that Apex Process Consultants provided far exceeded their expectations.

erikafulkCase Studies