Real-time Data Aggregation for Service Delivery: How to automate a supply chain

How to improve your Supply Chain Visibility with integrations that do not require an expensive development or constant back-end alterations

Paweł Kowalski

Paweł Kowalski

Area Manager at HiQ Gdinya

The cooperation between supply chain partners is rumoured to be complex, but it can be smooth when all the crucial steps are synchonised and data flow is automated.

Imagine a situation when you decide to increase your sales by pre-offering or pre-selling services that are not yet available. As your stock is being actively updated, the customer is informed about the fact that he needs to wait before the product is back in stock / or available. As the result, internally you can end up with 2 kind of order cases that require different processes set in operations:

Case 1

Some items are not availbale -> immediate shipment is possible partially

Case 2

All items are out of stock -> Shipment is not possible

When working with high-volume data, like in an e-commerce business, there might be up to hundreds of sumultaneous orders that need to be properly processed and are awaiting deliveries.

From the business perspective, the supply-chain integration & automation should be built the way so that the most essential and basic features are in place, like:

  1. orders get prioritised in the system
  2. products reservation happen around the oldest order requests and then according to the queue, instead of basing it around the most recent requests;
  3. you see all relevant data about products ordered including photos from an external platform;
  4. you can access invoices related to orders;
  5. you can order products in bulk from suppliers;

Solution

So the perfect solution to solve the challenges listed above is to build a customized web application that will give you the real-time view on data combined from e-commerce, inventory management software, CRM, product photo provider and any other platforms/ system involved in your business day-to-day operations.

Delivering .NET MVC App (model–view–controller) with external authentication that business can manage is a matter of few hours, but managing and combining the data flow coming from different systems is a little bit more complicated.

aggregation flow

As the data need to come from several external systems, liable to a change, constant modifications will be inevitable. To minimaze the workload and reduce the number of changes, you can use an integratin low-code solution for the data aggregation step, that will connect all pieces of information together.

By delegating this responsibility to an integration platform, like frends eiPaaS, for example:

  1. You can reduce the responsibility of an app for authentication, data caching and view controls, thus reduced an overhead related to an app support;
  2. You can contain business logic externally within the platform's process allowing it to be changed on the fly by both business and operations;

As the result, you can get a unified view for an e-commerce like that:

Inventory CRM

Now if the business or operations team would like to see a change in data, you don't need to go into the main app's back end at all. What is needed is some modifications in the integration process flow:

Process flow for stock management

Without any downtime operations you will see new pieces of information appearing in the view. No tech knowledge is required for implementing such changes, what is one of the benefits of low code solutions. New data will simply be returned to an App with the next API call, leaving your main app intact.

There are other benefits of using low-codes like frends, as they provide version control out of the box, monitor external systems and allow you to write your own libraries. But most importantly frends make being agile for a customer even easier by speeding up development process.

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Blog: Retail and E-commerce stock management with Integrations - How to make it easy and efficient.