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 Gdynia

The cooperation between supply chain partners is rumored to be complex, but it can be smooth when all the crucial steps are synchronised 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 they need to wait before the product is back in stock / or available. As a result, internally, you can end up with 2 kinds of order cases that require different processes set in operations:

Case 1

Some items are not available -> 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 simultaneous orders that need to be appropriately 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 reservations 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 a real-time view of data combined from: e-commerce, inventory management software, CRM, product photo providers, and any other platforms/system involved in your day-to-day business operations.

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

aggregation flow

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

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 reducing 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 wants to see a change in data, you don't need to go into the main app's back end. What is required are 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, which 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 the Frends platform, 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 the development process.

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

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