Proof of Concept for a Real-Time Operation Analytics SCM Platform


RUBICON Develops a Proof of Concept (POC) for a Custom Real-Time Operation Analytics Supply Chain Management (SCM) Platform

Effective supply chain management is an integral part of manufacturing and retail businesses. With a successful supply chain management process, a company can quickly and efficiently deliver products to their customers and make overall better business decisions. The best way to ensure that a supply chain management process is successful is by integrating digital technology into business operations and investing in a robust Supply Chain Management (SCM) application.

SCM applications are used for a number of processes:

  • Demand planning
  • Supply network planning
  • Production planning
  • Precise scheduling
  • Sourcing and supplier management
  • Analytics and logistics

Our partner, a Chemical & Consumer Goods Company, decided to enhance their SCM process by replacing their already existing software with a new custom SCM web platform.

The Background

The Chemical & Consumer Goods company wanted to transition from their already existing off-the-shelf software solution to a custom SCM web application that would meet their needs. They were looking to partner with a software development company to develop a high-performing and cost-effective solution to digitally transform their supply chain process.

After getting in contact with our team and setting up an initial meeting to explain the scope of the project, RUBICON decided to onboard a software development team to research and prototype a proof of concept (POC) for the client.

What is a Proof of Concept (POC)?

“A realization of a certain method or idea in order to demonstrate its feasibility.”

Source

Our team’s goal was to create a minimal, functioning prototype in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed software solution.

The Client

The Chemical & Consumer is a global company that operates worldwide with its headquarters based in Western Europe. Positioned in a number of markets in the world, ranging from beauty care to laundry and home care, the company has been around for over 100 years.

The Project - The Proof of Concept (POC)

Our team was challenged to develop a POC that would prove to the client that RUBICON’s proposed technology solution was the most suitable option for the company's supply chain management process.

The Problem

The problem behind the client’s already-existing web platform was that it was costly and didn’t provide them with unified and performant access to data.

The Solution

The task behind the POC project was to build a technical proof of concept that would meet all of the client’s requirements. The scope of the POC was to build a full-stack solution enabling near real-time querying of a flat supply chain network datasets (40 millions of rows), capable of filtering and displaying network data on the UI map. The goal was to create a fast, efficient, and affordable data-driven platform that quickly (near real-time) queries, analyzes, and aggregates supply chain network data. The solution needed to provide better performance, flexibility, modularity, and give the client full ownership of the product.

Project Objectives:

  • Implement the solution on Azure cloud
  • Demonstrate proof of performance, near real-time filtering, querying and calculating supply chain network data (40 millions of rows)
  • Secure access to relevant data: authentication and a Custom Authorization System that enables users to only see their relevant data in the supply chain
  • Enable reusable UI elements
  • Support modular and scalable core services

The Challenges

While developing the POC project, our team overcame the following challenges:

  • Developing a cloud-native Azure solution (optimized for performance with the use of managed Azure Services)
  • Choosing the best-fit Serving and Interactive Querying Storage for a supply chain network big dataset: Choose database engine, support for analytical style queries, and support for real-time operational scenarios
  • Extracting, transforming, and loading processes for supply chain network datasets
  • Building a Single-Page Application (SPA) for a fast and smooth user experience with reusable UI elements
  • Creating a custom Authorization System that integrates with other services and APIs within the organization and enables secure access to supply chain data

The Process

In March, the client met with our team and thoroughly presented the problem behind their third-party software. Our team was given the opportunity to develop a proof of concept (POC)  for a custom SCM application that would prove the feasibility in meeting the client’s expectations and optimizing the SCM process.

A remote workshop

Before researching, planning, and developing the POC we organized a remote (due to COVID-19) lean inception workshop with the client’s team. The purpose of the workshop was to give every team member the opportunity to express their ideas and define the scope of the POC project. At the end of the three-day workshop, both teams (client and RUBICON) were left with a list of requirements that RUBICON needed to fulfill in a four-month period. The development of the POC project officially started at the beginning of May. 

RUBICON’s dedicated team

After defining and outlining the POC’s scope, we organized RUBICON’s dedicated team and introduced them to the project. The roles that made up the software team were:

  • Product Owner
  • Solution Architect
  • DevOps Engineer
  • UX/UI Designer
  • Front-End Developer
  • Back-End Developer

Working in Agile

The very first thing that the team created was a product roadmap that they would be following throughout the development phase. Practicing the Agile methodology and working in Scrum, the team organized the project into two-week sprints. Azure DevOps was used as a key tool that helped the team keep organized and follow the process of their work.

The entire development process included daily communication with the client which involved constant and clear feedback to improve the POC. The POC project was completed in less time than expected, thanks to RUBICON’s agile approach and constant and clear communication with the client.

Results

At the end of July, we delivered a cost-effective POC that was efficient, productive, and exceeded the client’s expectations. The entire POC project with all of the required features was rapidly developed in three months instead of the four-month estimated time period.

Our team successfully accomplished the following:

  • Implemented an architecture and cloud-native solution using Azure managed services and chose the most suitable service for near real-time operational analytic scenarios
  • Improved performance by 10X and more in some cases compared to the original software

The client was extremely pleased with the POC project which brought us to the next step in the process - to start developing the very first version of the SCM application. We’ve already started working on the project and we’re looking forward to seeing the client use their custom high-performing software. RUBICON is confident that they will be able to digitally transform their business with the help of an innovative solution.

Technology Stack

Back-End Technologies

  • C#
  • ASP.NET Core 3.1
  • Clean Architecture
  • CQRS
  • MediatR
  • EntityFramework Core
  • Dapper
  • xUnit
  • Moq
  • FluentAssertions

Front-End Technologies

  • TypeScript
  • React
  • CSS
  • Styled-components
  • Mapbox GL JS
  • MSAL.js Microsoft
  • Authentication Library (MSAL)

DevOps

  • Terraform
  • Terragrunt
  • Azure Pipelines

Microsoft Azure Cloud

  • Azure SQL Database
  • Azure CosmosDB
  • Azure Queue Storage
  • Azure Table Storage
  • Azure Blob Storage
  • Azure Functions
  • Azure Active Directory, Microsoft identity platform
  • Azure App Service
  • Azure Container Registry
  • Application Insights, Log Analytics

Project Screenshots

Screenshot of POC project of supply chain management application.
Screenshot of RUBICON's POC project for supply chain management applicationScreenshot of RUBICON's POC project supply chain management application

Information

Company: Global Chemical & Consumer Goods company
Region: Western Europe
Industry: Consumer Goods
Project Duration: 2020 - ongoing
Project: Proof of Concept for a Real-Time Operation Analytics SCM Platform

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