Ecommerce Website, Integrated ERP Solution for an Online Super Mart for Night Hours

Brief

Inspired by the popular western concept of night time services, our client started with the goal of catering to different customer needs during nightly hours. The short term goal of the company was to establish a foothold in this market providing 30-45 minute delivery of Food, Bakery, Medicines, Essentials, Groceries, Party Shop items and Services during nightly hours. The company plans to work as a marketplace for different businessmen willing to go ahead with their franchise model.

The company aims to capture customer orders through three different mediums – Website, Shopping App, and Call Centre (through phone). Based on the location of delivery, the order will be routed to their nearest outlet. However with the business model in place, there are many challenges the company was facing in scaling its operations, like-

  • As with any food manufacturer & service industry, the greatest struggle is accounting for the inventory loss. It is due to the specific nature of the products ie. Food which is perishable and difficult to account for. Variation in proportions of raw material while preparing a dish causes unpredicted changes in inventory. These factors make it very hard to forecast the inventory levels.
  • Maintaining the consistency in quality of its food throughout its different outlets located in different geographical locations.
  • Management of stock at all the outlets (both belonging to the company and franchisees)
  • Distribution of its food items and products among the outlets based on the demand (eg. To manage consistency of taste, they had a primary warehouse and a kitchen where gravy of various dishes are prepared and distributed throughout the different outlets).
  • Another area of pain is logistics. With so many orders coming from different geographical locations for different BD centers/outlets, managing on time deliveries efficiently is a daunting challenge.

Requirement

The client’s business was a rapidly scaling start-up with the co-founders having multiple business plans in their mind. So they needed a flexible system which could be scaled easily to incorporate their new ideas and business plans. They started with the business process of having BD outlets owned by a single company only, but it wasn’t long before they realized that in order to scale rapidly and capture the market as soon as possible they needed to move to a franchise model with a stake in equity in each of its outlets. With competition on the rise in the market, they forecasted that soon they will have to move their business model to a complete marketplace. This way instead of competing on every front they could collaborate with other businesses and reap benefits as a marketplace. This along with logistics business which would be responsible for deliveries from outlets to customers. The system should incorporate Call Centre, warehouse & inventory management, sales, purchases, recipe management, accounting & finance, and reporting. This system should also be integrated with the application for managing the logistics and rider app.

Solution

Taking into account the cost of the project and evolving requirements, Prolitus came up with a solution which would be scaled systematically in future as and when the business evolves. The solution involved following modules:

Call Centre

They have a centralized Call Centre where it receives all the calls for orders and inquiry. These orders based on the location of the customer are automatically directed to the respective outlets nearest to it. The system maintains customer database which helps in recognizing the customer through his phone number.

Website & eCommerce

The backend ERP needs to be seamlessly integrated with the front end website and mobile app. The orders coming from these two mediums need to be put in the same pipeline as the ones coming from Call Centre. A KOT should be automatically generated in the kitchen notifying them of the order details.

Sales & Purchase Management

Due to the multi-warehouse and multi-company architecture of the enterprise, sales & purchase order are attributed to different warehouses/outlets and their respective companies. The system is automated to raise inter-company sales & purchase orders based on pre-defined stock levels.

Warehouse & Inventory Management

With multiple outlets and few main warehouses, the system keeps track of inter-warehouse stock transfers. Also, the regular inventory reconciliations and procurements help keep the stock up to date keeping the order fulfillment rate as high as possible. Proper location and stock management also help in curbing the inventory losses.

Recipe Management

Through the use of manufacturing module, Prolitus has implemented recipe management for the all the dishes. This process takes care of the inventory adjustments that need to happen while preparing food from its raw materials. Different areas in the kitchen like the ‘Tandoor’, ‘Bakery’, etc. are updated of their work orders.

Integration with logistics application

The ERP is seamlessly integrated with the logistics application to further automate the system. Delivery order automatically flows to the ‘Rider’s App’ of the logistics application (which is again designed & developed by Prolitus). Sales returns and orders status are updated via rider app which gets synced to the ERP. Due to this, a lot of effort is saved at the outlet’s end and sales return shipment is automatically generated.

Accounting & Reporting

Lastly, proper financial accounting and MIS is incorporated in the system. Complete Sales, Invoice, and Inventory etc. analysis will help in strategic decision making.

Result

With its flexibility and wide scope Prolitus solution has completely replaced the client's generic system which was holding the company back due to its limitations. The system has taken head-on all the challenges that came in the project and is now successfully supporting the client’s technological backend and supply chain.

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