The Client

InEDGE Retail Solutions is one of the leading retail solution providers in India and globally, providing workforce and technology to aid the customers of various segments like FMCG, electronic retailer, liquor retailer, IT services, factories, fashion products, banks, and many others. InEDGE Retail Solutions is a service from Quess Group, which is India’s leading and diversified business services group with interest in IT, HR and asset management services. Currently, they are trying to find their space in the global market with a presence already in the APAC region.

Industry: Retail Solutions

Challenges

Scalability
InEDGE Retail Solutions was already having a mobile app and a backend portal. The cost of running the application resource to meet the load of 200,000 workforce was increasing with the addition of every new customer.

Flexibility
Every customer who onboard in Retail Solutions comes up with a new workflow as per their operating standards and the app must comply with their standards. Adding such custom workflows was difficult and the adoption by the customers was not quick.

UI/UX
The UI of the existing application and the backend portal was at the bare minimum level. The application did not provide a good feel to the users. The backend portal was difficult to adopt for the new users. There were many complaints from the end-users that the app crashed multiple times. The updates were not easily done, and they must uninstall the old version and install the new version at times. All this led to a poor rating for the application in the respective stores. The backend team always depends on the delayed reports for knowing the status of the workforce’s presence.

Business Solution

With increasing customer base, the existing InEDGE would not be able to meet the load and the customizations. The next generation of InEDGE was very much needed and thus InEDGE NXT was formulated. InEDGE NXT has overcome all the challenges and has been planned to meet future demand as well. The key solutions of InEDGE NXT are as follows:

Scalable Architecture

  • The architecture is designed in such a way that as per the load the servers scale up or down automatically based on the server utilization. This system works smoothly at the background so that the end-user carries out the operation seamlessly
  • A cache layer is added to retrieve the frequently used information quickly so that the main DB is not loaded
  • The queue servers are in place to meet the back office related works like the upload of tasks and download of report
  • The monitoring systems are in place to intimate the business users and the technical team regarding the load and the server usage
  • The transactional DB is used to store & retrieve the transactional data for every transaction. This DB can be scaled up to meet the load demand
  • A replica DB is maintained to retrieve the transactional data for reports and insights purpose. The data is written in replica DB on an almost real-time basis with a lag in milliseconds
  • All the APIs are logged in the server using the Mongo DB. This helps the support team to track back in case there is any failure in the APIs
  • Multiple databases are maintained as per the load of the customer and the country of implementation. All these DBs have a common application server, hence there is only one source code. This reduces the error possibility when a new custom feature is added in the application

Flexible Application

  • To meet the varying requirement of the customers, the backend code is made flexible by adopting the MVC pattern in the code
  • By this way, any customization that is done for a customer will stay with the customer and other customers will stay unaffected
  • All these varying requirements are can be controlled from the portal by the admin. By this, if a new customer onboards with already existing customization, the admin can enable the feature just at the click of a button
  • The application has been integrated with various existing IT tools of the client through APIs so that the existing infra is not wasted; this is also configurable customer-wise
  • The application is also integrated with other 3rd party systems, which are bought in for the benefits of the workforce
  • For some customers, the application has automated the addition of workforce into the system, the attendance reports of the workforce and the performance report of the workforce

Enhanced UI/UX

  • The design of the mobile app is very intuitive, and the end user’s satisfaction was always the priority during the design
  • The navigation bar is placed at the bottom with 4 tabs as the workforce’s daily activities are classified under these 4 tabs
    • Home – all the daily and must-do activities are placed here
    • Tasks – all the feedback tasks that the customer wanted to get from the workforce are placed here
    • Retail – all the retail-related activities are placed here
    • You – all the activities that the workforce wanted to do for self is placed here
    • The Notification icon is made visible in all the screens so that the user can access it easily
    • Almost all the activities can be started in a maximum of 4 clicks, thus easing application usage
    • With the force update feature, all the workforce will be using the same version code and stay updated with the latest features
    • Since the mobile app development has adopted the best practices, the app updates have become seamless
  • The app has a built-in feedback system which helps the team to understand the user’s perception about the app and has helped to mitigate the other operational problems

Business Outcome

  • Since the application can cater to any load at optimal cost, the client can add the customers without worrying about the resource cost and the availability of the system is more than 98%
  • To maintain the professionalism of the workforce, the app has an in-built AI-based face, logo and uniform detection system. The face detection system ensures that the user is not forging; the logo and uniform detection system ensures that the brand guidelines of the customer are followed
  • The real-time dashboard helps the back-end team to view the attendance status and location of each workforce
  • Since all the reports are generated real-time, the turnaround time for billing has reduced for the client
  • The application can track the workforce in real-time, and this has helped the back-end team to monitor the performance of the workforce
  • The real-time workforce tracking has helped the workforce to apply claims based on their actuals as the data is validated by Google already
  • The real-time tracking is based on each activity – this enables the backend team to evaluate the performance of the workforce
  • As the UI/UX has been enhanced, the rating of the application in the stores is more than 4.6