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INNOVATE. INSPIRE. DELIVER.

28 Nov

How We Get Tech to Work

Technology Connected

REPL has built a reputation for pioneering new approaches to digital technology solutions by delivering innovative, complex, large-scale projects for global retailers. 

Every technology consultancy regardless of size has access to virtually the same tech. But not every consultancy delivers outstanding results. We ask why this is and explore the REPL difference when it comes to making tech work. 

Driving Exceptional Outcomes With a Customer-First Approach

One of our major retail clients was introducing three new pieces of transport management system (TMS) software to enhance the effectiveness of their supply chain. But inefficient record-keeping processes combined with the introduction of these new systems was going to create additional work for the business’ warehouse operatives. 

Digital Supply Chain

To avoid a reduction in productivity, a warehouse management system (WMS) vendor suggested integrating the TMS and WMS systems. However, the cost was prohibitive and the proposed solution failed to deliver sufficient business benefit.

The retailer turned to REPL to investigate the issue to see if the team could propose an alternative solution. They needed a consultancy willing to innovate and committed to deliver. 

In contrast to most technology consultancies, REPL took the blinkers off. By taking a customer-first perspective and knowing that one size will never fit all, the team put themselves in the client’s shoes. Pooling precise skills and relevant experience, they thought about what they’d want to get out of the solution and the most efficient way of delivering it.

Instead of making the most of the opportunity with an expensive quote and an extensive integration project, REPL found a better, more cost-effective solution that delivered the same outcome. One fuelled by working collaboratively and adopting efficiency-boosting agility.

The team then worked closely with the client, following their processes and integrating REPL’s agile approach with their project methodology. The retailer completely bought into this recommended style, ensuring great teamwork and a smooth roll-out. 

Inspiration and Innovation From A Committed Team

So what was the unique solution that no other vendor had thought about? And how did it come about? 

Bryan Black
Bryan Black, CTO

The problem was solved thanks to insight from the REPL team, led by chief technology officer Bryan Black. Instead of going down the obvious system integration route, the team focused on understanding the existing systems infrastructure and the client’s problem, combining this with a personal, customer-first perspective. 

This led to the creation of a solution that would intercept messages between warehouse operatives’ devices and the WMS. Additional tables and drop-down menus were created in the mobile devices so operatives could move paper-based processes online. With the data in this system feeding the WMS, the new TMS platforms only needed to connect to and read the data in the tables. A bespoke solution that avoided the need for costly integration. 

With an innovative vision to work towards, REPL carefully selected a dedicated team with the ideal skills and expertise to bring the theory to life.

This solution was only possible because REPL has a depth and breadth of expertise to choose from. Cross-functional teams that can include business analysts, systems’ architects, developers and product owners, are carefully curated to precisely meet client needs. With the right people working on the project at the right time, pioneering solutions are regularly developed and deployed. 

REPL executive chairman Mike Callender said: “This project was such a great success because, as with all our work, we pulled in the best skill set from the wider REPL team. They all contributed their specialisms, devised a genius idea and made it happen.”

Creating well-rounded, effective teams with in-depth expertise is a key REPL differentiator. Project teams will usually include:

  • Technology consultants who look at the bigger picture
  • Experts in the relevant software and systems to set the scope of possibility
  • Developers and solution architects who assess all the options and come up with pragmatic solutions that tick all the boxes
  • Numerous people experienced in retail and every aspect of retail operations

By hiring some of the UK’s leading retail technology consultants, REPL creates teams with expertise as deep as it is broad. It’s a unique approach that enables REPL to regularly deliver creative solutions no-one else could come up with.

Daring to be Different

Knowledge and experience aren’t the only ingredients in a recipe for success. Culture – the way technology consultants work – is the other critical component. And that relies on values that enable people to flourish and be successful. 

To achieve this cultural nirvana, REPL empowers its people to come up with original ideas and drive them through to successful conclusions. Consultants are encouraged to be pioneering, innovative and creative. And as a leading technology consultancy, REPL also prides itself on working in a way that’s:

  • Transparent – our technology consultants partner with our clients, acting as advocates and willingly sharing their knowledge. 
  • Challenging – strong relationships are built on trust and honesty. Challenging each other forms part of the journey to delivering the best solution.
  • Pioneering market leaders aren’t afraid to defy the status quo and drive innovation.
  • Passionate – people who love their jobs are determined to do their best, a personal commitment to excellence that will inspire your team.

With these values at the heart of the way REPL’s technology consultants work, clients can be sure they’re adding a solid and credible extension to their team.

Boxing Clever With Agility and Speed

Coming up with a fantastic idea is just the beginning. Delivering it is something else. 

To move programmes forward quickly, REPL regularly uses the agile methodology to move projects left. By getting a prototype up and running within a few weeks of starting a project, REPL quickly uncovers and fixes issues.

Agile Development

Because these are being resolved earlier, solutions can be adapted faster and with less difficulty. And it means individual user stories can be broken down and tested far sooner, allowing the solution to be hardened off until it’s ready to be tested in its entirety. This tactic is particularly useful when implementing innovative solutions as it enables concepts to be tested and then either pursued or adapted earlier than traditional waterfall methodologies allow.

During the project discussed in this article, the agile methodology enabled so much testing to be completed that, when the system was deployed, there wasn’t a single bug that needed to be fixed. Proof that this approach works.

The client enjoyed a smooth take-off that solved the challenges they originally mapped out as well as enhancing other operations to make warehouse jobs easier.

Technology is only as good as the hands it’s placed in. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right technology consultancy. One that hires the very best technology consultants and empowers them to adopt a pioneering approach that drives innovation and fast-paced delivery. All underpinned by robust processes that have the customers’ best interests at heart. 

Get in touch with one of our team today on +44 (0) 808 200 7375 or at info@replgroup.com to see how we can solve your technology challenges through innovation and agility.

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