Strapping - a custom order management system for a consignment business

E-commerce order management system developmentE-commerce order management system development

About the project

Strapping is a custom order and warehouse management system specifically developed for a fashion and lifestyle brand for the gay community. The company has adopted a hybrid model in cooperation with suppliers - a combination of consignment, upfront payment and post payment.

Clients of Strapping subscribe to the service and share their size and style preferences with the manager. Each season the client receives a box with clothing and accessories, which they can try on and then decide whether or not to keep them. After that, the client sends the rest of the items back to Strapping and gets charged for the items they decide to keep as well as for items that were returned damaged.

Available SaaS services couldn’t match the company’s specific business processes, so a custom system was the most suitable solution.

Problems our clients faced

When using a popular order management SaaS Tradegecko, our client faced multiple inconveniences caused by the company’s specific business model.

Complicated stock management for consignment

Most readily available SaaS systems have very limited functionality for consignment or don’t support this model at all. Managers at Strapping had to manually track all the items received on consignment, which took a lot of time and resulted in frequent mistakes.

Invoicing and manual payment

Strapping charged customers after they try out the clothes and decide, what they want to keep. Including an invoice in each parcel and waiting until the clients transfer the money wasn’t a convenient solution. There was risk that the client wouldn’t pay at all.

Inability to automatically track supply price differences

Often, the company would order different quantities of the same products for different prices. These price differences had to be tracked manually, resulting in multiple mistakes and issues with pricing upon selling the products to clients.

Lack of instant synchronization

Stylists of Strapping were combining looks for clients from clothing the company received from suppliers. When packing the desired items for delivery, it turned out that some products were out of stock. The order was returned to the stylist for rework.

Inventory mistakes

Information about items available in the warehouse wasn’t exact. Mistakes with sizes and colors occurred often, which, again, affected the work of the stylists and warehouse managers.

These and many other minor issues forced Strapping to start looking for a customized solution that could be embedded in the existing company processes and improve working efficiency.

Solutions offered by Clockwise Software

It was important for us to work in tight cooperation with the client, to understand all the internal company processes and to offer the most suitable solutions.

As a result, the functionality offered by our team is as follows:

Order tracking module

This module is designed to track all the stages a single item goes through, starting with receiving the products from a supplier and ending with delivery to the client. Some rare scenarios, like the return of a damaged item, were also included.

FIFO approach

To avoid complicated calculations, we implemented a FIFO (first in - first out) approach. This approach dictates that items that were received first are also sold first at a corresponding price - there’s no need to recalculate the cost of each product sold.

Payment tracking

A separate module in the order management system tracks payments between the company and suppliers. This reduces the number of repeating mistakes. The system also generates sales reports and helps with accounting.

Double synchronization

The system automatically syncs after each order placement. Another synchronization occurs when the whole order is confirmed by the stylist. The module can also confirm the availability of some items on request allowing to minimize mistakes.

Regular stock review

One of our tasks was inventory management improvement. We enabled the system to schedule regular warehouse reviews in order to maintain up-to-date information about available products.

Integration with Stripe for automatic payment processing

We chose integration with Stripe to allow Strapping to charge a fixed fee depending on which subscription plan the client selects. In addition, the company can automatically charge the price of the items that are kept by the user or damaged.

Challenges of the development process

Need to prevent interruption of the running processes

Strapping had all processes already running and we couldn’t interrupt it to integrate the new order and warehouse management software. We decided to transfer the work of just a part of a team to the new system, test it in real working conditions, and then improve the system according to actual feedback. After the software was polished, we could integrate it without any risk.

Urgent need for order management improvements

Developing a custom system with the desired functionality required a lot of time and resources. However, the company was drowning in manual work and needed to change the situation ASAP. We decided to start with an MVP that included crucial features and was ready for integration within 4 months.

Need to combine many complex processes into one model

Strapping has a specific business model that doesn’t match any existing business management solution. In order to create a service that fits their needs, we had to work in tight cooperation with the company managers. Communication and instant feedback from real software users allowed us to build a tailored solution step-by-step and to account for all the company’s needs.

Technologies and integrations

MEAN stack:

Integrations:

Team and development time

2
Frontend developer

Project manager

QA engineer

MVP
4  months

Completed
10  months

Project Outcome

In 10 months of cooperation we managed to develop a custom order management system to completely fit the needs of a company with a specific business model. The result is a powerful software that helped the company to optimize the processes, reduce manual work and improve overall working efficiency.

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