Dedicated Development Center for a Furniture Manufacturer

Itransition set up a dedicated center aimed to provide technology consulting and development assistance to the customer’s in-house team.

Problem

Our customer is a leading European affordable furniture manufacturer with 50+ distribution centers across the world. The company has an in-house IT department dedicated to development and maintenance of software tools automating production, logistics, warehousing and sales processes.

Because the company was growing quickly, expanding its production lines, distribution channels, and global footprint, they were looking to partner with a dedicated development team to cover the pool of associated development projects.

Itransition Wins The Bid

The company launched a tender to select an outstaffing supplier. Along with commercial experience with PHP and JavaScript, the customer looked for Agile process maturity and perfect cultural fit — ability to conform to the core organizational values and development processes. They oriented at the mixed onshore/offshore delivery model, while expecting the on-site presence of the experts on demand.

Itransition proved to be compliant with the tender requirements by implementing a pilot project that outlined our collaboration and communication practices. During a short trip to our premises, the customer evaluated Itransition’s operational efficiency, and finally selected us for the project.

Solution

Since 2015, together with the customer’s team, Itransition has been conducting frontend, backend and mobile development work on the proprietary CRM system, commerce websites and tools. Along with that, our dedicated development team provides technical coordination, architecture design and development of key backend features related to the project.

Commerce websites The scope included performance improvement, end-to-end ecommerce module implementation for centralized order processing across three commerce websites, serving different business directions. Based on PHP5 and JavaScript, the module is integrated with a corporate CRM system and flexible CMS for managing product catalogues.
Mobile apps We assigned iOS development engineers to assist the internal mobile team in implementation and maintenance of mCommerce and enterprise mobility solutions. One of the latest deliveries is an e-signature and document flow automation app that removed the paper chase associated with furniture installation.
CRM For 2 years of collaboration, we have launched 40+ optimizations and functionality extensions for the corporate CRM — the most business-critical solution compiling information on customers throughout physical and digital channels.
Online CAD planning tool A major subproject embraced support and enhancement of an online 2D and 3D kitchen designer. The web application provides customization tools for modeling furniture size, color, shape and arrangement, and viewing a 3D project using Unity browser plugin. In 2017, we extended the CAD planning tool with two-tone kitchens support and started to migrate the system to WebGL.
Autotests Since 2017, Itransition has been engaged in quality assurance activities, covering the most complicated and imported modules with Jasmine-based unit tests and implementing test automation for the ecommerce functionality. We run tests using Karma test runner and PhantomJS as a browser.

Process

50+ specialists are currently in the team

Collaboration with the customer started with depicting the fundamentals of the dedicated center model, suggesting comprehensive cooperation patterns for mixed delivery and selecting collaboration tools.

The next Itransition’s step was in optimizing development processes and intensifying cross-team communication. We replaced the customer’s paper-based employee directory with a centralized digital repository, integrating it with the project tracking system. Despite the customer preferred face-to-face interaction, Itransition encouraged the introduction of video conferencing into the development process, which enabled teammates stay connected all the time, coordinating efforts, clarifying and fixing ambiguities.

Since that, Itransition’s dedicated development team and the Customer’s in-house one have been incrementally committing changes to the codebase, guided by technical and business-focused managers, responsible for technical scope planning and execution control, and handling budgeting and staffing issues correspondingly.

Scheme 1

Cross-Border Collaboration

The entire project infrastructure is placed on the customer's end, while AWS instances and internal customer's data centers are used for hosting purposes. For efficient development processes amidst mixed delivery model, we set up continuous integration using Jenkins and use Atlassian Jira, Bitbucket, HipChat, and Confluence for project management, collaborative version control and communication.

We selected Scrum development methodology as the perfect fit for incremental product build-up with flexibility to introduce changes, backup and see the contribution of every team member. The development process is led by a Scrum coach on the customer’s side and backed by Itransition’s PM.

Scheme 2

Cameras, teleconferencing, instant messaging, video chat, screen sharing, and other collaboration tools help bridge the gap between the distributed teammates.

Results

At present, our team counts 51 specialists, mainly JavaScript, PHP, Unity3D and mobile development experts. Itransition’s engagement has been gradually increasing, and progressive growth of subprojects along with project roles extension indicate that Itransition advanced from mere team augmentation supplier to a trusted technology partner.

Scheme 3