THE CHALLENGE

Retail Assist are a retail stock management company. They currently have an active system that manages stock movement between depots and stores for various retail groups. Part of that stock movement occurs between stores. Retail Assist’s clients currently use paper, phone calls and expensive RF guns to monitor the movement and receipt of stock.

The challenge we were set was to design and build an Android app that will sit on a Nexus 7 device and pair to a bluetooth scanner. The app needed to gather and store all relevant data and communicate with the distribution centres and Retail Assist’s system. The aim was to have the means to scan barcodes, store the documents and easily access the history of transactions at a moment’s notice in the store environment.

A picture of wireframes of the inbox screen for Retaill assist.

"The modular approach to the build meant that the extra feature could be added without any disruption to the existing features and with a few very minor amendments to the structure and UI of the app."

A zoomed-in image of the scanning screen from the retail assist app.
An image of the scanning screen from the retail assist app.

OUR SOLUTION

We worked very closely with Retail Assist in an iterative manner. We all knew what we needed to build, but not necessarily how long it would take to build it or how it might integrate with the existing system. We built the product in phases and tested as we built.

The product is one that Retail Assist are constantly looking to expand features so the modular approach that we take fitted perfectly.

We first tested the technology, the ability for a specific handheld scanner with bluetooth to be paired, and record onto the tablet. Once we established that the two worked together, we progressed with an infrastructure phase. This phase consisted of the registration, store login, user login, user access management and general administration areas of the app.

The next phase was the ability to accept, send and create documents from the main system. Retail Assist worked closely with us to create all of the web services that we would require to work seamlessly with their complex system.

As we were working in a relatively agile manner, we were able to include a stocktaking function to the app. The modular approach to the build meant that the extra feature could be added without any disruption to the existing features and with a few very minor amendments to the structure and UI of the app.

The Product was thoroughly tested for a month-long period and performed exceptionally. This resulted in a very happy Retail Assist and an even happier end client.

THE RESULTS

Retail Assist’s client initially signed up for 50 tablets, with the app preloaded, to be distributed to one of their brand’s 50 stores. Prior to launch, having had access to the app, they decided to extend the order to 150 tablets to be rolled out over two of their brand.

Retail Assist are currently pushing their Stock Management System out to all of the client’s five major High Street brands with the tablets being introduced not too far behind.

On the strength of their system along with the app on a tablet, they now have had interest from another two major High Street Retailers, with requests for additional features and the need of an iOS version.

Two images of the retail assist app. Left features the inbox screen, right the review screen.