V4S, a fully integrated mobile app using AWS to gain accessibility and immediacy

About Caher: Caher is a relevant marketing service company and bases its activity providing customers with all logistics’ management coverage at a Point of Sales level (POS).

They also develop promotional campaigns, tasting sessions as well as coordinating product recalls. Available at the main Spanish cities, Caher has more than 650 operators available in 9.500 POS and 19 warehouses.

On the technical side, Caher coordinates internally and communicates externally to their clients through the V4S app, a challenging mobility project lead by Linke and developed using AWS and Apple technology.

THE CHALLENGE

Traditionally, all POS management actions and reports were executed using non-automated processes. As a consequence, synchronising reports to extract and distribute relevant information to their clients were costly, slow and time consuming. In view of this challenge, Caher requires a technological solution capable of supplying:

  • Traceability

    Providing real-time data on POS actions and enabling the client evaluate inversion costs and results immediately.

  • Online Mobility & Transparency

    Allowing operators input their actions and incidences in situ using an IPad providing transparency to the client during the entire process.

  • Simplicity

    An app where all actions are planned and easy to implement quickly.

  • End-to-End Integration

    Where the whole planning process (operations, logistics, execution and reporting) is integrated within the same system.

THE SOLUTION

Linke brings in the technology based on AWS architecture with Apple IPad mobility solution, developing a bespoke application that gathers all Caher´s needs from start to end. The project evolves in 3 main steps:

Proof of Concept (POC):

Based on Java/Tomcat architecture connected to an Amazon RDS MySQL service with a reading duplication system, allowing data analysis without overloading the production side.

Production Development Phase:

Once the POC is approved, all settings are programmed, developed and executed to give answers to all main client´s needs.

Multiclient Solution Phase:

Last programming developing step to adequate the app core´s solution to other clients and markets.

“Linke came up with the technological direction, understanding the mobility and online requirements of the project and offering an integrated, bespoke solution according to our business needs”
David Ferreiro, Caher and Value4Sales Technology Director.

V4S as a Software as a Service (SaaS) benefits from the products and advantages that AWS has to offer:

  • Automation: build, start and replication processes on environments in seconds.
  • Cost Savings on solution´s growth, adapting the environment according to the business size, scaling up or down infrastructure with no prior investment.
  • High Availability allowing the same service levels regardless of the location.
  • Agility on the infrastructure to manage tests in an environment as close as possible to the real app to reduce production errors.

Those benefits contribute to the optimisation and functionality enlargements of V4S with:

  • Migration

    of images and files on Amazon S3 reducing costs, size and improving management agility.

  • BigData Solution

    harnessing all information generated on the V4S database. The database replication on Amazon RDS allows all data to be extracted and uploaded on the AWS Data Warehouse, Amazon Redshift, in order to be treated and exploded as qualitative reports. Those reports can then be used immediately with Amazon Quicksight, the BI service of AWS, without any prior installations as everything is already set in the cloud.

  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

    allowing automation processes within the infrastructure improving agility, maintenance and growing tasks. At the same time, it enables saving costs on infrastructure at preproduction levels, as the service is only activated to carry out starting application tests and then switch off.

BENEFITS: more competitive, more clients, more credibility, more control

Value4Sales has made Caher grow 8% and they cannot conceive their business without this software.

The capability of this app to provide information in an online, structured, easy and quick way is an asset that Caher can now offer to clients and positions them above the market.

Thanks to the flexibility of this app developed entirely by Linke, Caher has been able to increase their client´s portfolio as well as extending their services to new markets such as perfumes and toys. Internally, Caher has gained control amongst their operators at a POS level, understanding now their needs and respecting their workday.

THE FUTURE

Value4Sales road map includes the continuous expansion of the app focusing on answering new customer and market needs such as:

Architecture improvements to gain agility through new development environments without the needs on investing in new infrastructure.

•  Adding Internet of Things (IoT) functionalities.

• Recognition of images, barcodes and competition analysis integration.


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