SoftwareOne case study

How SoftwareOne helped a leading retailer in Poland streamline procurement processes across its extensive store network

A woman sitting at a table with a laptop.

A leading retailer in Poland consolidated purchasing, service records and product inventory management with an innovative SharePoint-based application, enabling efficient negotiations, standardised processes and cost savings across its extensive store network.

Managing procurement for a large chain can be challenging, especially if it is done individually at each location. When each store has to negotiate its own prices, the quality of service can vary and there is no single repository to review requirements or usage across the network.

Major home and garden retailer
Azure Cloud
Digital Workplace Essentials, Application Services

Overcoming fragmented procurement processes

A large home and garden building supplies retailer with 64 stores across Poland did not have a centralised procurement process. As each store managed its purchasing and price negotiations individually, they were unable to negotiate bulk prices for the entire chain.

The client needed an easy-to-use solution to aggregate orders from all stores in order to negotiate competitive prices. The functionality also needed to enable demand analysis, cost optimisation and product and service usage. 

Product management would be centralised from the head office. Each product would have a designated supplier, a fixed price and terms of delivery. This would allow procurement officers to carry out replenishment and purchasing with better pricing.

The project aimed to improve and centralise the procurement process for products and services. The Azure-based application in a PaaS model needed to provide:

  • SharePoint and Microsoft 365 integration
  • Interface based on standard SharePoint UI
  • Access via a Microsoft 365 account
  • Multiple user roles
  • Product search

Leveraging Azure and SharePoint for unified efficiency

As a result of a previous project with SoftwareOne, a SharePoint-based employee portal had already been created. Now the functionality could be extended to centrally manage purchasing for the retailer and its entire store network.

SoftwareOne consultants recommended the creation of a data repository for ordering products and services from external suppliers. The second step was to create an add-in for Microsoft SharePoint and M365 as a PaaS solution hosted on Azure.

The application features several user roles: Administrator, Product Group Owner, Product Owner, Product Manager, and Requester:

  • Product Group Owners can add products with global pricing, create new product categories, and receive order feedback that can be exported to Excel.
  • Product Owners can collect feedback from users about products (e.g. complaints, requests to change supplier due to poor quality).
  • Product managers can add and edit products.
  • Requesters can browse products and place orders. A user wishing to place an order goes to the list of products, selects the quantity required and places an order at a pre-negotiated price.

When designing the application, the common goal was to make it as easy to use as possible. End users can easily find products and order any quantity within seconds. Items can be found by keyword, category (hierarchical field based on a managed metadata mechanism), product owner or supplier. The application is fully responsive and multilingual: it works well on mobile devices and can be used in different regions.

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Easy navigation and seamless ordering

Because end users were already familiar with the interface, the new app was easy to adopt. In addition, because the application was built using the Microsoft 365 Apps model, it is accessible from the Office service and visible in the Microsoft 365 App Launcher.

Once deployed, the new SharePoint-based application enabled the company to centrally manage purchasing, service records and product inventory. Dozens of employees were freed up to focus on higher-value work, and the retailer has been enabled to negotiate bulk discounts on large-volume purchases.

The client now has an efficient tool to manage its individual sites, saving money and time on negotiations and ordering. They can monitor service quality across all sites and ensure consistent service standards.

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