The online marketplace is a platform for traders to promote and sell their branded products and services. Real time integration between the suppliers and the online marketplace means that products presented to consumers are available at the point in time that the purchase is made.
JustEat provides an augmented version of the online marketplace to it’s restaurant partners. They supply an optional B2B technology solution which is deployed directly into the restaurants and kitchens. The web application, running on hardware, is configured into JustEat’s marketplace platforms which are hosted in the cloud.
I joined JustEat to lead a contingency action project to test out an upgraded B2B solution which was to be deployed into restaurant partners across the UK. Offered as an alternative/ product-upgrade, it was initially designed to mitigate technical risk with new releases of the standard B2B products. It also opened opportunity for JustEat to provide services trading partner through alternative technology stacks. I was responsible for delivering a limited roll-out of the upgraded B2B solution into a thousand restaurant partners. I led the business continuity planning, technology deployment and integration and managed the business and operational change (TOM) required to roll-out at scale. Strong stakeholder management (up to director level) and effective governance was pivotal to success of this project.
Within scope of the project:
- Components/parts procurement and logistics for shipment to build facility in Poland
- Product hardware build processes
- Product software load process
- Product integration (to backend systems) test and packaging process
- Product logistics management and controls (Poland, to UK distribution point, to partner restaurants)
- UK deployment and set-up process.
- Creation of user instructions and guidance on set-up process
- Partner communications (multi-channel)
- New call centre processes and changes to back-end customer support systems and functions
- Limited test deployment of the new product (into 10 restaurants) to test deployment, set-up, multi-channel support, data-capture, initial partner feedback.
- Scaled trials (60 partners): Testing end to end processes and operations (from product build in Poland, to deployed, supported and operational with a UK Partner)
- Full deployment of 1000 units across the UK
- Tracking, analytics and reporting on all stages of the Product deployment lifecycle (for all Partners) from componenet procurement, through build, distribution, deployment and service cut-over to new product.
- Tracking, analytics and reporting on all stages of the Partner experience (from initial contact to upgrade, through order to deployment to usage analytics and Partner feedback).
The project moved more quickly than expected and we were testing the end-to-end process within 6 weeks. An initial two week trial period proved successful and provided opportunity to optimise and bed-in the processes for kit assembly, software deployment, test, packaging in Poland. partner management controls and data-capture authority from the Steering Group came through to ramped up to fill capacity. Everything worked smoothly and the we were able to accelerate beyond our expected maximum through-put with no adverse effect on quality.
Shortly after we’d passed the ‘50%’ milestone, direction was received to ease-back on the rate at which we were deploying. It was announced that technical risk (to the standard/legacy product) had been mitigated. The business imperative to have capability for global deployment of the new technology had been eliminated. Provisional orders (for components, build, distributions, etc) where put on hold. Shortly after this directive, the acquisiution/merger between JustEat and TakeAway.com was announced. This change in circumstances meant that the cost-benefit case (to upgrade all partners to the new B2B product) became less compelling and the project completely de-prioritised.
By the time the instruction was given to stop the project had already deployed 60% of the B2B upgrades into restaurants and the remaining 40% had all been assembled at our outsourced facility in Poland.
The deployed upgrades were left in production with Partners (fully supported) and are now gathering ‘usage data’ and performance analytics. The assembled kits (boxed-up, with the requisite documentation, ready for distribution) were palletised and put into storage. The underlying technology used in the B2B upgrade is ‘5G ready’ and an ideal platform for the next generation of the B2B solution. The back-up stock of the B2B upgrade can also serve further trials on next generation software solutions which may still be in the pipeline.
The project was a success. It proved to JustEat that this solution architecture is appropriate for scaled deployment to all restaurant partners. The platform architecture, software solution, technology acquisition, build and distribution and all end to end business processes have been tested and proven at scale. Partner responses on the product have been positive.