How Visichain Built a
Digital Business Platform
to Run all Procurement
Operations for the
Asia Buying Office of a
Global Top 10 Retailer


Who We Are

We are named Visichain because we help companies finally achieve visibility in their supply chain.

Visibility in the supply chain means having all the critical information and relationships in a supply chain linked together in a system to make it easy to jump from one key piece of information to the next.​

Vischain is a software development consultancy that builds custom software for supply chain and procurement organizations.

We develop bespoke end-to-end supply chain and procurement digital business platforms that streamline complex global sourcing operations.

Round Hole Square Peg: Why use custom built software instead of off-the-shelf solutions?

Your sourcing process is optimized for the challenges and opportunities that are unique to your business. You do business the way you do for a good reason.

We don’t believe in a one size fits all approach to software solutions.

Companies that try to implement off the shelf solution are either going to have to completely reorganize their entire business to work how the software works.

Or

They must customize the software at great expense, often severely compromising functionality and usability.

Because every organization is different, we build custom systems that work exactly how your business works.


We are not a platform. There are no monthly licensing fees. When you work with Visichain, you own all intellectual property and the source code, it is built for you.

This case study is about the complete digital transformation of the procurement operations that Visichain executed for the Asia buying office of a global top ten retailer.

​Table of Contents

​From Chaotic Processes, Unreliable Data, Tedious Manual Data Entry, and Lack of Traceability of Who Entered What Data - When and Why - to Real Time Operational Visibility, Data Integrity, Automated and Enforced Business Processes

​Before engaging Visichain, the Asia Buying Office of a Global Top 10 Retailer faced multiple challenges that prevented an increase in trade volume at the rate that was dictated by the global management team.

Procurement operation were bottlenecked due to tasks getting lost in email, data not entered accurately, problems kept piling up and the source of multiple costly mistakes could not be identified.

The company's hands were tied.

​For example, items were often lost between departments, collaboration within the office were failing, a cumbersome master data management process was put in place in an attempt to mitigate the issues but this had the effect of massively slowing down all operations and increasing the complexity of key processes.

Conditions were so bad that the turnover rate of frustrated employees - who felt that they’d been setup for failure - were extremely high and office morale was diminishing.

One of the issues contributing to the turmoil were outdated computer systems that couldn’t accommodate the needs of the business: they were not able to keep pace with the changes required by the company’s growth.

Begin Transformation: Trial Time

Visichain was one of several software development firms selected to be assigned a trial project.

The objective was to move one process and the associated data off of excel and into an access-controlled web-based collaborative tool.

​Trial Results: Speed to Value - Sprints​​​

​All the data needed was available on a secure database, accessible by APIs enabling the system to be integrated in real time to any application.

All changes to the data were logged in detail and users were only able to see the specific data that they needed to see to do their job.

Data access control proved an important feature because the data in the system represented a key competitive advantage to the company; the data contained detailed information about all the factories the company traded with.

Prior to this digitization, all users - even the most junior staff and remote offices - had access to all the company’s critical operating information in a highly portable format.

Anyone in the department could have easily copied the excel and walked away before the client had the secure system built by Visichain.

The client went with custom software because Visichain builds software that works how their client’s business works: with globe spanning supply chains operating that power the world’s largest enterprises, it’s often smarter to create custom software, versus shoehorning your proprietary business processes into an inadequate off-the-shelf option.

Transformation as a core business strategy

Visichain became a key partner in development for the client building their core business platform.

After the quick results of the trial, the client worked with Visichain to roll out their vision of how they would digitize all company operations.

During the transformation process, it was also a priority for extending the life of legacy platforms the client still needed to utilize for their day to day operations.

Not only did this prolong the usefulness of their current systems, but it also made the transition process much smoother by only changing how the company worked a few pieces at a time, instead of forcing a huge switch from one system to another, always a risky and chaotic process.

After that point, Visichain (one of several internal and external software development teams working with the client) was chosen to build the core platform that other development teams would integrate into.

Visichain has become the key partner in development for the client, responsible for building critical infrastructure deployed globally.

How Visichain Partners with Internal IT Teams and Stakeholders to Deliver Results for Your Business

Project Team Roles and Responsibilities

​Powerful Tools for Enterprise Procurement Teams

​Visichain builds ​software that works how your business works.

Why build custom ​software when you can buy/subscribe to off the shelf ​software?

With off-the-shelf ​software you have to shoehorn your business to fit the ​software.

For globe-spanning supply chains ​operations that power the world’s largest enterprises, it’s always more efficient to create custom ​software, versus shoehorning your proprietary business processes into an inadequate off-the-shelf ​option.

The following showcases 7 examples of procurement and supply chain f​functionality custom built to run all procurement operations for a global top 10 retailer.

When your company is ready to experience the advantages of full ​digitization, Visichain can custom build a ​solutions that perfectly fits your business processes and goals

1. Workflow Automation- ​Procurement Process Automation

​Multi-person task flow optimization. Make sure steps are not skipped and that all team members know exactly what work to prioritize. The system drives your processes.

Guarantee compliance of your business policies. Prevent surprise compliance issues by tracking certificate and audit expiration dates - trigger automated workflows to schedule new audits.

Audit management and tracking tool

Audit management and tracking tool
Auditors and managers have comprehensive view of all current audits, as well as a record of all information from audits for any given factory.

Automatically generates new audit requests when factories onboarded or audits are about to expire.

Interactive calendar showing what audits or other tasks are scheduled on a given date.
The calendar is built as a generic component, so any field with a date in the entire system can be shown on the calendar. Items can be dragged and dropped to different dates, automatically updating the information accordingly.

Factory onboarding process management screen
Automatically walks new supplier applications through all steps of the factory onboarding process, a process that requires multiple departments and over a dozen team members to complete. Relevant staff members are alerted when it is their turn to perform their step of the process, ensuring no applications fall through the cracks.

​2. ​Robust Audit & Traceability of All Data

​Managers can review, plan, and spot check using multiple data systems into a single managed view.

Quickly pinpoint where data is getting corrupted, when it was updated, and always know why changes to data occurred.

​All actions in the system are tracked and stored in an activity log.
Sort and filter by user, date, field or record type to quickly find the information you need.

​3.    Real-Time Reporting

​Understand your business like never before. Surface the profitable data and intelligence currently hidden within your organization.

Rapidly answer questions you can’t today to exploit latent opportunities and avoid hidden challenges. Customize your reports - generate and automate any type of report you require. Explore all your data - such as productivity logs, supplier profiles, audit reports and more.

​Compliance management dashboard
Shows the compliance health of the factory pool

​Map view
Like the calendar view, this is a flexible tool that can be used to visualize any entity in the system that contains GPS coordinates or an address. The icons can be set and colored based on any given status such as audit, historical performance, or order status.

​4. Integration and Aggregation of 3rd Party Data

​Streamline data from all your systems into a single platform. Reliable up-to-date data is the cornerstone of confident decision making.
Achieve real-time data flow, eliminate silos in your systems and sync all your data. Get the full picture and confidently make profitable business decisions.

Spreadsheet upload tool
Uploads report from external systems that are ingested by the platform and used to update factory information

​5. Secure Access Control

​Quickly pinpoint where data is getting corrupted, when it was updated, and always know why changes to data occurred.
Mitigate production, compliance, and logistics risk with our integrated data management solution. Protect your trade secrets with controlled access to information, including IP whitelisting and certificate-based logins.

​User management dashboard
Ensures users are only able to see and modify information that they need to access.

User management dashboard
Easily create, modify, and delete user accounts. Admins can also configure the system to recognize existing identity management protocols such as Microsoft Active Directory.

​6. Web-based Vendor Collaboration

​Streamline all interactions between procurement partners, your internal team and your internal business processes. Create a robust supply chain and ensure your organization's sustainable competitive advantage.

Avoid making the wrong vendor decision by tracking historical risks for a specific factor. Attain a holistic picture of potential suppliers by evaluating factor scores based on quality, social responsibility, and delivery history.

​Supplier user view
Suppliers can track the progress of their onboarding process, as well as request updates of business information, review RFQs, and collaborate with merchandisers on new product ideas.

​7.  Factory Management

​Streamline all interactions between factory partners, your internal team and your internal business processes. Get an aggregated view of all data sources relevant to a given factory or supplier.

​Factory details page
Shows all information about a factory, fully permission controlled so that users can only see and modify fields that they have access to.

​Factory search screen
Search sort and filter by all fields in the system, enabling you to find the exact factory you need, or generate a list of factories that have production runs being completed in the next month.

Whether you are on a business trip or on the factory floor, you can access and update all your supply chain data anywhere, any time.

​Mobile Device Version

Getting Started with a Trial Project

There's an inevitable learning curve for both sides when beginning a new relationship. For example, collecting all your internal IT policies that will impact our work.

To accelerate speed to value, we suggest selecting a trial project that meets the following criteria:

Start fresh with a new module.

Projects that are an extension of an existing system should be avoided because deep integration with other software requires careful planning.

Accelerate delivery to users

by side-stepping external dependencies. For example, choosing a module that only faces internal users so that we do not have to undertake a lengthy penetration testing phase.

​Next Step

Schedule a no-commitment discovery workshop at your
office.

Work with your procurement team for two to three days over the course of a week to identify opportunities for quick wins, creating a roadmap defining the vision of your digital transformation journey.

Design a software solution that can be developed and delivered to create significant business value in a short amount of time.

Schedule Your Workshop

Richard McGirr, Founder & CEO

​​https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardmcgirr/

​+852 5639 3582