Ecommerce Fulfillment Software Development for 3PL Companies
The Customer is a provider of 3PL software that powers an end-to-end ecommerce fulfillment process – from inventory validation to warehouse management and order shipment. 3PL companies that rely on our Customer’s software manage to increase the number of processed orders per day, maximize resource utilization, decrease shipment delays and errors, and overall offer fast and accurate fulfillment services to their ecommerce clients.
The Customer has 5 developments teams who continuously evolve different elements of their software. Faced with the lack of in-house expertise, the company decided to engage external resources. Particularly, they were looking for experienced .NET developers who will be available for long-term cooperation and can quickly switch between tasks. They found the required resources at ScienceSoft.
Self-service portal development
ScienceSoft developers made part of the Customer’s team evolving a self-service portal. The portal is a web application that is used by the clients of 3PL providers – i.e. by ecommerce companies – to enable an automated transfer of their orders to 3PL warehouses.
Our developers joined in the midst of the project and at first were engaged in IT infrastructure-related tasks:
- They set up an Azure-powered backup and disaster recovery solution for a quick on-demand failover in case of service disruption.
- They performed reverse engineering to disassemble the portal software into components and describe how each works. In a month, they handed over a developer’s guide to be used for further portal development.
- As the project was planned to move on without a testing team, the developers were tasked to create unit and functional tests, including integration tests. Overall, the developers increased the test coverage from 70% to 93%, and with that they helped introduce DevOps practices and enabled fail-safe continuous delivery of the portal’s new features.
- They deployed staging environment to ensure the portal software quality under a production-like environment before the deployment.
ScienceSoft’s team also contributed to the portal’s front-end development, namely they fully modified the workflow of adding new integrations with ecommerce systems by users and created input forms for the integration interface.
Warehouse management software development
ScienceSoft’s team joined the development of the warehouse management software, namely the picking and packing-related functionality. The work on this piece is ongoing, and the workflow to-be will support several automation functions:
- A central interface captures orders from the integrated ecommerce systems and enables instant order processing.
- A system-directed cluster picking workflow allows picking multiple orders during a single walk through the warehouse aisles.
- Automated inventory count updates when warehouse employees scan the barcodes of the picked items.
- Automated generation and printing of shipment labels saves manual labor and time.
As for now, the features added by our developers include:
- Managing several packs for the same delivery order.
- Creating shipping labels of different transportation companies (e.g., FedEx).
- Scanning and adding a package type to an order (depending on order size and weight).
ScienceSoft’s developers have been contributing to the evolvement of the Customer’s software for 1+ year. The Customer advocates an Agile approach to software development so the work has been organized in 2-week sprints with obligatory sprint planning meetings.
The Customer continuously evolves and refines their ecommerce fulfillment software. Each small success, like a possibility for 3PL providers to decrease an order picking process by 1 minute, adds to the competitiveness of the Customer’s software on the market and ensures the loyalty of their long-standing clients. They find new opportunities to automate the processes of 3PL providers, and ScienceSoft helps bring those ideas to life.
Technologies and tools
Warehouse management system: Azure hosting (Kubernetes cluster), React, .NET6, Docker, SignalR, Azure Service Bus, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure DevOps pipelines.