UK Health and Beauty Retailer Reduces Costs, Improves Time to Market by Going Serverless on AWS

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Overview

UK health and beauty retailer teams up with SkillNet to modernize its core back-office systems for finance and human resources. With SkillNet’s expertise, the retailer aimed to enhance data reliability, streamline operations, and improve customer experience. Through strategic collaboration, they navigated the challenges of digital transformation and emerged as a more efficient and competitive player in the market.

Introduction: Background

As part of their IT and business transformation journey, the health and beauty retailer sought to modernize its core back-office systems for finance and human resources. They partnered with SkillNet to handle these critical back-office integrations and streamline operations.

In today’s digital age, outdated systems from previous decades are no longer sufficient. The client decided to address this challenge by updating their key back-office systems. They aimed to achieve high data reliability and reduce manual interventions while ensuring timely reporting on errors and exceptions.

Business objectives:

  • Ensure high data reliability
  • Minimize manual interventions
  • Enhance reporting on errors and exceptions

IT objectives:

  • Develop scalable integrations using modern technology
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Implement a pay-per-use model for services

The retailer aimed to:

  • Increase data accuracy
  • Reduce operational overheads
  • Improve customer experience
  • Achieve dynamic scalability

Challenges

The retailer faced several significant challenges with their legacy systems:

  • High Costs: Maintaining middleware applications and infrastructure was expensive.
  • Resource Intensive: Continuous development and maintenance required a dedicated team.
  • Inflexibility: Monolithic design hindered adaptability to future needs.
  • Operational Inefficiencies: Manual interventions were needed for scalability, failure management, and exception handling.
  • Slow Response Times: Diagnosing and fixing issues took longer, leading to business disruptions.
  • Limited Visibility: Difficulties in foreseeing and managing system issues.
  • High Deployment Costs: Each new build incurred additional expenses.
  • Constant Expenses: Ongoing costs regardless of actual system usage.

Figure: Outdated Infrastructure: High Costs, Inefficeinces, and Limited Scalability

SkillNet Solution

SkillNet introduced a serverless architecture on AWS, transforming the retailer’s back-office operations. This new design focused on modern technology and scalable solutions, offering numerous benefits:

  • Zero Downtime: The system processes over 10 million transactions per month without interruption.
  • No Infrastructure Maintenance: Responsibility for infrastructure maintenance was eliminated.
  • Accelerated Build Time: Application build times were reduced from months to weeks.
  • Faster Error Resolution: Time required to diagnose and fix errors was significantly decreased.
  • Enhanced Flexibility and Resilience: Improved system adaptability and robustness.

Figure: Modern Serverless Architecture on AWS from SkillNet

Agile | Scalable | Cost Optimizes

Results

Increased

Data Accuracy

Operational

Efficiency

Improved

Customer

Experience

Zero

Downtime

The partnership with SkillNet led to transformative results for the retailer:

  • Enhanced Data Reliability: Processes over 10 million transactions per month with ensured accuracy and reliability of data, facilitating better decision-making processes.
  • Operational Efficiency: Lowered costs and resource requirements, optimizing business operations.
  • Improved Customer Experience: Enhanced tools and systems resulted in heightened customer satisfaction.
  • Zero Downtime: Ensured uninterrupted service, improving system availability and reliability.

As the CFO remarked during the go-live event, “I know it hasn’t been easy (it never is), but this achievement has been a long time coming. I appreciate all your efforts in making something happen that we’ve needed for the last 2, 3, 4, 5, or even 10+ years.”
The Head of Finance added, “Our team feels more productive now because they have a better set of tools at their disposal.”

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