Mendix, a Siemens business and global provider of low-code application development for the enterprise, has announced that the European online optical retailer, Vision Direct, used the Mendix platform to build a number of applications that simplify backend processes and streamline order fulfilment.
The retailer, which is headquartered in the UK but has operations throughout Europe, also used Mendix to build a system that helps the company’s Italian warehouse satisfy orders for its parent company, EssilorLuxottica.
The right product at the right time
The first project that Vision Direct completed with Mendix was the building of a large ERP system that deals with all of the company’s backend processes. With operations distributed across the continent, Vision Direct has a number of warehouses that need to be as efficient as possible. Using Mendix, the company built a fulfilment system solution that is used to manage each warehouse. The system works to ensure stock is moved between areas efficiently, purchase orders are sent out in a timely manner, and invoices are paid on time. This automates a number of manual processes, saving time and preventing human error.
The system integrates with a number of third-party applications used in the warehouse for generating labels, package management, and handling warehouse locations. This ensures that what the customer is seeing on the front end of Vision Direct’s website is linked to what the staff see at the fulfillment center, meaning that customers receive the right product at the right time.
Javid Sangra, senior product manager at Vision Direct, says: “At Vision Direct, we receive 50,000+ orders every week and each of these orders need to be fulfilled correctly and quickly. The ERP system we have built on Mendix ensures that our warehouses and fulfilment centers are all talking to each other and are as efficient as possible. This enables us to get orders to customers more quickly, and also means that these customers get the right product every time. Optical retail is obviously quite complicated, with many different products and specifications, so it is important that we have a system designed to deal with this.”
Javid continues, “Mendix low-code means that we can build applications such as this one faster and at less cost. At Vision Direct, we use a lot of different solutions and software in our back-end processes and Mendix integrates seamlessly with each of them. This is a real benefit for us.”
Smart store replenishment
Vision Direct was acquired by the French-based international ophthalmic optics company, Essilor International, in 2016, which later merged with Luxottica to form EssilorLuxottica. EssilorLuxottica has almost 300 high-street stores in Italy and wanted Vision Direct to manage the replenishment of stock and order processing for each one. To make this process as simple and efficient as possible, Vision Direct used Mendix to build an application that manages the process.
The system is built to take all new orders and use data forecasting to work out exactly what each store needs and when they need it. The Mendix-built application then aggregates each store’s requirements into one shipment and schedules it to be delivered at the time each store needs it. This automated process deals with 5,000 orders a week, from repeat orders to one-off orders from each store.
Stephen Irven, head of ERP development at Vision Direct said, “Managing the order fulfilment of such a large number of stores could be a long and painful process. With the Mendix application, there is no pain at all. Using data and automation, we are able to streamline the process and make it as efficient as possible. Every order is always accurate and delivered to each store on time.”
Nick Ford, chief technology evangelist at Mendix, says, “The retail sector is facing a number of problems at the moment. The pandemic and Brexit have caused supply chain issues, making it difficult for many businesses to replenish stock and fulfil orders. Vision Direct is a great example of a retailer using technology to ensure their customers and stores have the stock they need. Low-code is a great way for retailers to revolutionise backend processes and ensure their operations run as efficiently as possible.”