Boosting Performance with Digital Solutions in Horticulture

Boosting Performance with Digital Solutions in Horticulture

Background

Carawah Nursery is a wholesale distributor of Australian native tube stock plants, that currently employs multiple software applications to manage the propagation, sale and delivery of plants to customers across Australia.


Carawah requires an integrated system to enable business processes and support rapid business growth with minimal overheads.

Opportunity

With existing technology hindering Carawah’s ability to scale rapidly, Carawah management reached out to Alchemy Solutions to assist in reviewing the existing business operations and designing an updated solution that is simple and integrated for tracking plant propagation.

Solution

Alchemy Solutions helped Carawah develop an innovation mobile application that simplifies, integrates and automates the production process.


The new system allows the Carawah team the ability to:

  • Track production movements and status with QR Code tracking against each tray
  • Automatic generation of propagation cards and batch labels
  • Reduce double handling by integrating sales and operation systems

Results

Alchemy provided Carawah with a digital solution that streamlines business operations for its staff.

As a result, Carawah saw:

  • Significant overhead reduction, with automation allowing the nursery to run at minimal staff
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities, with Carawah management able to monitor all inventory in real time
  • Reduced plant mortality rate through propagation standards provided via the mobile application

Building a high performing technology function with SAFe

Building a high performing technology function with SAFe

The client situation

Our client is an Australian icon in the finance industry and with nimble more Agile competitors changing the market dynamics it’s business and technology functions were constantly looking for new ways to go faster and to simplify software development. 

As part of its digital technology roadmap, the organisation wanted to adopt better Agile software development practices as a way to replace bimonthly software releases with continuous delivery of new features to market.

With the investment the organisation was making in terms of the resources to develop software to benefit clients, customers and employees waiting for a bimonthly software release was no longer an optimal business model.

The challenge

Our large finance client faced a unique challenge.

They had undergone several transformations attempts without success of making change stick within their business processes and were now under significant public and shareholder scrutiny.

There were also now additional pressures from new market entrants who had developed business models for a complete digital customer and employee experience.

Given the complexity of the marketplace challenge adopting agility that could scale was the only workable solution to remain competitive.

The group CIO was the champion for the complete shift to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) methods and was determined to embed the change once and for all.

Having already completed several scrum-based Agile training programs as part of previous technology led transformation work, our client and their people were under a fair amount of training fatigue.

The solution

Our client sought to rapidly upskill its workforce in SAFe principles and techniques via an accredited program and recognised certification. We tailored the program, support and our coaching to their needs, training over 180 people to date.

Alchemy provided hands on practitioner experience and capability in utilising SAFe and technology function management to ensure our client felt safe in its rapid change ambition.

We started the engagement with a practical and open workshop, which we used to understand the lessons from part transformational change both positive and negative.

In discussion with our client, we adapted their SAFe program content to cover specific areas of concern; for example, we introduced some additional content to explain how a Program Increment (PI) workshops would work in a complete SAFe setting. 

We also augmented the existing team with Product Owners and Scrum Masters and revised the standard use case and roles to reflect a typical PI Planning event aligned to one that our client might run. This helped to facilitate learning and promote understanding by making the training more relevant to our clients people and their day job.

We also introduced a new post-training and certification steps to build on and consolidate the training, working with our client to devise content to develop story-writing skills and a workshop to explore how the stories could be broken down into smaller more manageable items.

We provided on the ground coaching and mentoring to those progressing through the program so that they could build confidence and gain practical hands on experience when it mattered most during their day to day work.

Lastly, we co-created a set of measurements that will truly drive the performance of all Agile teams and roles to continually improve and understand where blockers are impacting overall software delivery performance.

The results

Alchemy Solutions resources worked with our clients leadership and team to maximise the outcomes of the SAFe training and certification.

Alchemy successfully designed and continues to deliver the SAFe program content, and coaching.

As a result we have helped our client to effectively:

  • Ensure the SAFe program that was developed for our client was purpose fit and leveraged off the previous Agile investments and Agile change efforts.
  • Provide the practical and real life practitioner experience to foster positive mindsets and culture through real work examples of success.
  • Create the cross team and function synergies through cross-functional teams enablement and design, translating the desired agile culture into actions, building the right structures to support individuals,
  • Augment and support the internal and external teams to maintain and evolve their digital vision in an evolving market landscape.

As a strategic SAFe partner, we have been instrumental in helping our client work towards its organisational goal of adopting more Agile software development practices as a way to replace bimonthly software releases with continuous delivery of new features to market.

Together we have developed a formal set of key SAFe metrics that can be used internally and with external stakeholders, to continue to measure and embed best practice within software development lifecycles.

Our team continues to work with our client across the organisation and support the transformation agenda.

Final thoughts

Alchemy’s key sponsor wrote “I just want to say thank you. Alchemy brought an enormous amount of leadership to the roll out of SAFe within our organisation. Right from the beginning we all felt as a leadership team that our trusted advisor had arrived and this was replicated by each Alchemy resource involved. The work Alchemy did for us has been transformational.’’

Brining our real world experience in delivering a broad range of business and technology transformation projects, Alchemy have partnered with our client and delivered SAFe to transform the technology delivery of valuable customer and client software.

Alchemy’s leadership on the ground with sleeves rolled up provided support and leadership guidance to all people involved supported by the following Alchemy tools and techniques

• People First – Alchemy brings a distinct and holistic people, process and technology approach to each engagement which helps in identifying and remediating blockages to communication and process flows. The identification and prioritisation of customer and employee journey’s ensures line of sight to what’s important – People!

• Alchemy’s Ei5™ method – is designed to be engaging and clear for business and technology resources and identifies business ownership as critical to delivery success. The use of agile techniques, tools and rituals ensure that everyone understands their role and conflicts are resolved quickly.

• Partnering Framework – Alchemy’s partnering framework ensures a clear pathway for everyone involved to experience success. Alchemy’s people and culture transfer knowledge and provide a collaborative environment and tools for all parties to engage in a safe, visible and positive way.

 

Automation of buying a car

Automation of buying a car

The client situation

Our client is present in thirty three global markets and operate as a key strategic partner to the world’s foremost premium and luxury car brands providing an effective, well-financed and customer centred route to market for vehicles and parts. They operate across every link of the post-factory automotive value chain for our original equipment manufacturer partners, providing a highly efficient, customer-focused route to market that delivers shared rewards at every stage.

With digital disruption affecting every industry across the globe our client had to act to ensure their shift to a digital era and accelerate its plans to build and automate the purchase of a car online.

The challenge

Building on the Salesforce platform and automating a number of key processes Alchemy commenced a design phase to design and engineer the new car configurator – Key to the solution was the mapping of “to be” customer journeys to streamline and ultimately Automate the processes.

Alchemy were engaged to lead and design the new car configurator and the method of delivery and to suggest methods that could be quick wins to expedite delivery. We provided a complete plan to partner with our client to deliver the car configurator.

The plan involved two clear collaborations to ensure delivery. Both collaborations were hands on and within existing delivery team constructs to expedite knowledge transfer.

1. The utilisation of Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ as the delivery method to Automate processes and build the car configurator.

a. to map all to be customer journeys and map out processes to form the design of the build of the car configurator

b. to increase collaboration and ownership and involvement in the delivery of the projects by all global stakeholders

c. to align global sub solution integrators, customer and internal business and information technology delivery resources to a single method of delivery which could easily be communicated and utilised by the projects

d. to create a cadence for the project that allowed for the appropriate levels of engagement in rituals and also working time to achieve results

2. Provision of an Alchemy agile delivery squad to lead, oversee and coordinate all delivery of the global project.

a. squad included the following roles; agile portfolio lead, product owner, business analyst, process automation analyst and a UX designer

b. agile portfolio lead and product owner operated at the executive level of business and customers to ensure buy in and support

c. squad roles and responsibilities included the coaching and mentoring of all global solution integrators, customers and internal business and information technology delivery resources
The urgency of delivery required a priority to be placed on the unification of all delivery resources across multiple global locations and groups of stakeholders. The aim was to create a high performing team where people could work hard on focussed and clear tasks, enjoyed spending time together and felt part of a bigger purpose.

The solution

Building on the Salesforce platform and automating a number of key processes Alchemy commenced a design phase to design and engineer the new car configurator – Key to the solution was the mapping of “to be” customer journeys to streamline and ultimately Automate the processes.

Alchemy were engaged to lead and design the new car configurator and the method of delivery and to suggest methods that could be quick wins to expedite delivery. We provided a complete plan to partner with our client to deliver the car configurator.

The plan involved two clear collaborations to ensure delivery. Both collaborations were hands on and within existing delivery team constructs to expedite knowledge transfer.

1. The utilisation of Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ as the delivery method to Automate processes and build the car configurator.

a. to map all to be customer journeys and map out processes to form the design of the build of the car configurator

b. to increase collaboration and ownership and involvement in the delivery of the projects by all global stakeholders

c. to align global sub solution integrators, customer and internal business and information technology delivery resources to a single method of delivery which could easily be communicated and utilised by the projects

d. to create a cadence for the project that allowed for the appropriate levels of engagement in rituals and also working time to achieve results

2. Provision of an Alchemy agile delivery squad to lead, oversee and coordinate all delivery of the global project.

a. squad included the following roles; agile portfolio lead, product owner, business analyst, process automation analyst and a UX designer

b. agile portfolio lead and product owner operated at the executive level of business and customers to ensure buy in and support

c. squad roles and responsibilities included the coaching and mentoring of all global solution integrators, customers and internal business and information technology delivery resources

The urgency of delivery required a priority to be placed on the unification of all delivery resources across multiple global locations and groups of stakeholders. The aim was to create a high performing team where people could work hard on focussed and clear tasks, enjoyed spending time together and felt part of a bigger purpose.

The results

Alchemy successfully designed and delivered the new car configurator by utilising journey and process mapping to automate the online purchase of a car.

Alchemy’s hybrid agile method Ei5™ use ensured common language and understanding for the global team and stakeholders.

The executive team were delighted with the delivery approach and in particular the customer journeys and process maps. These key deliverables not only were utilised for the automation of process, marketing and dealerships also utilised the processes for key campaign and training capabilities.To that they were also impressed with the outcomes and praised the professionalism of the Alchemy team for driving delivery.

Today, the car configurator has enabled significant online sales growth, during a period where purchasers were physically limited from accessing the traditional car showrooms. It has provided customers with the ability, online, to choose their model and any options and accessories wanted, place a fully refundable minimum deposit of $1000 and then wait for a dealer to contact them to arrange delivery either at home or at the closest dealership.

Final thoughts

The Alchemy team have delivered a world class automated car configurator enabling shoppers to purchase a car online, and the Alchemy team now oversees the roll out of the new technology to the Latin America and Asian markets.

Alchemy’s successful leadership of the global team involved establishing a clear delivery plan and approach supported by the following Alchemy tools and techniques

  • Alchemy’s Continuous Improvement model – is designed to create a purpose fit effective plan to minimise the risk and disruption to people, current process and technology in order to create a climate for change, engage and enable stakeholders and implement and sustain new behaviours.
  • Alchemy’s Ei5™ method – designed to be engaging and clear for business and technology resources and identifies business ownership as critical to delivery success. The use of agile techniques, tools and rituals ensure that everyone understands their role and conflicts are resolved quickly.
  • Partnering Framework – Alchemy’s partnering framework ensures a clear pathway for everyone involved to experience success. Alchemy’s people and culture transfer knowledge and provide a collaborative environment and tools for all parties to engage in a safe, visible and positive way.

Alchemy’s key sponsor wrote “The Alchemy team have demonstrated digital leadership and know-how team to deliver the Australian car configurator. The automation of our process through the techniques Alchemy brought to the table have provided us with a powerful set of delivery tools and a configurator that we will roll out globally for our customers. Alchemy will lead the next roll outs to Latin America and Asia and we feel in safe and reliable hands for these implementations”