Executive summary Executive summary
Boohoo Group is a British online fashion retailer. The business specializes in own-brand fashion clothing with over 36,000 products. Boohoo Group owns 13 market-leading brands, such as boohoo, boohooMAN, Karen Millen, Nasty Gal, PrettyLittleThing, Coast, Misspap, Oasis, Warehouse, Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins, and Debenhams. The company is headquartered in Manchester and operates in the UK, Turkey, USA, France, and Italy.
The company experienced significant growth due to the rapid acquisition of other retailers. They needed to modernize several internal systems that were used for warehouse management and tax calculation to remain efficient. Additionally, they aimed to automate data processing which was done manually and often caused discrepancies and issues in product tracking.
N-iX team has completed multiple PoCs of future solutions to prove the feasibility of the client’s ideas, ensure a smooth project kickoff, and establish an effective development process.
By developing several new solutions, as well as optimizing and modernizing the tech stack of existing internal systems, N-iX helped Boohoo Group decrease the amount of required manual work, boost business efficiency, and reduce operational expenses associated with several legacy solutions.
Success story in detail
The Boohoo Group grew very fast by acquiring several leading fashion retailers in the UK. Therefore, the company needed to expand its development capabilities fast to scale its software products. The client was using multiple separate systems for warehouse management and tax calculations. This caused data discrepancies and made product tracking more challenging. Moreover, a lot of data was stored in Excel files and had to be processed manually, which slowed down the client’s operations and caused additional expenses. Hence, Boohoo Group needed to boost their efficiency by modernizing the existing solutions and automating manual processes.
Tax management service
Previously, the client used multiple systems for tax management calculations, which led to data discrepancies. The N-iX team has developed a tax management service that calculates taxes and import/export duties for products purchased abroad and delivered to/from the UK. The newly developed solution serves as a single source of truth as it aggregates and manages all tax calculations. It also complies with the import and export regulations set by HMRC (Her Majesty's Regulations and Customs).
Stock reconciliation service
We have also developed a stock reconciliation service that aggregates data from multiple warehouse management systems. This prevents data issues and simplifies product tracking across multiple warehouses. The service provides accurate insight into the status of each product with information about whether it is lost, defective, sent to a customer, etc.
Gift certificate management system
The client’s PHP-based gift certificate management system was used to create, approve and confirm gift certificates. The solution caused significant operational expenses, as it was stored on servers that functioned and were charged 24/7. N-iX has rewritten the system from PHP to Node.js AWS Lambda Functions, as it is charged only based on the number of requests for functions and the time when the code is executed. As a result, the client can significantly reduce their operational costs.
Additionally, we have completed front-end development of the web-based gift certificate management system using React. This helped remove the extra manual work that was required due to the lack of a UI. We have also used AWS Amplify to build, ship, and host the application on AWS, which removes the need for server hosting and, as a result, helps save maintenance expenses.
AI-powered fraud detection
N-iX has developed a PoC of an AI-based AWS fraud detector to prevent losses caused by fraud. AI learns from the input data sent by our developers to the detector. For real-time fraud detection, our engineers call the Amazon Fraud Detector with the transaction data. An AI program analyzes the transaction for fraud and displays the percentage of fraud probability of real sales orders from customers.
Our team has helped the client improve the performance of several internal systems by modernizing their tech stack to the latest version of PHP and updating the Laravel open-source web PHP framework. We have also decreased the CPU load from 90% to less than 50% and decreased the number of instances created on the Supervisor process control system.
Furthermore, N-iX has performed database optimization by providing data profiling, which included examination, analysis, and review of data. This optimization helped free up more space in AWS S3 and cut associated maintenance costs. Moreover, it has doubled the database performance, which was especially important during high sale periods such as Black Friday, Halloween, and Christmas.
Additionally, we have integrated the client’s internal product management system with third-party studio management software. Namely, we have added stock import and stock export functionalities to enable quick inventory level updates of multiple stock-tracked items in both systems. We have also made sure that the product statuses are consistent across the two platforms and the database.
Lastly, we have fixed unit tests on several client services and implemented an automated launch of unit tests on GitHub Actions every time the changes are pushed into the code repository, streamlining the development process.
Through comprehensive tech stack modernization, database optimization, development of new services and solutions, and third-party software integration, N-iX has helped Boohoo Group gain a wide range of advantages:
- Reduced maintenance costs of multiple product management systems by aggregating all product-related data in one system;
- Increased customer satisfaction by providing accurate information about product availability with automated product tracking in warehouses;
- Reduced operational costs by 10-fold with the migration of the gift certificate management system from servers to AWS Lambda Functions;
- Decreased expenses caused by fraud with an AI-driven Fraud Detection solution;
- Increased efficiency and data accuracy by automating tax and import duty calculations for the products imported to the UK;
- Increased database performance, enabling uninterrupted service during high-load periods such as holiday sales.