Mendix announced that Secrid, a company that designs and produces the next generation of wallets, has built a new supplier portal leveraging Mendix's low-code platform. The portal will help Secrid streamline processes with its 50 suppliers and provide transparency across inventory and planning. In just a decade, Secrid has grown from an innovative Dutch start-up to a globally known, multi-million-dollar company with products sold in 8,000 stores across 70 countries. The new supplier portal built with Mendix is fundamental for Secrid to optimize the production and logistics process and support further growth.
"We sell 1.5 million wallets in six different materials and hundreds of models annually," said Thomas Boogert, IT manager at Secrid. "Due to our enormous growth and a relatively complex product, it became increasingly difficult to efficiently manage the production process while providing insights for all parties involved."
Instead of having its own factory, Secrid works with 50 different suppliers to produce the wallets.According to Boogert, "We've deliberately set up this manufacturing process as our suppliers are real specialists and professionals. The leather must be ordered, then cut and stitched. Then the assembly is done in the social workplace, which is explicitly part of Secrid's social entrepreneurship. We control all of those processes in terms of time and quality. All our suppliers are based near our head office in The Hague (the Netherlands), so we are able to keep our footprint as low as possible."
Lack of transparency challenge in supply chain
The management of this extensive supplier model and production process was based on Excel. This made it very hard to provide everyone involved with the transparency and insights required to make the process as efficient as possible. Also, since Secrid's wallets are produced from leather, the company simply can't predict if the whole piece of leather is suitable for use and lives up to the high quality standards. Therefore, Secrid only knows late in the production process what they actually have available for sale. This situation logically presented many challenges for planning and financial insights. There was also the risk of inventory management issues as products could run out of stock, which would endanger a smooth customer experience.
To find the best solution to their problem, Secrid met with their Mendix-partner Appronto. Together, they already developed the Promotional Sales Portal of Secrid, had an impressive track record in digitizing business processes with low-code technology and had successfully completed various other low-code projects at Secrid. Together with UX studio ALL THIS, Appronto and Secrid designed and built the Supplier Portal based on the Mendix low-code platform.
The process involved both developers and business owners to ensure the solution would meet the requirements. As it needed to be easy for all suppliers involved to use the solution, user experience was paramount during development. Furthermore, Appronto applied the mobile-first principle so that the use of the portal would be location agnostic and very flexible.
Mobile-first portal provides great user experience
"Mendix was the first low-code supplier to introduce support for building true native mobile apps," said Bas van der Horst, managing director at Appronto. "This has put Appronto at the forefront of innovation and enables us to deliver low-code solutions with an even greater user experience. With the Secrid Supplier Portal, we've created a reliable platform with very fast interaction. Secrid and its suppliers can now work together more efficiently and easily by sharing continuous insight, information and knowledge. There is only one portal that delivers the right insights so everyone works with a single version of the truth."
A valuable part of the project at Secrid was the integration with NetSuite. Appronto has fully integrated this SaaS ERP-system with every component in the value chain: from webshop, to payment, production, warehousing, logistics, et cetera. The total amount of messages processed is between 300,000 - 400,000 per day.
"I'm thrilled to see what the portal is offering us in terms of transparency in stock and planning and how it enables us to improve cooperation in the supply chain," said Boogert. "We now have access to insights that help us make the right decisions every single day. We can instantly see when something is getting in the way of providing our customers with the product they've ordered."
As complexity in the supply chain will only increase in the future with new suppliers and other materials, Secrid needs to keep this process highly structured in order to meet customer demand and to safeguard customer satisfaction. By making a complicated situation simple with the Secrid Supplier Portal, the company is now able to manage an increasingly complex situation.
"This is the only way we can grow through the scale-up phase. With our Supplier Portal based on Mendix, we can now confidently say that we are ready for the next decade of growth," Boogert said.