The Challenge

As New Zealand’s largest grocery organisation, the Foodstuffs cooperatives (Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island) deliver exceptional customer experiences via the New World, Four Square and Pak’n Save supermarket brands. Through research and trials and under the leadership of Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin, the team was seeking to create a breakthrough digital experience for their customers. The leadership team focused on delivering a mobile-first shopping delivery platform to help their customers shop on-the-go for delivery or pick up in store.

Foodstuffs has invested significantly in enterprise systems over many years, helping the business efficiently manage their complex operations. Their major competitor had already been providing online shopping for nearly 10 years. Taking the lead for the co-ops, Foodstuffs North Island realised that to deliver an online shopping experience, they would have to integrate 17 internal systems including core SAP.

Foodstuffs then needed to find a partner who could perform the required integration in a manner that would allow Foodstuffs to move quickly and compete in the competitive world of online grocery distribution.

Foodstuffs North Island realised they needed a modern, digital architecture and CD pipeline to service the business. ClearPoint was able to bring their experience in Continuous Delivery and complex systems integration.

The Solution

Foodstuffs realised they needed a modern, digital architecture with best practice software engineering to service the business. The key to fast-paced, accurate modern engineering is automation with global trends pointing Foodstuffs firmly in the direction of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) practices.

Clearpoint were appointed as a partner to Foodstuffs based on their ability to provide expertise in:

  • Decoupled over monolithic architecture
  • Independently deployable components
  • Architect for testability (easy)
  • Architect for monitoring (easy)
  • Architect for accountability (easy)

ClearPoint were responsible for constructing the Experience Services (experiences dealing with the app) and Core Services (project services). The Continuous Delivery solution was also built from scratch including:

  • Full end-to-end architecture design including Microservices based approach to facilitate multi-digital channels
  • Container based development, deployment and management (Kubernetes)
  • Deployment of autoscaling Infrastructure as code (tech enabler)
  • Design and implementation of CICD pipelines on cloud native infrastucture (tech enabler)
  • Engineering culture including rapid recovery techniques, test automation, contract first development and centralised logging and monitoring

ClearPoint worked within Foodstuffs’ agility model and had three cross-functional scrum teams of Experience Owners, Developers, Test Automation engineers and DevOps.

ClearPoint built a customer continuous delivery dashboard for monitoring the system and managing the change releases, as well as all the infrastructure changes that go through it. This enabled Foodstuffs tech teams to monitor and manage the services in real-time and ClearPoint integrated their development teams into the organisation’s team to upskill on the platform – enabling a smooth handover and the ability for Foodstuffs to run everything self-sufficiently.

ClearPoint worked within Foodstuffs’ Agile model and had three cross-functional scrum teams of Experience Owners, Developers, Test Automation engineers and DevOps.

The Outcome

  • Enabled online ordering across a complex franchise structure, including the extension of ordering services across channels – including all the supermarket brands.
  • The system can change and adapt to clients feedback quickly, enabling new features to be added faster, as well as being more agile, robust, safer and faster.
  • Positive customer reviews with regards to scalability, response times and production issues.
  • Has provided Foodstuffs with more insights around customer behaviours.
  • All of the events services (actions taken by customers) go into a data lake to be used for future reporting, machine learning and analytics.
  • Growth in revenue and increased customer engagement and loyalty.

Tech Points

  • Continuous delivery
  • CD pipeline
  • Microservices architecture (tech enabler)
  • Cloud native (tech enabler)
  • Containerisation (kubernetes – future of cloud apps)
  • Infrastructure as code (tech enabler)
  • Test automation
  • Rapid recovery culture
  • Contract first development
  • Centralised logging and monitoring
  • Data lake