As lead developer for a large eBay retailer (top 10 in UK at the time), I was brought in to replace a WebForms solution which the company had outgrown. Among the challenges that the company were looking to solve were ways to improve the various business processes, and to have a software solution that drove these improvements. I built systems to handle warehouse and stock management, the fulfilment process from end to end, and multi-channel sales. In particular, I enjoyed being able to work directly with the owners of each business function and redesign processes.
As an example of this in practice, I worked with goods-in, transforming the process from something that needed the full time attention of 1 person with assistance from another into something that one person could easily handle within a couple of hours of each delivery before going on to other things. We identified that the existing model, which was that a Product had a single Location in the warehouse, was a major time drain, and switched to an algorithm where goods-in and fulfilment collaborated to rotate locations in a dynamic fashion, with stock constantly moving around the warehouse. The workflow had originally been to print out a list of locations, and manually match the product to location; we flipped that round, and introduced a mobile app, running on a handheld device, so that the worker would scan an item, and the next available location would be suggested. The picking/goods-in application was built as a HTML5 mobile application, which we ran on iPod Touch hardware, with Bluetooth barcode scanners.
Similarly, the dispatch process had previously been to print dispatch labels for products, and then to match products from a bin of picked items. The solution to this was to instead scan a picked item, which dispatch software would then assign to an order, and print out a label in real-time. This sweeping process change was able to both offer speed benefits and lower the error rate, as it became almost impossible to send wrong items. The dispatch station software was a WPF application, running on touchscreen PCs.
The main technologies used in this project were: C#, ASP.Net MVC, jQuery, Entity Framework, SQL Server, WPF