The Collectiv Food Hub

The Goal

To create a client-facing responsive web app to allow Collectiv Food’s customers place, manage and track their own orders. The app must feed directly into the Order Management System (OMS).

The Biggest Challenge

The timing of this project presented some key challenges. We went into development during the nationwide lockdown in late spring, 2020. As our users are all in the heavily impacted hospitality and foodservice sector, we were faced with severely restricted access for user testing and research. This was also the fist project our team executed from start to finish working remotely.

The Final Product

A working MVP allowing our existing customers to take ownership of their account, add team members, view and manage orders, and view the details of their delivery locations.

The Key Lessons

Working fully remote from the outset was a learning curve, much of the ideation which would normally have been conducted in workshops or at a whiteboard had to be transferred to video calls and digital whiteboarding. The change in energy in these sessions was a shock to me.

Some of the key members of our commercial team who could share valuable insight on our customers, and arrange interviews and testing were furloughed, and so unavailable. Taking any opportunities available to deepen or broaden knowledge of our users has been key.

Business objectives

In March 2020 the way Collectiv Food (and the rest of the world) operated changed overnight with the nationwide lockdown and global restrictions imposed to limit the spread of COVID 19. After the initial shift to remote working, it was an opportunity to reassess our objectives as a business, and our product roadmap for the foreseeable future.

Our business objective of removing manual processes and implementing automation in our order management system drove the development of our proprietary client facing app, the Collectiv Food Hub. The app would allow our existing customers to place and manage orders directly through our app, and track the status of their order, something not currently available in point of sales systems like Comtrex or FnBShop. The app would feed order data directly into our Order Management System.

As a stretch goal we also aimed to integrate with our customers’ existing point of sales systems. The app and the integration would significantly reduce manual processes from the operations team.