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screen.app

Next

A suite of enterprise apps to accelerate digital transformation and improve in-store systems for the UK’s largest clothing retailer.

Background & objectives

As the UK’s largest clothing retailer and with over 700 stores globally, efficient and effective stock management is key to Next’s ability to respond quickly to both consumer demands and market trends. In 2017 Next approached Screenmedia with a challenge: to help their 600-strong IT team develop a suite of Xamarin enterprise apps to radically transform their store management processes.

Next had already identified Xamarin as their platform of choice for developing their new suite of apps, and through a Microsoft recommendation chose Screenmedia as an experienced consulting partner to see the work through. Their key aim was to revolutionise the way they managed their stock in warehouses and stores through the use of connected technologies, cutting hours from their existing processes.

Xamarin
Consultancy

As Next were at the beginning of their Xamarin journey, we guided them on solution architecture, environment setup, and development methodology. Our mobile team worked closely with the team at Next over the course of 12 months to support them, transfer knowledge, add additional development velocity, and offer advice wherever needed. Thanks to our input, Next’s ambitious schedule for technology roll out was greatly accelerated, expediting the efficiency benefits Xamarin offers.

Adding Value With UX Optimisation

After our initial Xamarin consultancy, our multidisciplinary planning team embarked on a thorough UX audit, business requirements workshops, and data mapping exercises of the existing HHT solution to gain an understanding of the business and user requirements. From this we identified opportunities for improving the user experience through an improved screen layout, navigation signposting, and workflow guidance.

We then developed a series of screen wireframes and clickable prototypes to test our proposed UX, validate our data sources and integration points, and obtain feedback from the business and users. This allowed us to build a simple, clean, easy to follow UX that ensures a smooth and efficient delivery of the app functions in working code.

Beautiful User Interface Design

To bring the Next brand to life, the final user interface employs the same high standards of finish and style which can be seen on their customer facing applications. Taking care to deliver well laid out, clear, and easy to read screens with suitable instructions, feedback, and signposting; our team applied colour, texture, iconography, and

contrast to complete the high quality and stylish application. The resulting application is easy to use and by following best practice standards of UX/UI has resulted in significantly lower staff training costs through easier onboarding, reduced errors, and enhanced employee engagement.

In Store Functions

Our solution incorporates a mix of connected technologies and features to meet the demands of a modern, connected stock management and logistics environment.

Taking Mobile Further

RFID

Using a Zebra RFID sled in conjunction with the TC51 Android device over a Bluetooth connection, we allowed all RFID tagged items on the shop floor to be scanned at once, cutting stock inventory from hours to seconds, reducing error, and increasing overall accuracy.

Mobile Payment

Integrating a Miura mobile point of sale device with the Worldpay Total Mobile SDK allows the checkout process to be taken directly to the customer in any part of the store, reducing the length of queues and increasing potential sale conversion rate.

Bluetooth

Our app connected to the Zebra RFID sleds over a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection. This allowed workers to either attach their devices to the sled, or carry on working with the device in their pocket for faster stock scanning.

Our innovative approach to improving Next’s store management process led to Screenmedia becoming an approved Zebra Partnerconnect Independent Software Vendor (ISV). As a Zebra ISV, we collaborate to develop impactful solutions using Zebra’s broad range of innovative technologies.

Results

We are delighted to work with such a renowned and esteemed brand, and with such a fantastic team at Next. Our solution is now being rolled out across Next stores and warehouses.

500

Next stores

using our product

30k

Next employees

using our product

What the client said

"Screenmedia were instrumental in fast-tracking new capabilities into our teams, allowing us to provide the software solutions our business demanded. Their architecture, scoping, user experience and coaching capabilities gave us the confidence to make bold solution decisions and the skills to take the technology forward. The consultants were friendly, enthusiastic and practical throughout, allowing them to engage seamlessly with the delivery teams."
— Next IT

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