How Catch Group cut vendor on-boarding from 3 weeks to 1.7 days

Catch has grown rapidly over the past 10 years but our systems haven’t kept pace. We wanted a business process management and workflow solution that could be leveraged to improve the whole business.”

Russell Proud, General Manager, Operations, Catch Group
 
 

Move fast or miss out

It is the nature of a daily deal site like Catch to move fast. That 60% off deal you saw yesterday? It could be gone by tomorrow. The palpable fear of missing out that Catch creates is in part thanks to vendors who have limited stock or a tight deadline on a discount. 

So customers aren’t the only ones who need to be expeditious if they want to nab that hot offer. For Catch to provide the best deals on the best products, they need to get the vendor on board fast, and make the most of the offer or the stock while it lasts. 

With an old system relying on antiquated paper-based processes to sign up vendors, Catch was seeing bottlenecks in the vendor journey which caused delays and missed opportunities. It was time to speed things up and Catch turned to The Lightning Platform to see them fast out of the blocks and off at pace.

 
 

PDFs, printing and pigeon holes

The old way of on-boarding vendors at Catch involved a drawn out process of passing papers, spreadsheets and PFDs back and forth. Vendors would have to print out a hard copy of the on-boarding form, fill it out by hand, and scan and email it back to Catch’s buying team. 

It would get printed again, walked down the hallway and left in the relevant pigeon hole at the legal department. Some days after that, it would eventually find its way to accounts, where the data would be manually entered into the ERP system. If there were errors, or clarifications required from the vendor, the whole process would begin again. 

“And in the meantime,” says Russell Proud, “the vendor is sitting on stock they want to sell and we want to buy.”

 
 

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User stories set the scene

Getting financial approval and stakeholder engagement to build a vendor on-boarding app and solve this cumbersome process was not hard. 

“The team was crying out for assistance,” says Proud. “Everyone could see this was a challenge that needed to be addressed.”

Initial discussions between the small team assigned to developing a solution and Mav3rik, a Salesforce implementation partner, identified the high-level issues at stake. User stories were then created to really drill down into the specific problems that needed solving. This meant the team members who had close experience with the on-boarding process were given the opportunity to relay those experiences in detail to a captive audience whose mission it would be to create new and better narratives.

Knowledge capital becomes part of the deal

The Catch team had little experience in integrating platforms and functions. So, even while using an implementation partner, building knowledge and skills within the team was a priority. 

“We didn’t want to be reliant on someone who’s never set foot in the building,” says Proud. 

To upskill staff during the creation of the vendor on-boarding app, Salesforce’s open training platform Trailhead and the Mav3rik team proved to be essential tools in overcoming this challenge. 

“Trailhead helped alleviate the roadblocks associated with upskilling the team,” Proud explains. “It was a really valuable resource.” 

From three weeks to less than two days

From standing start to roll out, the app took 3.5 months to build and has reduced the vendor on-boarding process from two or three weeks to 1.7 days. The feedback from internal teams – finance, legal and buying – has been overwhelmingly positive as staff once preoccupied with manual data entry have been redeployed to higher-value tasks. 

The automation and streamlining of the on-boarding process has allowed the business to scale without the need for additional resources. With the vendor journey made shorter and swifter, products and offers can get to site faster. The only way for Catch is up.

 
 

Recipe

 

App

Catch Partner Portal

Ingredients

Lightning Platform for internal users

Lightning External Apps (LEA) for external users (vendors)

Lightning flow

User stories

Development team

Internal persona - buyer

External persona - vendor

Method

 

Bring your challenge to the table so you can be clear on what you’re trying to achieve.

 

Define your key personas and put together persona-based user stories and journeys so that you build solutions around these.

 

Start solutioning

Cook up a data model - this represents what information you need to capture in Salesforce

Align and integrate with anything that sits externally. In Catch’s case it was Sage and DocuSign

Identify your components - what’s already available and what needs to be custom built

 

Get your team involved and allocate tasks to build out the solution – the team should work in an agile way, breaking tasks down into two to three-week sprint cycles so quick wins can be released and you can iterate fast.

 

Choose who should be doing the user acceptance testing and get feedback – make sure the people who will be using the system on a regular basis are the ones performing user acceptance.

 

Deploy your app.

 

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