It’s funny. My wife made me go through all my old computer books a few years ago, and I finally decided to throw out all my Perl books from the late 90’s. Imagine my surprise when we got a call asking if we had a team of 5 developers who knew Perl. Their internal team and consultants had been struggling to launch the latest version of their site for the past 14 months with no end in sight. It was (obviously) an old custom platform written years ago that hadn’t been designed with modern technologies in mind. The project had suffered from the usual delays and scope creep, but they didn’t have an end in sight until they called HyperProductive. We launched to production 6 weeks after we hit the ground.
They were 2 years into an “8 month project”. The teams’ estimates put them at another two years before launch, but no one even believed those numbers. The CIO was asking those 3am existential questions - wondering if the problem was the technology choice and platform. They’d invested heavily in IBM’s products, so they called in HyperProductive to do an evaluation of the architecture. We took a look around, and said, Sure. You can get there from here, but you’re not really using what you’ve bought. Our architects spent a few weeks putting together documentation, training plans, example code, etc. We started off just doing code reviews and technical leadership of an army of offshore developers, but eventually jumped in with some development ourselves. (The Ballad of John Henry came to mind). We launched to production in 6 months.
Have you ever held a USB hard drive that contained hundreds of millions of dollars of mortgages? That’s how we once received data from a mortgage servicer client of ours. Their acquisition process involved hiring an army of temps to sift through the documents and import them into their central systems. That process took six months, and was the single biggest bottleneck constricting their company growth. HyperProductive created a custom configurable pattern recognition engine and automated their ingestion process for a 300% increase in growth capacity.
The seasonal Planogram process took all night to run, and half the time it errored out which meant the planning team lost the precious day. We stepped in to fix the errors, and along the way optimized the performance to run in minutes what used to take over 24 hours. Instead of pulling levers and tweaking configuration settings and then waiting days for an answer, the planners could make their changes, click a button, and get their answer in the time it took to grab a coffee. The new method of planning revolutionized the way they thought about their work, and gave the team the latitude and flexibility to really get creative in ways they hadn’t dared to experiment before.
Sometimes the simplest things make a big difference. Like “search”. One of our clients had a product catalog with over 2 million distinct items. Implementing and tuning the right search functionality on their site led to a 16% increase in average cart size.
Excel can be a great way to capture sales numbers and try different what-if scenarios...for one person. When you want to standardize sales growth strategies across hundreds of salespeople and thousands of accounts, sharing excel files just doesn’t scale. Moving 80+% of sales into a shared web-based application with a familiar worksheet UI enabled a consistent set of sales growth strategies, growing sales volumes across accounts of all sizes. Smaller “Mom & Pop” accounts had a 15% bump in volume with no additional sales resources assigned.
In the real world, businesses need software to do things that even the original software creator never imagined. Our client bought a software package that did three things very well: rich data visualization on mobile devices without a constant network connection, fast transfer of data to thousands of users using limited bandwidth, and deep interaction with any number of backend systems. According to the vendor, the system could really only do one of those things at a time. We engineered a solution to use all three, securely and efficiently transmitting data with 12,000 users of a beautiful cross-platform, occasionally connected mobile application.
There was an army of 12,000 part time workers responsible for stocking inventory across North America. We built an Android tablet app that managed workflow, scanned product, and directed merchandising, then synced it all back to HQ. From there the data integrated into SAP CRM, knowledge management training videos, legacy mainframe, and custom databases. Layered analytics across all those data sources to create executive dashboarding that drove process improvement and optimize workflow in the store. That solution drove a 27% decrease in time spent in the store - equating to $5.4MM in real savings each year. They had a complete return on investment in under two years.
“You Saved Us $3,000,000 This Year” Every technology has a lifespan. Every company needs to plan around that fact. Sometimes things start “dying” sooner than expected, though. Suddenly a planned refresh could turn into a panic-driven, expensive, decision. In a brainstorming session straight from Apollo 13, we found an “off the wall” solution to extend the life of the technology and keep the planned refresh on schedule and in line with the overall technology strategy. In other words, our collaboration with the client prevented a $3,000,000 unplanned expense.
Sometimes, getting tons of data from Excel into an advanced CAD system into another requires an army of temp workers and a few months added to your project. Sometimes, though, it requires digging deep into technical manuals and automating the entire process. Once we showed the client our proof of concept, they held off on the temp agency and reduced the project timeline by 2 months, converting what they thought was a 25% “loss leader” project into over 30% in profit.