Transportation / E-commerce

Company size

10+ employees

Services we provided

UI / UX Design

Mobile app development

Magento development


  • Magento

  • Android

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The client

JMPB Parts / Onderdelen is a leader in selling moped parts online throughout Europe and the USA.

The challenge

Their (order) growth was proven to be difficult to keep up when it comes to picking their orders. The whole process was also done manually and using a lot of paper. This combination resulted in many errors and orders being shipped incorrectly.

The owner’s wish was to improve their efficiency in their picking process to support their (fast) growth and prevent them to having to move to a bigger warehouse.

Our solution

Our solution was to create a custom mobile application that could run on Zebra scanner devices. This mobile application is directly connected to their Magento webshop to ensure data is directly processed.

The mobile application is a native Android application with the possibility to enable and disable functionality remotely based on the user that is currently using the app. Ensuring that the pickers only see the functionality they need to do their work.

Daily orders320
Avg products picked per day210
Order pickers11
Products in Magento12K
Home screen of the e-commerce scanner app on a Zebra scanner device
Custom mobile app to automate the picking process

The app has been built from scratch, ensuring that we could translate the day to day activities in the warehouse into a user friendly app with logical steps. The goal of the app is to reduce the time needed to complete their tasks.

For example, the previous order picking flow was:

  1. Print out the picking slip from the admin environment of Magento.

  2. Print out the address label from the admin environment of Magento.

  3. Walk through the warehouse with the paper in your hand and pick the products.

  4. Write on the picking slip how many products have been picked.

  5. When all products are picked, put them in a box.

  6. Go through the pile of address labels and stick the correct one on the box.

  7. Place the box on the correct pallet for delivery.

After having built the app the flow is now as follows:

  1. Click on the 'Picking' feature in the app.

  2. The products are shown on the screen that need to be picked (with the amounts and location within the warehouse). The products are already sorted based on the most efficient route.

  3. Scan the QR codes on the shelf to register that you've picked the product. The app checks that you've picked the correct amount of items per product.

  4. When done picking, put the products in the box and press on the 'Print address label' button in the app.

  5. The address label is printed on a Zebra printer and can be placed on the box.

  6. The box is placed on the pallet to be shipped.

It's clear that the process is much less error prone, steps are more intuitive, extra checks are built-in in the app to double check everything is going fine and no paper is wasted!

Multiple screens of the e-commerce scanner app
All based on human centered design and great developent
All based on human centered design and great developent
Improved efficiency

Not only the picking process has been automated and implemented within the app, but many more flows have been incorporated into the app to ensure that all the tedious manual work is simplified.

A couple of flows that are also possible within the app are:

  • Update (incoming) stock amounts by scanning barcodes
  • Update the locations of products within the warehouse
  • Quickly update stock levels by going through the warehouse and scanning barcodes
  • Add products to the 'to order' list
  • Process backlog orders by showing the orders that can be completed when new products have arrived

.. and many more flows!

What we implemented:

The app on the Zebra scanners is a native Android app which is directly connected to the API of the Magento 2 store on which runs. A custom-made extension has been built within Magento to extend the standard Magento API with extra endpoints to facilitate the different flows that are available within the app.

The extension is built in such a way that any future updates to Magento will not break the connection between Magento and the app (we don't want the picking process to stop because of a Magento update...).

An ACL ( access control list ) structure has been implemented within the app so that the standard permissions and rights that are configurable in the admin environment of Magento can be used to determine which users are allowed to use specific functionality within the app. No need for an app update or hard coded configuration, the permissions can be configured from a browser!

The Zebra printers are connected to the same network as the Zebra scanners. There are 3 printers available in the warehouse: one to print the address labels, another to print the order labels and another to print product labels. Each printer prints different sized labels. Anybody using the scanner can walk through the warehouse and print a label wirelessly to reduce waiting time at the printer.

Currently 10+ pickers use the app at the same time, the API is optimized to support this, and the connections to the printers are built in such a way that all the scanners can communicate to the same printers.

Direct connection to Magento’s API

It was a requirement to have realtime information available in the app. To ensure this we had to make a direct communication between the app and the Magento API.

This setup reduces the chances of having conflicting orders, incorrect stock amounts and orders that are already being picked by somebody else.

The extension is built in such away to allow for Magento updates.

Paperless communication

Not only the whole process has been made simpler by using the app, but no paper is involved during any of the flows the app supports. All the necessary information is available on the screen of the app. If anything needs to be printed then this can be done from the app to the Zebra printers.

The app is not only good for the efficiency of the business but also for the environment!

JMPB Onderdelen visitor location with several classic mopeds parked in front
JMPB Onderdelen warehouse where classic moped parts are stacked
close up image of classic mopeds in front of the JMPB Onderdelen location
E-commerce scanner app home screen on Zebra scanner device
E-commerce scanner app product scanner screen for order picker
The result

To ensure that the app we were developing actually fits within the customer's process we regularly travelled to their locations to test out our theories and the app itself. It was important to document how the process looked like originally to ensure that all the necessary steps were translated into the app and (also very important) the steps that could be skipped were automated within the app (for example placing products on the 'to order' list).

On a regular basis we were asking questions like 'Why do you need to do this?' and 'Can this be done in a different way?' and 'Would it be OK to change the steps and allow the system to this for you?', etc. These questions were paramount to ensure that the app to be built a) fits within their business process as much as possible but also more importantly b) reduces the time it takes to do these tasks.

The customer needed some convincing in the beginning to start changing the way they worked, but in hindsight they're very happy with the results!

"We're very happy with the end result. We should have done this earlier! Previously it took us a couple of days to onboard new employees. Now, with the app new employees are fully operational and can start processing orders within hours!"

Martijn Beniers

- Owner

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