Rapid Response Supply Chain 

Acosta Suply Chain Reporting

12+ Excel spreadsheets do not equal a perfected analytics and reporting tool.

Objective

Holistic Inventory Understanding
Individual SKU Tracking
Language-Based Recommendation
Export Ability

Challenges

Challenge

Convoluted Current System
Short Timeline

My Role

UX
UI
Interaction Design


Dashboard process 02

Initial Ask

"We need to track our product's individual effectiveness, and to take the appropriate actions when things aren't going the way they should.

Problem: Phantom inventory issues are going unnoticed and unresolved creating a loss of revenue and a sense of distrust between us and the client.

For consumer goods companies (and really businesses at large) it's no secret that understanding how your products are performing and how many of them you have allocated to specific projects, promotions, or events is an important piece of data. This tool specifically needed to provide Operations Managers (our primary user role) with 1. Information and insights into their about the status of their products and promotions and 2. Affordances to take necessary actions to level up their products performance.

The Info Gathering Process

A Six-Part Endevour

Data Extraction: EPOS is extracted from retailer portals in various formats.

Data Processing: EPOS is transformed into a uniform format and loaded into the database.

Granular Forecasting:  A sales forecast is calculated.

Inventory: At a store and SKU level, Inventory is measured and compared against sales forecasts and replenishment profile. 

Alerts Generated: Alerts are generated when stores do not have efficient stock to cover sales. These will form exports that will be sent directly to the retailer.

Stock Replenished: Stock is delivered from distribution centers. Sales are tracked against expected and optimal performance. 

More Than Just Data

Having a relatively straightforward deliverable, I wanted to not only develop what our initial ask was, but to push the idea further to generate increased actions, insights, and results using action-based language as a tool.

(For a look at what sparked this line of thinking and direction, you can check out an excellent Automated Insights Case Study study on the power of language to understand data)

Persona Buildout

User Role Dashboard 03

This is Linda. She is an Operations Manager overseeing products going in and out of promotions. To do her job well she needs to be able to understand trends within her ecosystem and act on them accordingly when necessary. 

Context: Familiar with digital assistance, fast mover, efficient worker, deep diver, likes to see the context of any given situation.

Characteristics: Checks in with clients frequently, peruses data multiple times a day, plans her day ahead of time.

Criteria: Efficiency, filterable data, configurable information not customed builds, everything that can be available should be available. 

Considerations: Easy access to actions, ability to be proactive, not reactive.

Experience Mapping

To aid Operations Managers in their information gathering this tool needed to supply information immediately; reducing click numbers was a top priority. By nesting actions inside of screens and combining a tab-based navigation system inside of an "exoskeleton" of global actions, we built out a system that was intentionally simplistic. 

Dashboard experience map 01

Jumping Off Point

To aid in our venture, the business supplied us with a mockup of some data and content that they wished to be able to view on the main dashboard, as well as several Excel spreadsheets of data. While they were not pretty, they did provide us with a baseline for the ELP (Earliest Lovable Product) and a path moving forward.

Using the UI Toolkit I created for the team, I developed several different passes at how we could present this information.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 10.00.56 PM
Desktop HD
Dashboard 05
Dashboard 03
Dashboard 01 Dark

Design Critique

Only a day after our initial ask had been delivered, I was able to present 5  versions of the main dashboard to the UX and team at large; this got folks very excited, which is always fun in critiques. 

There were a lot of good insights, I'll name a few below:

1. The light version was our performing the dark in overall readability. 

2. The SKU information needed to be presented like a table, for increased scanability and understanding.

3. We needed to push the "language over data" theme further.

4. Blue = Clickable     Green = Good     Red = Needs Help

Features

Increased Visibility

We always wanted to make sure that no functions and information was hidden, hard to discover, or had to interpret. By placing hover actions and making all click states a consistent blue, we are reducing the likelihood of mistakes or misinterpretations.

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 10.47.20 PM
Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 10.50.15 PM

Export Scheduling

The information stored in these databases changes quite frequently, so to reduce the number of clicks it takes to export and deliver the information, we built in a scheduling feature to aid our users. 

 

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Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 11.12.54 PM

Language-Based Insights

Not that we're excited about the possibility of introducing an updated way of presenting insights to our users, but everywhere we could we used language instead of numbers. We also injected helpful micro-copy when we deemed necessary to provide even more language-based assistance. 

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 10.48.08 PM
Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 10.49.27 PM

Next Steps

This project is currently in the hands of the business stakeholders, and once a few other things fall into line it will go into production. Check back for updates!

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