Hankkija is a nationwide store and service chain for agriculture-related products, machinery, hardware and gardening. Hankkija contacted Anders during spring 2018. We started the co-operation by hosting a workshop, where Hankkija’s digital needs were mapped. Even though Hankkija.fi is the largest agribusiness e-commerce and website in Finland, its livestock feed business was mainly handled manually, which took time from the salespeople.
Anders gave a proposal to digitalize the livestock feed business, which would minimize the manual work of the salespeople. After the workshop, our experts generated an idea of an application that is downloadable to smartphones. From the application, a contract customer can order their own livestock feed needs directly and renew their orders with just a few clicks.
We jumped a bit into the unknown with our developers, when we started developing a mobile application. Because of that, the first decisions on how to proceed were a bit hard to make. We used Anders experts’ know-how and experience to support our decisions and it’s now fair to say that all the suggested technical solutions were good. The collaboration also brought technical project lessons that will save euros in the next projects. In the future, we also intend to bring services from other business areas to the application.
- Marko Tapanainen, Sales Manager E-commerce of Hankkija
WHAT WAS DONE?
Hankkija already had working online store, so we decided to create the mobile application on top of that. This meant that mobile application share the same the purchases made with mobile application, as well as the open shopping cart. Connecting online store to mobile application required some work from Hankkija's team to create APIs to meet the mobile applications needs.
The task for Anders was then to create the mobile application. We chose technologies that were already used by Anders. TypeScript was chosen to be the language, and React and React Native to be libraries to develop the user interface and Redux to handle the application state.
Technically, the project was very interesting and special because it was done only on the front. We learned a lot of new things in the project and it was nice working with Hankkija's e-commerce developers.
- Risto Puolakainen & Jukka Riihimäki, Project Developers at Anders
The application is fully synchronized with Hankkija’s own e-commerce store, meaning that the application purchases, as well as the open shopping cart, are displayed in the e-commerce version on the browser.
Initially, the intention was to develop a prototype application for Hankkija, but eventually, it was decided to develop a complete application. As a result, the completing schedule was delayed, but the finished application was immediately made available for production. The application was built one functionality at a time to get the most complete product ready by the time limit, the Okra 2019 Agricultural Exhibition.
The co-operation with Hankkija was very smooth and professional. Developing in an agile manner was perfect for this project. Hankkija understood the value agility gave to the project and they had the needed commitment to have weekly sprint planning and review sessions. With the help of agile development, it was possible to develop both Hankkija’s interfaces and the application at Anders in parallel, so that new functionality was delivered to Hankkija for testing on a weekly basis.
- Jon Tarkiainen, COO of Anders
HOW DID THE COOPERATION GO?
Anders aims to be always very transparent, and in this project, too, the Slack message channel of the Hankkija’s contact people and the Anders development team was active. We try to avoid middlemen in projects, so the customers always have a technical expert to answer their questions.
The communication with the customer’s contacts went smoothly and Anders is really pleased with the result. The expansion of the livestock feed application to other business areas is being planned and cooperation will continue.
Anders' previous projects with Hankkija were related to website design and html coding. The good experiences from this project were the main reason why we chose them for our mobile application project. The application turned out to be what we wanted and the costs remained reasonably well in the original budget. The app marketing for our customers has begun, and in a year's time, we'll see if we've been able to move our livestock feed ordering routines into a high-quality mobile self-service channel.
- Heikki Rajamäki, Marketing Director of Hankkija