indieDirect Market Place Development

Datahub, java, javascript, spring, work

Project Brief

IndieDirect was a new online marketplace, connecting grocery suppliers, and independent retailers across Australia.

We focused on designing and building a true customer experience by providing Metcash seamless integration with all their online instances. We aimed to help unify their experience platforms, without disrupting their large customer basis.

Who is Metcash

Metcash is Australia’s leading wholesale distribution and marketing company with sales of over $14 billion in FY17. The company distributes and markets groceries, fresh produce, alcoholic beverages, hardware, and other consumer goods via a range of supermarkets and convenience stores.


FAIR Consulting Group was engaged to help design and build a dynamic commerce marketplace for customers and suppliers.

We have provided value in the following areas:

1. We designed and built an exceptionally efficient supplier portal in the commerce marketplace that way easy to use and maintain. The marketplace was designed to allow suppliers to upload products, promote and market these products to the customers of Metcash

2. We designed and built a customer portal in the commerce marketplace where the customers can purchase the products from different suppliers in one central location.

3. We automated Order Negotiation process between Supplier and Customer.

4. The creation of custom offers and promotions from the supplier for different products.

5. Full and partial invoicing of orders implementation.

6. Back-end integration with Tibco.

7. Front-end development.

The Challenge

Metcash had strategised to implement a digital marketplace to provide a convenient and uniform platform for their suppliers and retailers, called IndieDirect. Historically, Metcash’s dealers and retailers had to rely on manual processes and operational activities for Charge Through. During the implementation of the solution, Metcash was facing a race against the time. They were unable to deliver a concrete and incremental solution due to the absence of a standard and collaborative software development methodology along with lack of a scalable and clean codebase.

As the project was focused on digital transformation of legacy processes, it required an agile development approach along with a more clean and scalable codebase for a quicker turnaround time to introduce changes and to accommodate continuously evolving business requirements.

When FAIR Consulting Group was brought in, Metcash needed to establish a robust agile development culture in the project. Furthermore, they enlisted FAIR to enhance the frontend development processes, by introducing a scalable and optimized code structure. The end objective was to get the IndieDirect platform up and running with minimum further delays.

FAIR's Solution

With a strong end to end agile development experience, FAIR’s eCommerce consultants actively assisted the delivery team in implementing a robust agile development framework. Additionally, our frontend consultants conducted exhaustive workshops with the CX teams and business owners and amalgamated their knowledge with the business vision.

Due to the active involvement and interest from the customer, effective awareness of some well known agile development tools and methodology could be introduced to the project delivery team.

The workshops with the business and CX teams gave us practical insights to the experience Metcash wanted to offer to their end customers. This aided in developing roughly 75% of the UI components for IndieDirect portal. Thanks to the newly optimized agile development framework, this feat was achieved within a few months of the start of our engagement. Subsequently, the new UI components further reduced the required efforts for frontend development. Additionally, with our thorough investigation of the existing code base, we reduced the code for the cascading style sheets by almost 50%, hence making the entire codebase further scalable.

Value Added

Our approach helped Metcash to establish a rich and scalable UI component library to expedite the development of the frontend. Metcash could see the enhanced productivity of the delivery team and could further gauge a more precise estimation of their capacity. Our optimization work will reduce their future costs for maintaining and supporting the application. Most importantly, the IndieDirect digital marketplace will help Metcash to establish a strong network of suppliers and retailers to effectively stay ahead of their competitors.

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