Founded by the Geary family in the early 1980s, Pallas Foods is one of Ireland’s leading foodservice providers in Ireland, providing an extensive range of locally sourced and international products. Over 950 people work there, servicing over 9,000 customers with a portfolio featuring more than 14,500 products. Pallas’ key customers include foodservice and retail businesses such as cafés, fast food outlets and ethnic restaurants.
They are committed to helping customers succeed and are innovative in their adoption of new trends and opportunities. Recognising the convenience and efficiency of an e-commerce offering, they wanted to build an online order and collect facility. Known as Click and Collect, this portal would enable their customers to order products and arrange pick-up, at a time that suited their business. Customers would be able to select their own pick-up time and day, paying online or paying with cash on collection.
Click and Collect represented a huge opportunity for Pallas; it offered their customers greater control and flexibility, both highly attractive features in an industry where stock management and consistent cash flow are especially important.
Click and Collect is the 21st century version of a Cash and Carry. In this sense, it would revolutionise the way customers had been doing business with Pallas up until this point. This new Click and Collect site was effectively expanding the brand into a new vertical.
Earning customer trust in this new portal was key. The site had to be easy-to-use, intuitive and fully responsive. Pallas wanted its customers to embrace this technology and adopt it as part of their procurement routine.
From a technical perspective, the new site had to integrate fully with the Pallas ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV. It also had to be robust enough to allow for over 3,000 product lines by launch.
This was very much a collaborative project – we worked alongside the project team in Pallas to continually shape and refine the end solution.
Firstly, we met a cross-section of their customers throughout Ireland to carry out user experience research. This allowed us to understand who their customers are, and the context in which they would be using Click and Collect. This process enabled us to establish the customer journey online, from registration through to shopping, reordering and a simple checkout process.
Together we established a wish list of desirable features for the new site and we prioritised these according to our research results and the challenges of the ERP integration. We created customised business-to-business features in order that the system would meet Pallas Foods' unique needs. We also created a large product backlog to allow for the multiple product lines, and to future-proof this so further lines could be added over time.
We built the application in 14 weeks on Magento Enterprise using the agile software development methodology.
"When the management team at Pallas Foods decided to build the Click & Collect business, we met with a number of Magento certified solution partners. After a long review process, we chose Monsoon Consulting. We were looking for a partner who would not only supply software and services, but someone who could be an integrated part of our management team. Monsoon has become that trusted business partner and more. From meeting with our customers to understand their needs, to helping build our digital ecommerce solution, Monsoon is fully integrated when it comes to our Click & Collect business."
IT Director, Pallas Foods
www.pallascollect.ie launched in January 2016. It’s the first of its kind for the wholesale food services market in Ireland.
With a clean layout and navigation, this site demonstrates how multiple product lines can be channeled into a simple, easy-to-use click and collect exclusive ecommerce site.
Fully responsive, and integrated with the brands’ social channels, the customer interface is designed according to how Pallas' customers like to select and purchase products online.
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