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New customer portal – Lehtipiste

Lehtipiste is Finland’s leading distribution and marketing company for newspapers and magazines. Lehtipiste distributes products by Finnish and international publishers to approximately 6000 retailers and specialty shops.

The objective of Lehtipiste’s new warehouse management system was to help expand operations and make them more efficient. Lehtipiste wanted a customer portal for the system to enable its warehouse hotel customers manage their products, deliveries, purchase and sales orders, and customer information.

Finding a replacement for the outgoing system supplier

This project was quite far advanced by February 2016 when Lehtipiste learned that the system supplier for its new customer portal had suddenly discontinued operations. It seemed that all the time, money and work that had gone into the project would be wasted. Lehtipiste turned to Sysart in March 2016, and within a month the Sysart team was working full time on the customer portal project.

“Sysart had the industry and application expertise needed for the project, as well as the courage to take on a job that had not been completed by the previous supplier,” says Matti Kosonen, IT Director at Lehtipiste.

Prioritising work according to business needs

In order to safeguard Lehtipiste’s business operations, Sysart immediately took over responsibility for maintaining its old warehouse management system. At the same time, work began on evaluating the situation with the unfinished customer portal, including everything that had been done, what still needed to be done, and how much work would be required to complete the project.

The teams from Lehtipiste and Sysart worked together to identify and prioritise functionalities. This work had to be carried out fast, as the customer portal was an integral part of the new business model. Fortunately, the teams soon reached a common understanding regarding contents and scheduling of the minimum viable product. According to Kosonen, the collaboration between Sysart’s management and team members was straightforward and effective right from the start. Sysart responded to Lehtipiste’s needs immediately and offered multiple implementation alternatives in several situations.

“Would I recommend Sysart to my contacts? Absolutely.”

Matti Kosonen, ICT Director, Lehtipiste

Transparent development

Over the following months, Sysart developed the system at a rapid pace with the full-time input of up to five developers at a time. The project schedule was monitored with weekly forecasts based on actual data about what tasks had been performed, how much time they had taken, and how much remained to be done. These forecasts allowed the project’s contents and changes to be managed flexibly together with the client.

“The project implementation and task management were straightforward and effective. Changes, costs and scheduling were all managed well,” Kosonen confirms.

Lehtipiste now has a system that enables new income streams and that above all serves its customers better.

“Online retailers and our other partners have outsourced their logistics operations to us. The new system provides them with a simple way of managing and monitoring these operations,” Kosonen summarises.