Digital Transformation of Osadkowski Company — from Traditional Agricultural Supply to a Modern Platform

Osadkowski Company is one of the leading distributors of agricultural production supplies in Poland. Osadkowski's clients, large and medium-sized agricultural enterprises, benefit from a comprehensive offering that includes a wide range of production supplies, agricultural machinery, as well as advisory and financial services.

Challenge

In the face of identified changes in the business environment and market development forecasts in the agricultural sector, Osadkowski decided to adopt a new sales strategy. The updated strategy was based on three pillars:

Customer Experience Advantage

Related to providing the highest level of service and customer experience (CX). Built on a partnership and trust model, in which agricultural entrepreneurs associated with Osadkowski can focus on key objectives of their business - production and farm development. 

Operational Efficiency

Cost optimization and improved financial results through a new operational model that transforms the role of Sales Representatives from "salespeople" to "advisors." The field sales force focuses their efforts on products and services with the highest added value, while concurrently deepening the digitization and automation of operational and sales processes related to a generic offer highly susceptible to price pressure. 

Business Flexibility

The ability to quickly and accurately respond to new opportunities and threats arising from the market. The capability to continuously expand Osadkowski's revenue streams through an integrated, flexible, and scalable omnichannel e-commerce environment and digital customer service.

Implementing the strategy required a careful selection of a partner who could combine an understanding of Osadkowski's business and technological needs with the perspective of their customers' needs.

In 2021, the company's management chose Hycom as the general contractor for the digital transformation of self-service and sales channels.

Due to the multidimensional nature of the project, Hycom applied a proprietary "one step earlier" approach to define, design, and implement digital initiatives.

Proper preparation of an IT project is as important as its later execution in achieving the intended goals. Therefore, the transformation project began with defining the transformation goals and aligning them with the company's strategic plans. During this process, key areas and transformation priorities were identified, along with customer segments that would drive the most significant business impact from the program. Extensive research was conducted among representatives of these customer segments to understand their needs, and the results were structured in the form of customer journey maps. These maps presented the pain points, expectations, and needs of customers from their perspective on the purchasing and service paths. An interdisciplinary team of experts was responsible for optimizing and ensuring the technical aspects of the project aligned with the business needs. Bridging the gap between business communication and technical teams was one of the key factors for the ultimate success of the program.

Business, technology and user experiences were effectively combined through:

Based on the collaborative efforts of the combined team, a program roadmap was created, built on business priorities and a deep understanding of customer needs, with careful consideration of technical infrastructure readiness. The team decided to start with the implementation of a self-service system, taking into account the planned development of sales functionalities and the future launch of e-commerce features.

Hycom, as an IT service provider with an understanding the challenges at the intersection of business and technology, delivered a range of products and services crucial for the success of Osadkowski's digital transformation, including: 

  • Customer needs analysis in-depth recognition of challenges and expectations from key customer segments of Osadkowski using the Customer Journey Mapping methodology. The analysis provided critical business insights and particularly influenced the Initiatives Program, including the decision to focus on the Customer Self-Service area in the project's initial phase, confirming the strategic assumptions related to the intended role of Sales Representatives and the inclination of agricultural entrepreneurs to use digital channels. 

  • Strategic Initiatives Program definition confirming the objectives and formulating the target scope of comprehensive digitization of Osadkowski's business processes and services.

  • Digital Product Development Program roadmap presented as an interactive tool to visualize and manage the construction, implementation, and modification of digital products over time.

  • Service Blueprint Integrating business elements of newly designed Osadkowski services and products, depicting their interactions with customers and the context of the planned system's capabilities and dependencies on other company systems.

Hycom's services also included the design, integration, and implementation of two comprehensive applications: Customer Self-Service and e-Commerce, based on recommendations for the technological architecture and an agile implementation model.

Architecture and IT Technology

During the technology selection phase, Hycom conducted a detailed analysis of the Osadkowski's 
IT environment's planned development areas, taking into account the business needs that were to be supported by digital solutions. An essential aspect of the developed recommendation was to limit silos and enable component reuse for efficient handling of emerging challenges as the business grows. 

The recommended architecture leveraged the MACH paradigm and composability principles. An API-first and headless approach was adopted to provide flexibility and accelerate development by clearly separating the front and backend layers. Business logic was decomposed into well-defined, domain-driven microservices.


The solution leveraged cutting-edge cloud technologies provided by Azure Cloud, with Azure Kubernetes for hosting and managing microservices, Azure Service Bus for asynchronous communication, Azure Functions to facilitate data import and Azure Cognitive Search for data indexing and search capabilities.


For the e-Commerce domain,
OroCommerce engine was employed as one of the headless components. All technological components were carefully selected to maximize their valuable contribution to the overall solution's composability.

This not only significantly improved user experiences through enhanced usability and rapid deployment of new features but also established an open and scalable framework for ongoing iterative development of the entire ecosystem.

The implementation of the e-care system is 
an important step in Osadkowski's digital transformation of our sales and customer service channels. Providing customers with self-service features allows us to achieve the first goal of the transformation, which is to change the role of customer caretakers and raise the service standard for all customer segments. By starting one step earlier with Hycom, before the typical initiation of IT projects, we ensured that all stakeholders fully understood the goals and expected outcomes of the solutions. We also gained a deep and organized understanding of customer expectations. We appreciate that Hycom understands the complex nature of IT projects, the dynamics between IT and business teams and that they balance customer expectations with business goals in technological implementation.

Piotr Osadkowski

Chief Digital Officer

Results

Fast adoption

Within the first 3 months of launch, over 20% of customers started consistently using self-service features in the areas of delivery and access to documents. 

24/7 availability

The availability of self-service features and a digital document repository 24/7 significantly improved customer convenience and reduced the workload of Osadkowski employees, resulting in cost reduction and increased engagement in other business-critical tasks.

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