The team of Mercado Eletrônico, which specializes in B2B e-commerce, started to use concepts of design thinking and agile methodology in all processes. From the end of 2016, they are applying these approaches to improve internal procedures and deliver better solutions, in less time, to their more than one million users. They have already begun to reap the results of this cultural shift. A good example is their supplier management solution, called Supplier Management, which includes registration, certification, supplier evaluation, third-party management and inspection practices.
“New ideas are only possible through the exchange of information and collaboration between professionals. The idea here is to have increasingly multidisciplinary teams to diversify their points of view and deliver more creative proposals”, said Fabrizio Tassitano, Product and Project Manager at Mercado Eletrônico. “Before launching Supplier Management in the market, we did some internal validation. A few employees were chosen to participate in design sessions. We introduced the new product and, through a workshop based on design thinking concepts, we asked for opinions and only then we validated the solution. So we were able to perceive points of improvement and to enhance the tool before even offering it to our customers”, he explained.
Agile methodology became even part of Mercado Eletrônico’s daily routine. Now the company relies on periodic planning and reporting, with smaller but steady deliveries. The key purpose is to avoid the development of extremely long solutions and services. According to Mr. Tassitano, companies are used to work for months on the same project, and then discover any faults only when it has been implemented – and even find that most of the developed features will be underused or, in some cases, will never be used at all.
“These unforeseen events can be found much more easily now. With weekly deliveries, errors are smaller and there is more time for corrections. In general, the projects have now well-defined and shorter understanding, divergence, decision, prototyping and testing stages. We managed to be faster and hit the target better from that”, he said.
The concepts of design thinking and agile methodology could be extended to the most varied areas of Mercado Eletrônico, including the Process Quality sector. The company started to conduct a periodic survey to measure the health of their teams. With the results in hand, any procedures to recover and enhance important performance increase attributes could be then implemented.
Supplier Management – security and management of suppliers
Supplier Management is a solution that centralizes and manages all information from business partners, in order to mitigate risks. With its help, businesses can manage their suppliers and achieve greater integration in the chain, as well as compliance, speed and cost reduction. This enables to optimize the qualification of partners, evaluate them during the delivery period, and manage outsourced labor contracts.
Mercado Eletrônico developed the solution with the fast-to-deploy SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) models – as they don’t require a project step –, along with low investment and a customized dashboard, in order to track all indicators involving suppliers.
The solution includes also backup services for use support, follow-up, activity monitoring for participants in the process, and document checking.
This mix of technology and services allows centralizing the management of the whole process with suppliers, which makes performance monitoring and risk management easier and delivers fast and high-value procurement results.
The solution is based on five practices – Registration, Certification, Evaluation, Third Party Management and Inspection – and enables integration to other systems from Mercado Eletrônico or the customer.