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Case Study | Software | Agriculture

Innovative Food Sustainability Data Service

Our client is an American global food processing and commodities trading corporation. The company operates hundreds of plants and procurement facilities worldwide, where commodities are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial, and animal feed markets worldwide. The company also provides agricultural storage and transportation services.

Business Challenge

AWS looked to SoftServe to clarify with the client how to build a service for visibility and transparency into food sustainability practices. Our client’s expectation was for SoftServe to help them agree on what sustainability meant and align key stakeholders on this definition before formulating the approach to the solution.

Specific challenges during this project included:

  • Limited tracking and transparency in the client’s food supply chain
  • Complexity at each step of the supply chain
  • A large list of internal legacy software systems (>20)
  • Lack of sustainable data in the client’s corporate systems

Because of the complexity and lack of data, our client switched their focus to reframe a problem and project goal from “field to table” traceability into visibility and transparency of sustainability practices.

Project Description

Our client had contacted AWS asking for help with innovation in food sustainability. AWS has its own unique approach to address such requests through its ‘Amazon Culture of Innovation’. In this program, AWS deploys specific mechanisms that turn ideas into meaningful innovations – the Working Backwards approach, which is based on PR-FAQs (Public Release – Frequently Asked Questions). The client and AWS team held a full-day working backward workshop to identify end customers and customer problems, and align executive sponsors and key stakeholders. Based on the identified problems, our client’s team formulated ideas for a future solution and the AWS team created PR-FAQ and visual storyboard.

Our client wanted to proactively address increasing customer requests regarding initiatives related to food sustainability. They needed to create a portal that provided their constituents (suppliers, customers, and end-consumers) with information about transparency and visibility on sustainable practices regarding how their products are sourced, manufactured, and processed.

Our client’s executive team agreed to continue the project and detail for the existing concept described in PR-FAQ.

AWS contacted SoftServe as a partner on this project.

SoftServe’s innovation hub team reviewed and analyzed the PR-FAQ document and conducted research on food sustainability and some additional ideas generated during the initial workshop. SoftServe’s team then prepared a one week onsite workshop.

SoftServe’s team, consisted of an experience designer and innovation business analyst, leveraged design thinking and design sprint approaches and conducted a series of interviews and facilitated workshops focused on transitioning existing ideas and the product’s supply chain process into the future vision of an innovative sustainability data service for the client.

Value Delivered

SoftServe helped our client consolidate a definition of sustainability, reframe the problem and define a high-level future vision of the solution based on the concepts described in PR-FAQ. SoftServe’s team created a clickable prototype of the portal, highlighted missing sustainability-related information in the client’s corporate software systems.

SoftServe built a visual prototype and brought key stakeholders to a common vision about available data and future portal’s look-and-feel, which helped in their decision in how to move forward. As a result, SoftServe would develop the client’s portal on AWS architecture which would provide a new level of visibility and education and enable consumers to learn about processes, standards, terminology, and most importantly – transparency in our client’s sustainability practices.