Limitless Creations

Waitrose

The Client

Waitrose is a premium brand supermarket chain, and is part of Britains largest retailer, John Lewis. Waitrose has 353 stores across the United Kingdom, and has a royal warrant to supply groceries to the Queen. Waitrose has its headquarters in Bracknell in Berkshire, where everything, including IT services, are operated from.

The Task

In-store stock control systems had become out of date and unable to be updated. Source code developed by a previous third party development company was unable to be compiled or deployed. This put Waitrose in a potentially dangerous position, as any damage to stock control devices would mean no possibility of replacement.
The challenge was to replicate the functionality of the existing system, but to use modern hardware and software. Rollout needed to be completed before the small number of existing hardware devices became non functional.

Solution

Limitless Solutions partnered with consulting company, Spargonet, to completely rebuild the existing stock control application. Development was completed using C#, Xamarin Forms and, and Zebra hardware devices based on the android operating system. These devices featured laser barcode scanners built in, and connection to bluetooth printers for docket and receipt printing. The advantage of this hardware was that it was effectively a mobile phone, and so was able to be programmed in the same way as any other cross platform mobile device. Limitless Solutions used local storage via SQLite and Azure Rest endpoints for connection to store databases. We also built additional software for diagnosing problems for each device and uploading results. This saved costly on site calls by technical staff to determine issues with hardware.

Result

Waitrose is a premium brand supermarket chain found on every high street in the UK.
The app was successfully deployed to run on the upgraded Zebra devices and is now able to be supported by the internal IT department. A potential breakdown in operations for the entire organisation was averted, and the app is now available as part of a suite of new software tools.
Technology: Xamarin Forms, Azure, SQLite, Bluetooth integration
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