Apparel and Retail

Enterprise Retail Solution

360° Customer Service & Delivery Management Using WebMethods for BPM & EAI


A recently acquired subsidiary that serves as the Retail & Office services arm of a Fortune 100 Corp.


  • Unify customer base for all operating companies within the enterprise in support of following corporate initiatives:
    • Provide a single view of a Customer within and across operating companies (op-cos) and functional channels
    • Grow revenue
    • Minimize operating cost
    • Establish customer segmentation programs supporting Sales and Marketing efforts expanding over different op-cos
    • Optimize management of the business
    • Focus efforts on highest potential customer segments
    • Differentiate between customer attrition and product declines
    • More clearly identify individual impacts of Sales, Marketing, Product and Operations initiatives on sales, revenue and the bottom line
  • This initiative serves as the foundation for transitioning to a Single Account solution for the Enterprise along with additional details pertaining to the operating companies where the account would be used
  • Implement a comprehensive, systematic means to uniquely identify customers at both the Enterprise and Company level
  • Implement a centralized back office and call center application for account creation and maintenance


Existing Process:

  • Invoiced, Non-Invoiced & Corporate discount accounts were created in ERP (People Soft – AR) at the subsidiary side & then manually in downstream
  • No capability to share information with the parent enterprise existed
  • Batch files were manually uploaded in downstream systems
  • No Dashboard available
  • Sales Commissioning had audit issues

The Challenges:

Customer Creation
  • Accounts can arrive through various channels:
    • Ecommerce Web portals of Enterprise or Op-co
    • Mail/Fax/Email/1-800
    • Lead Generation application (Corp. Account Exec)
    • Batch loading by Sales rep & Field Ops
  • All accounts should be created in the new system and should gradually flow to all downstream enterprise systems:
    • Enterprise Databases
    • Mainframe Enterprise account generation system (shared b/w all op-cos/subsidiaries)
    • Enterprise Dunn & Bradstreet hierarchy matching system
    • ERP (People Soft – AR)
    • Point of Sale system used in stores (National customer DB)
    • Vendor’s Card Order Fulfillment
    • Customer Taxation database (Tax-exemptions)
    • Retek – Item and price management system
    • System for sales commissioning
    • Data warehouse
  • The new system should send account request attributes to an Enterprise-level account generation system, on acknowledgement of which it should create the account on the subsidiary side
  • Define, design, develop & implement an upstream BPM solution that supports enterprise initiatives
  • Build EAI capability around the BPM solution to push newly issued accounts to all downstream entities within the op-co & the enterprise

Customer maintenance

  • Fetch scattered customer elements from above mentioned systems, and implement the ability to present them on a single system via Enterprise Application Integration
  • Ownership of High-level data should be at the Enterprise level
  • All attributes, like invoicing, taxes, & pricing should be maintained in downstream systems within the operating company
  • Only high-level customer attributes should be maintained and/or replicated in the new system with cross reference IDs to all downstream systems
  • There should be a real-time EAI call to fetch required information from downstream using the cross references. This on-demand data would be presented on the CAF (GUI) side along with the information already maintained in the new system
  • Keep information synchronized between all heterogeneous business systems

Other Challenges

  • Sarbanes–Oxley (SOX) Compliant
  • Domestic & International customer have different business rules
  • Application Globalization
  • Card issuance & re-issuance order should be placed at the vendor.
  • A workflow based solution was desired
  • Dashboard Reporting, scorecards required for Executive management
  • Solution should have the ability to check customer credit using web service interfaces with credit agencies & Duns & Bradstreet
  • Implement Organization’s security matrix for the application.


  • Analyzed & Created 12 complex business processes using webMethods BPM. Key features were:
    • Multi Process Correlation – Acknowledgment / Callback model
    • Process Auditing
    • Data Push to Downstream
    • Business Rules (including complex taxation rules)
    • Management Escalation capability in all Business processes
    • 3L support capability
  • Created EAI interfaces with 16 different systems utilizing WM EAI capabilities
    • JMS adapters
    • EJB adapters
    • JDBC adapters
    • EDI feeds – 210, 810, 850
  • Developed a GUI-rich Ajax based Task Inbox. Key characteristics are:
    • ‘Saved Search capability’ with multi criteria
    • Task priority
    • Displaying important task details on the Inbox
  • Leveraged Publish/Subscribe model and  Service-Oriented architecture
  • Multi screen wizards on the UI (Task screens)
  • A live view of associated processes instances was accessible on the UI
  • Dashboard reports & KPI were implemented to capture different task & business metrics
  • Role based access control was implemented throughout the application


  • Integration Server 7.0
  • BPM (Workflows) 7.1.2
  • Composite Application Framework 7.1.2 (JSF & Portlet – JSR 168)
  • BAM (KPI, Process Optimization & Dashboard)
  • Trading Network (Business Partner integration)

Impacted Line of Business

  • Operations
    • Customer Service & Collections
    • Customer Administrative Services
    • Customer Discount & Credit Cards
    • Global Retail arm
  • Revenue Operations
  • Point of Sale
  • New Initiatives
  • Product Development
  • Sales & Marketing
  • E-commerce
  • Taxation
  • Legal
  • Audit & Compliance


  • Roll out: 2008
  • Number of Accounts Created/BPM workflow Executed: 380K
  • Avg. Daily Volume of Workflows spawned: 1,430
  • Number of Tasks Completed: 570K
  • Number of Accounts Maintained: 2.1 Million
  • Number of Customer Cards Issued: 4.8 Million
  • Number of Users: 110 (Concurrent: 80)
  • Project Duration: 15 months
  • Effort: 78,000 Hours
  • Code counts:
    • Data Services Developed: 670
    • EAI Services Developed: 308
    • Downstream System Interfaces: 16
    • CAF/UI screens: 80+
    • Dashboard Reports: 60