Where we started
The quickly growing Finnish retail chain Ruohonjuuri offers its customers an immersive shopping experience with a wide range of health-related and organic products both in-store and online. At the beginning of 2018, the company was about to open its first store in Sweden, and was in need of a partner to support both its international expansion as well as the systems development of the entire chain.
“We were on the lookout for a proactive partner, one that could respond to the development needs of our business in an agile manner and that knew how to develop systems capable of responding to the needs of the new, emerging market. Solteq felt like the perfect fit right from the start thanks to the people behind the company and its modern operation models”, Ruohonjuuri Head of Development Topias Nieminen reminisces.
Upon commencement of the partnership, Ruohonjuuri was using the LS NAV system, an easy-to-use solution for multi-channelled business monitoring throughout the supply chain. The objective was to get the most out of the existing, core business management system through continuous development. Functionality catering for the Swedish market would also need to be integrated into the system.
What did we do?
From the start, our partnership was shaped by mutual enthusiasm and quick progress. Thanks to workshops organised early on, the Solteq continuous service team members were efficiently introduced to the way Ruohonjuuri was using their existing system, and the development of the system got off to a good start.
The first order of business was to fix all urgent issues, after which wishes and requests for the system’s development have been responded to, one by one. Until now, development activities have mainly focused on making everyday work operations for Ruohonjuuri staff easier and more efficient. The changes will also impact end customers in the form of a more pleasant shopping experience in-store and an improved loyalty customer scheme, for example.
Solteq was able to support the internationalisation of the Ruohonjuuri chain through the expansion of the current domestic business and its cash register system into the new ERP system. Before the grand opening of the first Happy Food Store in Stockholm, the unique characteristics and requirements of the new market had to be taken into account in systems design. Delays and mistakes were not an option, so smooth operation and the best possible customer experience had to be ensured before the grand opening.
“We expect of our partners the ability to guide us and tell us what to do. Our own people can identify and fix problems in everyday operations, but the expertise offered by Solteq can create more in-depth, smart solutions to different issues. Our progress has been good. Our first joint project with Solteq was our first ever IT project that stayed both on schedule and on budget”, Nieminen says.
What was the result?
The agile development partnership that Ruohonjuuri wished for has now become a reality. The Stockholm store has been launched and operations are running smoothly. Systems development is continued as planned, and Solteq support services are always available to assist in solving any problems that arise. This also creates a solid foundation for the further development and expansion of the chain’s operations.
“I am very pleased with the partnership that still continues at a day-to-day level. We’ve got a top team to assist us, with great expertise and an attitude to match it. In addition to agile small-scale development, we are also contemplating the implementation of modern digitalised solutions for the store environment, for example. Change can be an opportunity, when we are all driven by the wish to succeed”, Nieminen says.