UI/UX design for batch processing ERP SaaS solution

Redbrix designed a multi-module batch processing ERP system from scratch that now has the best UI and UX in its industry. The new design has caught a lot of attention from the customers and boosted sales significantly.
About client
Our client is a US-based company that operates a B2B SaaS product in the food and beverages manufacturing industry. The company operates in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Industry
Batch processing manufacturing
Services we provided
– Product architecture
– UI design
– UX design and interactions
– Design system

Challenge

The product had already been operating for several years when the company’s owner approached us in 2018. He was looking for a design team that would help him design a new version of the product. Our client wanted to elevate the product to the next level to get new clients but at the same time make the transition to the new version of the product as easy as possible for the existing clients.

Solution

We’ve been working closely with the owner and company’s CTO to help them redesign the whole product from the ground up, rethink some of the existing features as well as design lots of new functionality. As a result, we’ve designed a powerful and smart enterprise-level product that feels intuitive, accessible and saves time and resources by automating routine tasks.
First steps
We took on a challenge to completely rethink an ERP system distributed as SaaS. It’s planned to be used by distillery businesses first but had to be adjustable for other industries like beer and wine, food and beverages, cannabis, and the chemical industry.
We kicked off the project with extensive research that let us not only fully understand all the details and intricacies of the product, but also learn what competitors’ products offer and what the current ERP system user experience is. One of the main project requirements was to completely rethink the logic and architecture of the system. Based on that we agreed not to refer to the old version of the product to keep the vision of the new version fresh and unbiased.
One of the first areas we focused on was Inventory and Equipment Management module. This is one of the key areas and quite a vast area too. This module allows users to track inventory levels for all products and materials in a facility, perform stock counts and manage facility equipment. The module is a basis for the production of the whole enterprise. Therefore, we decided that this is the right place to lay the foundation for the design system and principles that will be used throughout the whole product.
Simple but powerful
Since the ERP system we were working on is intended to be used in the manufacturing industry it had to be powerful and precise. But it tends to come at the price of a cluttered, non-intuitive user interface with a long learning curve. Anyone with experience in using corporate or enterprise software knows how frustrating and tedious it can be. Our main approach was to create powerful enterprise-level software that was as friendly and accessible as a best-in-class consumer app.
The main characteristics of the systems we aimed at were powerful, intelligent, clear, accessible, friendly.
This version of the system was tailored for the Distillery industry. With that in mind, we created a design that is industry-specific yet versatile enough to be easily adapted to other industries in the future. ERP is a modular system that gives it the ability to evolve and scale for several industries like food and beverages, cannabis cultivation, etc.
Bringing new perspective
One of the key features of our design solution was a fresh new look at the product from a different perspective which allowed us to avoid ineffective practices and inconvenient patterns. To make the final product easy to use, we used a cross-industry experience that users are familiar with in other walks of life. This allowed us to create unique solutions that are not found in any of the competitors in this market. We worked closely with the owner and CTO, conducting numerous regular brainstorming sessions, testing our hypotheses and ideas on existing users of the product.
This approach was most evident while we were working on the Manufacturing module of the system. This module is the core of the whole system and all other modules depend on it. This is where most of the production control and scheduling happens, with users controlling processes, materials, labor, and more.
One of the other examples of bringing a new perspective into existing things was the Warehouse module. This module is used to monitor everything that happens in the real facility warehouse, fulfill orders, receive and prepare materials for production.
Our focus was on helping users of the system find and identify items as fast and effective as possible. To achieve that we have designed a flexible filtering system and also a warehouse map builder. With this tool, users can create a map that would mimic a real-life warehouse. This lets users navigate in a warehouse as they’re used to in real life instead of scrolling through infinite lists of items looking for the right one.
All in one place
Another crucial area we’ve been working on was Dashboard. This is the place where business owners or managers can learn key business performance indicators like manufacturing efficiency, critical stock levels, equipment workload, warehouse capacity, and many more. We’ve decided to make Dashboard fully customizable and make information in it detailed yet accessible.
Crunching numbers
Another challenging thing was Reporting module. This module might be one of, if not the most valuable areas of the whole ERP system as it accumulates tons of data generated by all other modules in one place. With just a couple of clicks, business owners can generate any type of report on the facility's performance, from the efficiency of individual business processes to expenses and stock levels forecasts. We have also designed a tool using which business owners can send regular government reports. ERP system automates this process by filling in all of the necessary data for government reports so that all the user has to do is verify the report and click on the ‘Send’ button. This system offers a way to forget about storing all of the reports in separate Excel sheets and fill government reports by hand.
Information is the key
One of the key factors in the efficiency of working with the system is the search and display of information. All our decisions came down to ensuring that the user finds the information he needs at the right time and as quickly as possible. So we have developed a notification system with flexible configuration of the schedule and types of notifications, as well as a global search that allows you to find the information you need from anywhere in the system.
Outcome
The result of our cooperation is an ERP system that was rethought and redesigned from scratch. Our client appreciated the effectiveness of our approach almost immediately. Existing users of the old version of the product began to eagerly await the new version after seeing the design prototype. In addition to that, the demonstration of the new version of the product at trade shows caused a stir among new customers.
Since then, we have continued to cooperate with our client, providing design support and creating new functions according to the product’s roadmap.
I’m confident we made a good choice in the company by working with Redbrix. They’ve done an outstanding job and stayed on point throughout the project.
CEO & Founder, Software Company
Read the full review on Clutch.co
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