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Amway – Workflow Integration and Collaboration Platform

Overview

Amway China is a mature company facing competitive and widespread business pressures. Amway operates a large and standardized organization and utilizes a number of critical technology assets that required substantial IT investment. Changing the current environment would be a very costly exercise.

Amway wanted to reduce operational costs and increase profitability by becoming more efficient. Specifically, it wanted to create greater ease of collaboration among its internal and external teams.

However, data was scattered across different departments and existing software applications. Amway therefore urgently needed a platform to automate its business workflows and integrate data to provide greater transparency and accurate business insights for management decisions.

Bamboo has partnered with Amway for three years to build and enhance an optimal workflow development platform through technology and business integration. Our approach was to use the most appropriate technologies,  a combination of custom development and third party software, rather than build the workflow platform from scratch. This approach has helped Amway achieve cost savings of around 50 percent.

Business Objectives

The project goal was to build a web-based workflow application platform to facilitate greater collaboration and efficiency in Amway’s internal and external business operations.

Solutions

  • Bamboo’s Business Analysts worked closely with Amway to identify more than ten business workflows which could be improved and automated by software systems.
  • We worked with business users to document the workflows and implement them in the designed software workflow platforms, as well as train users.
  • Bamboo developed the complete workflow management application. In addition, this system was integrated with other Amway applications such as Lotus Domino, financial and HR systems.
  • To ensure maximum ROI, we used industry standard tools and technologies (J2EE framework and SOA infrastructure) rather than reinvent the wheel. The J2EE framework is currently one of the most popular and mature technologies. SOA infrastructure can enable existing IT assets to communicate and exchange data with a pre-defined interface.
  • Bamboo used IBM WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation (WBISF) and WebSphere MQ to extend and integrate Amway’s existing IT assets. WBISF can minimize development, deployment, and administration costs by building on the industry-leading, industry-tested, industry-supported WebSphere platform.
  • Bamboo used Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL) to implement business integration of existing or new IT applications in WBISF. BPEL provides a means to formally specify business processes and interaction protocols. In addition, BPEL also serves as the platform workflow engine to optimize and create new workflows.
  • To improve development efficiency and ensure system stability, Bamboo defined and created a set of reusable components named Bamboo Common Library. These components have been tested using open J2EE standards can be easily expanded based on project requirements. Bamboo Common Library reusable components reduces development costs, increases quality, and ensures that the project is delivered on time and on budget.
  • In addition, we constantly improve and optimize this platform to provide additional ROI. Using our proprietary Bamboo Quantitative Project Management Methodology, we collect data to provide detailed insights for continuous process and quality improvement.

 

Results

Bamboo has partnered with Amway for three years. Through our collaboration, Amway has substantially improved productivity through systems integration and the strengthening of its business processes. It has gained greater visibility into detailed layers of its business which has helped the company become more responsive to market changes. Amway has also achieved significant cost savings by optimizing its infrastructure investments.


 

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