My Portfolio
Maren Fiorelli
Coverpage_2.png

Copy of Lets deliver_Darkstore technology-driven fulfillment

Urbanizing Same day Delivery

In 2000, You couldn’t even imagine ordering a pair of shoes and getting them same day. Now it’s a standard. Darkstore is reinventing how users order products, brands store them, warehouses fulfill, and then delivered same day.

I was part of this ambitious project to redesign the Darkstore logistic platform experience and warehouse app, knowing that technology innovation and digitization are disrupting most part of these industries.

Title Image.png
 

The Challenge

Rekindle the Design Experience

Our goal for the project was to rekindle interest in the complete Darkstore experience for the benefit our current brands—Further designing for future brand delight. The original idea was to take a birds eyes view of the current user experience, and not smash it with a hammer, put to nicely chisel away until Michelangelo’s David appeared.

Our high level goals were to:

  1. Make it fast and easy to use.

  2. Give Users more control over their tasks.

  3. Create an updated platform for deeper user engagement.


My Role

I led the design of the freight and fulfillment experience between November 2018 and February 2019. I collaborated with internal operations managers and warehouse workers on features to enhance both the app and platform. 

In addition, I worked alongside developers, a project manager, and our customers.

In February I stopped working on the project during I first phase of this process. I lead the upgraded functionality of the platform, and the app. The app sceens were de-scoped, but I am looking forward to the project being launched later on this year.

 

Understanding the system from a bird’s eye view

Basic flow for the end to end experience

I created a visual map, using the operations team as a sounding board to map out the current Darkstore experience with a goal to communicate current motivations, goals, and behaviors.

IMG_4128.jpg

Empathize with the user

Using real personas who use the product

I started by gathering information. I talked to real users who’d used the product daily. I needed to understand the why and how. From this I created two provisional personas to help me communicate the users’ motivations, goals, and behaviors.

“On-Call Ian”

Ian Harris   Ops Manager  34 Years old

Ian Harris

Ops Manager

34 Years old

Job: Oversees Darkstore warehouse orders. Analyzes and improves processes.

Behaviors: Day to day activity of the ordering and fulfillment process

Pain points: Not enough manual checks within the warehouse, most days are spent tracking down lost orders.


“ I just want to be able to understand why a shipment was late in Chicago due to bad weather before customers calling me…asking where their packages are.”


“Workin’ Wayne”

Wayne Yelder   Forklift Operator  62 Years old

Wayne Yelder

Forklift Operator

62 Years old

Job: Operating front end loading equipment and Inspecting incoming goods

Behaviors: want to work with his team for a smooth distribution of stock  

Pain points: Not understanding the urgency of some orders, and where new Darkstore products are located the warehouse.


“ I’m here to do my job….if there is a new order at 2pm that has to be fulfilled by 5pm sometimes I don’t have time to fulfill it.”


The Beginning

I decided it was a great opportunity to rethink the entire user experience, rather than just port over the features as is. At the outset of the project we had a clear mission and goals for the experience. I had no logistic experience so, I partnered with our warehouse team to explore how products were checked in, fulfilled, and delivered. In edition I had our operations team close-by to ask overall infrastructure, and the day to day operational environments questions.

Warehouse is Hayward, California…Where all the magic happens.

Warehouse is Hayward, California…Where all the magic happens.

Early Insights from Observations

I observed 2 warehouse workers using the existing Darkstore app. This included checking and scanning in morning freights, checking orders, and compiling orders for delivery. Our goals were to understand the challenges and painpoints that happen in the warehouse between the time a product enters and a product leaves for delivery.

 
Unfulfilled_square.png

Inventory inaccuracy

Items were sometimes partially fulfilled. When this happened operations managers have to spend valuable time finding out why.

Scan_Square.png

Scanning issues

App users were often frustrated using the built in scanner, resorting to using the physical scanner.

communcation_square.png

Communication

Both Operations and Fulfillment partners need to talk to each other in real time if there are going to any late or unfulfilled orders.

Button+sizes_Square.jpg

Button location

Some of the buttons were causing confusion, or selected incorrectly.


 

Further insights

Before I could jump into designing, it was important to define success and understand experience at scale.

Prior to the redesign, the inventory had never been counted on a regular basis. This was the root of the problem. In edition, we started reviewing our pick paths and making the effort to rearrange storage locations by improving picking efficiency and keeping labour-related costs down.

Here are few things that directly related to the observations

  • Bad placement of the inventory 

  • Little or no way to organize that inventory

  • Product is scattered all over the place

  • If inventory was off, orders were impacted and delivery time to the customers

  • The wrong, Incomplete, or duplicate orders were being sent to some of the customers

For the future few were heading toward location based picking modeled to save time, space and frustration.

Our Operations managers were crucial in getting this framework started. Communication and Inventory issues caused a bad chain reaction

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 4.02.52 PM.png
Inventory accuracy was a main theme running through all of the research

Using the insights to brainstorm with the team

 

Reframing the Problem

Goals were recalibrated

Many issues were coming to the surface. After some thinking, it became clear that some fo the main problems could not be fixed with better user experience, it was a people management problem in the warehouse. Bad communication practices and Inventory issues caused a snowball effect.

The warehouse app makes this problem worse by having inconsistent UI, and inventory consistency. Lack of inventory consistency, makes order fulfillment almost impossible at times. There needs to be a way for additional communication to happen and to create a better plan of attack, which then leads to less frustration and time lost.

“...how might we help warehouse workers and the operation manager formulate a better mutual understanding during all stages of the experience?”

We created a quick and dirty user flow proposal to create a better inventory section in the app, and means to make notes and alerts platform wide between Darkstore and the warehouse, further trickling down to more accurate delivery, and user delight.

 
Sitemap.jpg

Part Enhancement, Part Redesign

Poorly designed inventory systems for scaling

Before I could jump into designing, it was important to define success and understand experience at scale.

Prior to the redesign, the inventory had never been counted on a regular basis. This was the root of the problem. In edition, we started reviewing our pick paths and making the effort to rearrange storage locations by improving picking efficiency and keeping labour-related costs down.

For the future few were heading toward location based picking modeled to save time, space and frustration.

Our Operations managers were crucial in getting this framework started.

Current model for Darkstore.  Pallet racking systems hold inventory system. Boxes are placed on the pallet racking system with the help of a forklift or an automated mechanism. This was great for Darkstore during our beginning phases, but for better efficiency we needed something else.

Current model for Darkstore. Pallet racking systems hold inventory system. Boxes are placed on the pallet racking system with the help of a forklift or an automated mechanism. This was great for Darkstore during our beginning phases, but for better efficiency we needed something else.

Future model for Darkstore.  The pick and pack method system of preparing and shipping entire cases and pallets of goods, relies on workers who pull (pick) individual items from master cartons on warehouse shelves.

Future model for Darkstore. The pick and pack method system of preparing and shipping entire cases and pallets of goods, relies on workers who pull (pick) individual items from master cartons on warehouse shelves.

“…how might we build a better inventory system for future expansion within the limitation and budget of a startup?”


Introducing the Darkstore platform (Operations team)

The main goal was to ensure that all members of operations team can perform tasks respectfully in unison with the app. A good operations team leader addresses differences and conflicts immediately.

Desktop.jpg


Resolving conflicts faster

Addressing faster conflict resolution requires a better communication system. Darkstore optimized a notes section across the platforms to create the fastest, most time effective way to solve the problem across both freights and orders.

 
Freights Dash.png

Freights adjustment page

When something happens that effects the freight the user now can write a note to create context.

 

Fixing inventory accuracy

The key to maintaining accurate inventory is having an established method of cycle counting. Darkstore saw accuracy of inventory a way to affect a small business's ability to forecast better, and ultimate scale faster.

 
New.jpg

Inventory count page

Clarified inventory sections creates transparency and further prevent problems. Ops can create cycle counts when they are needed.

 
Delta.png

Review counts page

Operations team members can adjust inventory count problems immediately.

 

Introducing the Mobile app (Warehouse team)

Below is our inventory management concept. It save time by connecting the platform to the Apps inventory, and streamlining key tasks like Inventory discrepancies and order fulfillment.

Concept design by me.

Main goals

The main goals were to find the ideal logistics plan for brands based on, location, order volume, and where a product was going.

Based on these insights, I proposed key features. Pivotal to these features, were these key ideas:

  1. Stop logistic issues in the warehouse by creating easier location based picking. Do time efficient measure on behalf of the order volume.

  2. Shave off time in the fulfillment process.

  3. Capitalize on communication updates that may minimize problems with freights or orders down the road.

Getting closer to understanding

I jumped into sketch to create Low-Fi mockups of my first design.

 
Preliminary Low- fidelity wireframes

Preliminary Low- fidelity wireframes


Flexing the concept even more

Brain storm feature priority and sprint scope with the developers.

Brainstorm.png

Brain storm feature scope with the team.

Validation of concept

 

Orders Pages

Tracking and Receiving orders faster

At its core, order control works by tracking the two main functions of a warehouse: receiving (incoming) and shipping (outgoing). I wanted to highlight some of these metric on the orders page

Mobile_Order_white.png

Order Transparency

We upgraded the order systems to clarify all part of the order’s journey.

Mobiile_3.jpg
 

Freights pages

Creating Context to helps align the users goals

Architecture needs to support your User Experience. When planning, we narrowed in on target functions to clearly define our user’s pathways.

Freights_hero.png

Taking stock of the information

Bucketing information into useful categories can direct the user faster towards their goal.

Freights_Triplet.jpg
 

Inventory pages

Managing inventory effectively

Inventory is the bread and butter of a business. Darkstore found a way to access it to operate properly

Inventory_PI_hero.png

Inventory Affects Business

Not keeping proper tabs on your stock can be costly.

inventory_Triplet_PI.jpg
 

Inventory pages

Fixing inventory accuracy

The key to maintaining accurate inventory is having an established method of cycle counting. Darkstore saw accuracy of inventory a way to affect a small business's ability to forecast better, and ultimate scale faster.

Inventory_CC_hero.png

Helping Define achievement

Cycle counting, is a simple way to easily generate metrics that tell you how you’re performing.

Inventory_Triplet_CC.jpg
 

Retrospective

Through this case study, the sheer amount of work put into accurately creating a complete logistic system was a great challenge. I had to keep in mind that all of this is a process and it will take time, as well as some trial and error, before finding systems that work. With hard work, perseverance, and the right inventory management tools, the day-to-day operations will fall into place.

I left the project before we had time to test design solutions, but I am looking forward to seeing it shipped later this year. Please feel free to ask, to see a more in depth version of this project with more screens.


Thanks.png

Thanks for Watching!