Case Study

My Role

UX Design Lead

Rethinking Inventory Management for a Seamless Planning and Ordering Experience

Business Impact

Buyers frequently expected sales representatives to place the orders on their behalf instead of using the existing
e-commerce platform

The Problem


Growth in Gross Merchandise Volume Y-o-Y

4–5 hours/day

average time spent by DSRs on order support

Target Metrics

To free up the sales representatives from their ordering and troubleshooting responsibilities, elevating them as trusted advisors to the businesses they served


Growth in Gross Merchandise Volume Y-o-Y


Reduction in Order Support Requests

The Goal

  1. Understanding distribution ecosystem
  2. User interview
  3. Task analysis
  4. Competitive analysis
  5. Quantitative research
  1. User role and mindset mapping
  2. Defining UX strategy
  3. Identifying opportunity areas
  4. Feature prioritization
  5. Journey mapping
  1. Information Architecture
  2. Wireframing
  3. Design refinements
  4. Documenting UX features
  5. Handover for visual design


3 Weeks


10 Weeks

3 Weeks

Root Cause

Project Timeline

Key Activities Daily

  • Walk through inventory and count item units available
  • Identify dead stock and stock items to be replenished
  • Review new procurement requests and manage lists

Pain Points

  • Requested items not adhering to procurement policy
  • Tedious and time consuming activity but can't be neglected
  • Frustrating list management; prone to manual counting errors


  • Paper-pen Lists
  • Order Planning Spreadsheets


  • Concerned
  • Apprehensive
  • Thoughtful

Key Activities Quarterly to Annually

  • Envision new menu items that align with brand identity
  • Find recipe ideas and theme inspiration online
  • Bounce off thoughts and ideas among community peers
  • Sample products from different suppliers

Pain Points

  • Information overload
  • Collating information from different sources and influencers


  • Social Media Conversations
  • Bookmarked Webpages
  • Product Catalogues
  • Product Demos


  • Motivated
  • Inspired
  • Curious
  • Playful

Key Activities On Demand

  • Assess price-quality trade-off of various product options
  • Consider quotes aligned with optimal par values to stay agile
  • Select suppliers based on availability and convenience
  • Finalize items based on price and quality

Pain Points

  • Difficulty finding trusted suppliers
  • Low stock availability risks and unreliable delivery
  • Dissatisfactory contract prices for smaller order volumes


  • Quotations
  • Phone and In-person Conversations
  • Supplier-Price Comparison Spreadsheets


  • Stressed
  • restless
  • Disheartened
  • Exhausted


  • Purchase Order
  • Order Confirmation Notifications
  • Payment Receipts
  • IOU Invoices


  • Focused
  • Uninspired
  • Understood
  • Fulfilled

Key Activities Weekly / Fortnightly

  • Review items and quantity added to purchase order
  • Place orders via supplier portal, through phone or in person
  • Select delivery slot and preferences
  • Select settlement preferences—pre-payment or line of credit

Pain Points

  • Demands dedicated time away from other business responsibilities
  • Forgetting to add a vital item to the purchase order
  • Preferred delivery and payment methods are subject to availability


  • Tense
  • Worried
  • Frustrated
  • Tired

Key Activities On Demand

  • Allocate storage space in preparation of the incoming order
  • Collect order, verify for correctness, and update inventory
  • Contact support regarding inaccurate/damaged shipment
  • Settle due invoices and reconcile expenses

Pain Points

  • Time and labour intensive activity
  • Troubleshooting orders is frustrating and time consuming
  • Bound by limited storage space


  • Delivery Tracking Notifications
  • Corrugated Shipping Boxes
  • Product Label Tags
  • Formal Invoices
  • Quickbooks Ledger

Current State Journey

Procurement roles and processes vary widely with the size of the business

As organizations mature, procurement shifts from the hands of individual buyers to groups subject to budget, policy and financial oversight.

How do buyers plan inventory and order for their business in the present day?

Buyers walk the fine line between overstocking and risking stock-outs to maintain a positive cash flow

They also have to manage storage constraints and account for possible delivery delays, making inventory planning a complex, time consuming activity.

Trust is a significant driver of buyers' purchase decisions beyond cost and quality of goods

Buyers tend to rely heavily on their community and influencers when researching new product offerings. DSRs need to establish trust to be effective sourcing partners.

Research Findings

Empower buyers to procure effectively and efficiently through data intelligence and workflow automation

Eliminate unnecessary manual intervention from the procurement journey with workflow automation

Allow users to establish automated triggers and alerts to streamline their workflow, effectively helping them mitigate potential slips with minimal cognitive load

Value Proposition

Enrich buyers' understanding of their inventory needs with intelligent insights and recommendations

Help buyers make informed decisions to maximize their return on inventory and inventory turnover, with minimum tailspends, carrying costs and stock-outs

Enable proficient procurement leveraging platform capabilities by educating users

Encourage users to learn how they can extract maximum value from the platform through contextual onboarding cues and embedded knowledge articles

Ideation & Exploration

Information Architecture—
Hub and spoke model

Final Designs

Unified procurement
and inventory insights


Measured independently by a third-party usability lab for 100+ recorded sessions, Lostness for key activities (order planning and placement) was at 11% (↓ 61%)

Business Impact


Reduction in Order Support Requests Compared to Previous Year


Growth in e-Commerce GMV Y-o-Y

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About the Client


The client—a major F&B distributor—approached us to redesign their ordering experience for businesses (restaurants, institutions, retail outlets etc.). In spite of an existing e-commerce platform, business owners and inventory managers regularly reached out to sales representatives to place their orders. The goal of the redesign was to free up the sales representatives from their ordering and troubleshooting responsibilities, elevating them as advisors to the businesses they served.

  • Inventory Management
  • B2B
  • SAAS
  • ECommerce
  • UX Strategy
  • Product design