Alpha Recycling Case Study By PGS Software Ltd

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Alpha Recycling is one of the fastest growing east coast recycling providers and the largest catalytic converter processor in United States characterized by huge volumes, an own fleet of freight vehicles and dedicated teams of field buyers. Processing over 150 000 converters monthly, its crucial advantage over competition is a modern business model that relies on innovative IT solutions. By being able to instantly and accurately assess the profit range for each converter thanks to a specialized application with a mobile client, the Alpha Recycling buyers can offer highest market prices to individual and institutional scrap sellers. In the meantime, a state of the art back-end ERP takes care of financial transactions, price lists, accounting and reports while communicating through several commercial API’s. PGS Software was proud to build this very specialized and comprehensive solution.

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© 01 www.pgs-soft.com Alpha Recycling is one of the fastest growing east coast recycling providers and the largest catalytic converter processor in United States characterized by huge volumes an own feet of freight vehicles and dedicated teams of feld buyers. Processing over 150 000 converters monthly its crucial advantage over competition is a modern business model that relies on innovative IT solutions. By being able to instantly and accurately assess the proft range for each converter thanks to a specialized application with a mobile client the Alpha Recycling buyers can offer highest market prices to individual and institutional scrap sellers. In the meantime a state of the art back-end ERP takes care of fnancial transactions price lists accounting and reports while communicating through several commercial API’s. PGS Software was proud to build this very specialized and comprehensive solution. Alpha Recycling Case Study 1. CHALLENGES The long and industry-specifc feature list we set to achieve in this project didn’t come without its challenges. Most important of them included: ◢ Pre-existing code. We’ve inherited the alpha build from another company that earlier unsuccessfully worked on the solution. This made getting into the project considerably harder. ◢ Transaction ticket and account management systems. We had to carefully map both daily and periodic business processes at Alpha Recycling and make sure ERP handles all the current and potential use cases. ◢ Instant appraisals. Providing android app with a module that could support off-site transactions and instantly evaluate converters based on a rich database of specifcations and current market prices. ◢ Offine synchronization. Buyers often worked on remote sites where mobile devices lost connection or ran out of power. The transaction and appraisal systems had to handle all interruptions on the go and then seamlessly sync back without losing any information. ◢ Huge mobile data packages. Long price lists and inventories often exceeded what a mobile device could feasibly receive and process. Smart queuing and pre-processing helped cut them down in manageable chunks. ◢ Seamless integration with several inbound and outbound API’s for fnancial information communication automatic messaging etc. ◢ Providing a high degree of test automation in order to facilitate cheaper and more effcient releases. Client’s Profle www.pgs-soft.com

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© 02 www.pgs-soft.com 2. PROCESS Design: the initial code and design of the application had been passed on to us by another company. The code unfortunately didn’t function well and didn’t meet many functional requirements. We were soon back to the drawing board preparing a diagram of a new ERP solution in close cooperation with the Alpha recycling team. We wanted it to closely represent business processes and daily operations of their organization. Development: Our first step was to build a backbone of our ERP system hosted on the Heroku app cloud: a robust transaction and account management module that could securely handle individual buyer and client accounts as well as financial flows between them and ticket handling. Then we had to solve the issue of offline transaction and synchronizations. Many actions were performed on remote locations without data access. Data was synchronized later prompting the need to build a robust syncing solution that would maintain database integrity without sacrificing the offline flexibility. Another important step was related to the dynamic component price lists built individually for each client and based on current market data from Fastmarkets API. Other API’s were used for automated outbound communication via e-mails faxes and text messages. We’ve then added a Technologies Ruby 2.0 Ruby on Rails 4 angular.js Heroku PaaS Capybara RSpec PostgreSQL Redis Memcached Rollbar New Relic API integrations Fastmarkets prices Mandrill e-mails Interfax faxes Twilio text Google Cloud Storage Resources 3 Ruby developers 1 Android developer 1 tester Duration 16 months Hours spent 5100h for ERP system including updates support 2600h for mobile client including updates support 1800h for testing module that would create and manage inventory lots to be sent to specific recycling plants as well as generate accurate shipping manifests. Other tasks included extensive performance optimizations and UI / UX tweaks. We’ve also built a powerful analysis suite allowing the company to keep track of profitability of all individual buyers and scrap lots.

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© 03 www.pgs-soft.com 3. RESULT Mobile application: in the meantime our experienced mobile developer was preparing a mobile application for off-site use. It had to operate on large chunks of data and handle communication cut-outs and data connection loss. T esting support: another unique feature of the project was a large coverage of testing scripts prepared by our automation experts. This allowed us to iterate launch new features much faster. We supplemented scripts with work of a single dedicated expert achieving excellent quality without employing a full testing team. Further deployments: the application offered so many novel functionalities in the feld of converter recycling that sister company of Alpha also used it. The application back-end currently serves multiple businesses through a clever multitenancy implementation. Business and user benefts: Ability to quickly asses the proft range of any converter Fast secure reliable transaction system Account monitoring and fnancial alerts A mobile app for remote operation Support for offine transaction and ticket handling Building converter lots for shipping to processing plants Powerful statistical analysis modules Smart synchronization algorithms Faster software updates thanks to automated testing The project proved that PGS Software is quick to recognize and understand the business needs as well as specifcs of daily operations of companies from unique industry sectors. Perhaps the most important technical feat achieved by the team - the hybrid online / offine database solution - also shows our will to creatively overcome operational obstacles. Overall the Alpha Recycling project remains a great testament to the skill of our Ruby developers and a good showcase of close relationships we always try to build with client’s operations team. About the product: Alpha recycling is one of the largest east shore recycling companies operating an own feet of vehicles and a team of specialized buyers. About PGS Software: We are a public Polish IT outsourcing company specialized in software development and employing over 300 experienced engineers. Our job is to convert your ideas into real-life custom business solutions unavailable with the off-the-shelf boxed products. Client’s Profle

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