Hornbach Proficard online

The case
Tools / Apps
Launch date
HORNBACH is the biggest hardware store in Europe. HORNBACH’s ProfiService offers a number of personalized services (profi-advisor at the store, easy rental, a profi-shopping and pay by invoice afterwards, all managed with your personal ProfiCard. Colours, Focum and Worldline have brought this service from 100% paper to online by designing and developing the online ProfiCard using headless Drupal.
Project description
HORNBACH is the biggest hardware store in Europe. The hardware store is like a second home to you (the professional handyman), it’s just that you’re always busy, always pressed for time. You need to get to your next assignment, time is money and each minute you spend in the store is a minute not spent on a job. That’s why HORNBACH offers a service tailored to the professional handyman: the ProfiService. An all-in-one service that you need to save yourself time and money. Whether you work freelance in construction, or work for a small construction company or contractor. ProfiService offers a number of personalized services like: your personal profi-advisor at the store, easy rental, a profi-servicedesk at the store, and most of all, the possibility to buy and shop and pay by invoice afterwards.
You can use all of these services using your personal ProfiCard: pay at the cash register using your card and pay your invoice(s) later (combined if you want) at the comfort of your own home.
The ProfiCard system was completely done manually; meaning transactions, invoices, payments, registrations and declines were all managed manually at the stores and at HORNBACH headquarters. In 2016, HORNBACH, Focum (credits and payments), Worldline (transactions and terminals) and Colours (Web-agency) decided that we could do this much better. The ProfiCard project started.
With this team, we created a concept for ProfiCard Online: a platform that handles advisor tasks (new registrations, credit checks, communication with members), cardholder tasks (paying invoices, checking credit, communication with advisors) and administrative tasks (payments, invoices, terminal transactions). This meant connecting all back-end systems in order to remove as many manual processes: connecting to the payment terminals in the store, connecting to ERP system at headquarters, connecting to credit-systems of Focum and finally connecting the results of all this to (headless) Drupal. The following services were all connected in order to achieve the platform:
• DCP - plastic card producer
• Focum - postpay provider, risk assessment provider
• Worldline - transaction processing partner/payment terminals partner
• IDEAL - payment system
• Hornbach HQ (Germany) - cashier integration (for tax purposes)
We did this by interviewing stakeholders of all departments (HQ, advisors, professionals), creating a concept and design and translating this into a comprehensive prototype, detailing exactly how the new platform would function for all user types. With all parties present and committed in the project, we brought together all necessary expertise and worked hard to finally achieve the new ProfiCard online platform.
In the first months, we were able to celebrate the success of the platform: a total transaction value of over 1mln euro;
- Both customer and Colours had an idea to implement a platform, that can be easily whitelistable, so used for different parties, or different branches of Hornbach (NL, BE, DE). To make it possible, it was decided to implement API-based solution, using Drupal as backend/API and Angular frontend application. This decision helped to make the platform faster and more flexible.
- Data-related challenge – related to the fact that platform stores all transactions, made with Proficard in Hornbach stores, the database should be reliable, scalable (the same reason, whitelisting of the platform is possible), flexible (data schema is not set in stone – other transaction processing partners can be added). The challenge was solved by using high-reliable Mongo DB replica set as data storage.
- System should be as much as possible human-independent (automatic collision resolving) and transparent (every balance mutation, invoice status mutation, outstanding amount mutation should be easily explained and visible to necessary person – client/administrator). Solution: a) Extensive system of error reporting between involved parties, automatic processing of such error reports and regenerating the missing/incorrect data; b) All changes of state, all actions, allevents are logged and stored in Mongo DB collection.
- Bringing together all parties and stakeholders – plastic cards producer, transaction processing partner, postpay service provider, customer himself. This was a challenge but we quickly overcame this by a very great commitment of all parties to make this a success;
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