“Catalyst proved to be a powerful serverless suite in helping us bridge the gap in existing, independent supply chain systems. By simplifying serverless, Catalyst delivers great customer experiences and focuses on the pillars of privacy and security. We were able to develop the integration using Catalyst in just a week, and deploy it in a day.”
Amanda Tighe, Project Manager, Saint-Gobain
Saint-Gobain is a Fortune 500 company specializing in manufacturing and distribution of materials required for construction, general manufacturing and other industrial markets. They are market leaders with €38.1 billion in sales (as on 2020) in manufacturing, with a retail or manufacturing presence in 70+ countries.
Given the scale of their business, there are multiple logistical operations involved in sourcing and shipping. Saint-Gobain often employs third-party suppliers to help them with their vision of making the world a better home. Logistics operators like truck drivers and managers work with a simple low-code application, while the senior management team at Saint-Gobain works with the ERP system. With the data being in two disparate systems, their supply chain logistics tracking had room for improvement. Therefore, Saint-Gobain wanted to integrate these two systems seamlessly based on the occurrence of events in either system to improve their supply chain logistics tracking.
Saint-Gobain had to choose a reliable and secure platform for the solution, as this would be used by 200+ users, including loading staff, truck drivers, and the senior management team.
Integration powered by Catalyst
The Saint-Gobain team uncomplicated serverless by switching to Catalyst. They created a simple NodeJS Advanced I/O functions in Catalyst to transform their data from the ERP system (SAP) for the low-code platform. With multiple triggers configured for each process, such as scheduling deliveries, tracking delivery time, and managing their entire supply chain. These triggers invoke a Catalyst function that extracts the data, transforms the payload from SAP, and pushes them to Zoho Creator. When the data is added in SAP, the Catalyst function is invoked, which acts as an ETL pipeline and pushes the data to Zoho Creator.
Another Catalyst function pulls the data from Zoho Creator and transforms the JSON into an XML file, which is then uploaded to a secure FTP server using SFTP protocol for review. This completes an essential loop between the third-party suppliers, truck drivers and management team at Saint-Gobain.
This process is repeated for every module, including scheduling, delivery time tracking, and several others. For example, let's consider the scheduling module. The management team at Saint-Gobain creates an entry in SAP, which triggers the Zoho Catalyst function that pushes the data to Zoho Creator. Later, a Zoho Creator webhook triggers an advanced I/O function that parses the data and creates an XML file for the management's team with quotes from multiple suppliers. The management team compares this data to decide the supplier for the requirement.
Why they chose Catalyst
- Commitment to security
- Ready-to-use independent components
- Decoupled environments
Commitment to security
Security and privacy are the guiding principles at Catalyst. This helped simplify the choice for the Saint-Gobain team, as Zoho's promise of privacy and security holds true for all its products, including Catalyst.
Ready-to-use independent components
Catalyst helped them solve an existing problem with independent components. Saint-Gobain was able to create Catalyst functions and use them independently without having to configure other components, but with the opportunity to integrate with the serverless suite iteratively.
Completely decoupled environments for testing and production were an added advantage, as they helped them deploy with confidence.
Finally, serverless being a green cloud computing solution aligns with Saint-Gobain's vision of making the world a more sustainable place to live. Catalyst provided an eco-friendly cloud computing solution for an enterprise committed to eco-friendly production.
The benefits and ROI
Catalyst enabled the team at Saint-Gobain to deliver a decoupled solution for the different stakeholders. The solution integrates seamlessly to optimize the supply chain.
Catalyst simplified the adoption process for the Saint-Gobain team by providing familiar tools like CLIs and an integrated console to manage the resources.
A single developer working on the integration was able to complete the solution within a week. This is one of the core reasons for the BYOC (bring your own code) policy of Catalyst, which enabled the developer to use NodeJS code along with multiple npm packages and third party libraries.
The team deployed the project overnight and had the system up and running the next morning, setting an example with a novel integration that adopts the Strangler pattern to move the smallest integrable components as decoupled microservices on Catalyst.