Web App Development Case Study (Olam International)

Olam Yields Better Efficiency From Docusign With New Web Application

Olam International is a global producer and supplier of cotton, cocoa, coffee, edible nuts and spices. With farms, plantations, and processing plants located across the world, Olam serves over 22,000 business and consumer-side customers. Olam’s US division manages the growth and supply of cotton. They negotiate supply and demand contracts with cotton farmers, brokers, cooperatives and governmental entities.

Manual Management Of Contracts, A Growing Issue

During the growing season, Olam engages cotton farmers, brokers, cooperatives, and governmental entities to initiate agreements for growth volume, purchase, and supply of the crop. The agreements specify amounts and type of cotton, pricing, payment protocols, and delivery details. Then Olam manually processes the agreements and uses DocuSign to facilitate online digital signatures.

While DocuSign enabled Olam to track and execute orders and production agreements, document handling involved numerous hard and soft copy documents to be processed. It was still a manual and time-consuming part of the contract lifecycle, and Olam needed a way to more efficiently expedite contracts with DocuSign.

The Solution: Vision, Functionality, Viability

Olam’s manual processing of agreements was costing them time and money.  They knew they needed a solution, but also needed strategic advice and direction on the architecture, features and functionality that would make it effective for their business users.

Defining The Vision

JDK and Olam collaborated to design, develop, and deploy a custom web application to streamline document processing and reduce rework and document handling.

Initially, the Olam team felt a desktop solution would be best. After assessing and analyzing user roles and work flows, JDK advised that a web-based application would achieve greater usability and accessibility. A web application was ultimately deployed on an on-premise server in Olam’s network.

JDK defined the approach, selected the technologies, designed the UI, and programmed user-based task flows based on the detailed information supplied by the main client-side contact.

Designing An Effective Solution For Business Users

JDK worked closely with Olam’s IT Project Manager who served as a strong liaison between JDK and Olam’s business-side users and stakeholders. He provided critical perspective on the functionality of the solution, and deep insights to help JDK build the features that would meet the needs of the business users.

Through this collaboration JDK developed a solution that features:

  • An integration to a legacy database where procurement, planning and pricing information is stored
  • A custom built web application to acquire procurement plans, configure contract options, and generate various types of purchase agreements
  • An integration with DocuSign, enabling the web application to trigger a digital signing process for Seller, Broker, and Purchasing parties
  • A progress tracker of a contract’s flow from a request to a signed agreement
  • A custom configuration of DocuSign to handle edge cases such as “hosted” signing where a Seller’s Agent ‘hosts’ the Seller’s digital signing session, and obtains a mix of both physical and digital signatures
  • Running the web application on a server installed inside Olam’s network and behind its security walls

From start to finish, JDK completed the project for Olam within 5 months. The application is now up and running at the client site.

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