TECHNOLOGY

CSA Exclusive: Northgate Market lays foundation for digital transformation

CSA Exclusive: Northgate Market lays foundation for digital transformation.

BY Dan Berthiaume

Operating 40 grocery stores in Southern California, Northgate Market sought to meet demand for a seamless shopping and ordering experience, on both the front and back ends.

“We realized that organizing and effectively managing our digital assets would be a prerequisite to any level of digital transformation,” Harrison Lewis, CIO of Northgate Market, said in an interview with Chain Store Age. “Our product descriptions and categories were all internal and needed to be updated for customer-facing use, and our images were from before the digital era and needed improvement.”

To create an effective content foundation that would support its transformation to a modern, omnichannel enterprise, Northgate implemented the cloud-based, open-source PIM and master data management (MDM) platform from Pimcore. This provided the grocer with a single framework to manage information, digital assets, and content that could seamlessly integrate with e-commerce, back office, and POS systems.

In addition, Northgate leveraged the Pimcore platform to develop a variety of integrated applications, such as an end-to-end order management system.

“The order management system is geared toward our fresh produce business,” commented Lewis. “It enables us to collaborate with various vendors and partners who provide fresh produce products.”

Other applications Northgate has built on the Pimcore platform include a solution to digitally manage how associates receive discounts with their employee cards, as well as a solution to digitally manage the application process for scholarships the retailer awards. Northgate hosts the Pimcore platform inside its own private Google Cloud, and all applications developed on the platform are standardized and run on the retailer’s private cloud platform.

Since deploying the Pimcore PIM platform, Northgate has sped up the process of bringing new food items to market, making it easier to scale into new markets. The retailer has also been able to make its e-commerce site compliant with the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) act. In addition, Northgate now has a detailed track record of retail store stock and vendor-specific requirements, while lowering overall implementation and support costs.

“A lot of retailers do digital transformation as one-offs or cut-and-paste projects,” said Lewis. “That is not scalable or sustainable. We realized early on we had to have something we could deliver on that was scalable, sustainable, and repeatable. One-offs take more time and are more costly.”

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