Groenendijk Bedrijfskleding is a total supplier of work clothing to mainly large organizations in the Benelux. From workwear and suits to personal protection equipment and company shoes.
The order from Defense for the delivery of new combat boots is a perfect fit for the company. From now on, more than 45,000 servicemen and reservists will receive the best fitting and most comfortable combat boot for their task or mission. Ibuildings developed a unique 3D measuring application for this purpose. According to Leendert Oosterom, Project Coordinator Logistics and Production at Groenendijk, this is “the best application running in our company”. He explains why.
Not manual, but automated
It all started with a successful tender by Groenendijk Bedrijfskleding for the supply of combat boots. The boots are part of a large project within the Ministry of Defence in which all military personnel will be provided with new clothing and equipment in the years to come that suits their current tasks. Unique to this project is that the military are given a choice in the model of boots and the fit. To take stock of that choice, each soldier comes to their own barracks to a special fitting trailer - also new - where a 3D scanner is used to measure both feet and the soldier can try on and test different shoes.
The data from the measurement goes directly into a web application, and is supplemented there with the personal preferences. In this way, Defense has all the information it needs to order the right boots and socks. “When we won the tender, we immediately thought: we’re going to do this professionally. Not manually with redundancies and the risk of errors, but fully automated. We need an application for that.”
PHP, time and click
And so Groenendijk started looking for a suitable partner to build such an application. “One of the selection criteria was that it could be developed in PHP, with our own developer being part of the project team. We find it important that all developments and know-how remain within Groenendijk; that makes us a strong market player.”
Furthermore, a short turnaround time was a requirement, because the measuring-in application is essential for the new fit trailer that was going to be running within three months. And, of course, there had to be a mutual click. “We are a creative organization and look for similar partners.” Ibuildings met all these criteria.
From idea to working application
Groenendijk Bedrijfskleding knew roughly what the application should look like, but the further elaboration was still completely open. “Ibuildings really took us by the hand. Right at the start they had already worked out how they envisaged the application. And that went a lot further than our first sketches. Which input is mandatory, when is there a choice, why do you want that, can it be done smarter?”.
“Throughout the remainder of the design phase, Ibuildings guided us with questions, thought ahead and brought in smarts that we hadn’t thought of yet. This ranged from small things like an extra check step on the correctness of entered data to a well thought out way of dealing properly and efficiently with the phenomenon of ‘unparen’.”
When measuring the right shoe size, you quickly come across people with uneven feet. One in four people turn out to have a different shoe size on the left than on the right. They then need two different sizes - a pair of shoes - but how do you record that?
“We wanted to do that very simply, but the development team at Ibuildings was already thinking further. Can you then automate that input and process it further? That was handy, of course. So those steps were immediately included in the code, so now all you have to do is check a box and enter the right sizes, then you’re even shown where in the trailer you can find the right combat boots to try on among the 700-plus pairs.”
Quick steps with agile
Ibuildings' agile working method with bi-weekly sprints fits well with how Groenendijk wants to work and provided a working application within the lead time. “It is an intensive process, but it allows you to make big steps in a short period of time. Sometimes the information from the Ministry of Defence was not immediately available, but that did not really affect the process.
Ibuildings took stock in advance of what they needed for the next sprint, so they could continue. In this way they kept us and the Ministry of Defence on our toes and we were actually always thinking a sprint ahead.”
Partner for the future
Groenendijk Bedrijfskleding is very satisfied with the work and people of Ibuildings. “We are enormously proud of the whole project for Defence with the 3D measuring application and the fitting trailer. It shows the professionalism of our organization, both for existing and future customers.” “Ibuildings has brought in a lot of knowledge and expertise in a short time. That manifests itself in expertise, thinking along, cooperation and design: very professional. Moreover, they are a friendly group of people; not unimportant when you work together so intensively. We have learned a lot from them and are happy with this partner for the future.”
The surveying application: the technology
The fitting application consists of a PHP web application with Laravel framework for the backend, and a modern and accessible visual design for the frontend, which is fully in line with the corporate identity of Groenendijk Bedrijfskleding.
For measuring the feet we developed a link to a 3D scanner. The data from the measurement goes directly into the application, and is completed with the category of combat boot - depending on task or mission - the model choice.
From the application, API links have been developed to various business systems within Groenendijk, including Exact. The application runs not only in the fitting trailer, but also in the shop-in-shop in the Clothing and Personal Equipment Unit (KPU) of the Ministry of Defence in Soesterberg. The shop-in-shop has a different working method, which required additional functions to, for example, webshop, warehouse and issue system.
Besides the development and fine-tuning of the web application, we also provide the application management, thus ensuring continuity.