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Innovating the Marketplace Journey for a Leading European Pharmaceutical Retailer  

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Symphony
April 15th, 2022

Call for Action

The concept of the marketplace has not changed drastically over time, but the arrival of popular online e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Ebay, and AirBnB innovated how business is done in unmatched ways. The online marketplace keeps evolving in accordance with the current climate and market demand, and we can say with certainty that the main driving force behind this evolution will always be how to provide the best value to the customer.

Last year, a Leading European Pharmaceutical Retailer approached Symphony x TrueNode with an initial idea to develop and expand the existing online marketplace that would allow third-party sellers to offer their products and services. This client pioneered the marketplace for pharma products and expanded substantially over time into a platform that provides products and services in the healthcare space.

Now, their main motivation is to move away from their outdated technological and organizational setup and improve the platform in terms of efficiency, scalability, processes, and organizational structure.

Combining the Power of Humans + Technology

To meet the demands of an ever-changing market in terms of international and fiscal policies, supply and demand chain and so on, the client needed to modernize and develop a new structure. The two main challenges in this process were the existing architecture and organizational setup.

The initial scope consisted of conceptualizing and developing the marketplace changes and accelerating product development. As we immersed ourselves deeper and our understanding of the infrastructure broadened, so did our scope of impact.

In terms of the tech challenges on the account, our teams added changes and recommendations to the existing architecture that greatly improved the processes, but only after a thorough analysis and substantial efforts invested in grasping the system. What gained the client’s trust was our expertise, proactive thinking, agility, and flexibility - one of Symphony’s core values that our teams continually strive to apply in day-to-day work and life.

As Amela Causevic, Product Manager on this account pointed out - “We did not shy away from digging deep, and slowly started acquiring a more holistic approach while consistently having stable delivery. The first Quarterly Business Review with the client was a big success and a turning point, where we explained our approach and changes to the system. This session resulted in adding two new teams to the five existing ones on this account, which was a recognition of our daily efforts, dedication to the project, and the strong relationship we built with the client.”

When it comes to organizational changes, scaling from a traditional e-commerce marketplace to a modern tech company is an important milestone for the client. Our teams were ready to provide the necessary expertise and support during this big transition. It was crucial to establish a thorough onboarding plan for teams to work together towards becoming equal partners in sharing knowledge and experience. To achieve this, it is key to have a steady stream of communication and transparency.

Jakob Schwankhaus, Co-Founder and Managing Director at TrueNode, maintains regular check-ups with the stakeholders on the account and shares all important findings with Amela Causevic, Product Manager on the project. They cooperate very closely to put everyone in the loop and ensure stable delivery. In the end, it is essentially about creating a foundation of trust and respect and working together to build a great product for the end customer.

Driving Value

Comparing the then and now of our collaboration with the client, Jakob Schwankhaus pointed out - “Last year was mainly driven by execution - the why and what was more clear than the how, i.e., we were working on the existing codebase and clear visibility on the roadmap. Fast forward to today, we have gained much more responsibility both on the tech and product side, and we are working together with the client on the product management and design. We moved away from pure development and the codebase to the core of TrueNode’s value proposition which is the development of the product through discovery and ideation, while helping our client generate even more impact in the healthcare industry.”

This new perspective gave our teams more space to ask questions, and broaden their focus on research on the product itself, in addition to delivery. In the next phase, we hope to expand our impact even further, work more autonomously, and firmly position ourselves on the product end while supporting our client’s expansion to other markets.