Scentre Group Case Study

The challenge

Scentre Group is the owner and operator of Westfield living-centres in Australia and New Zealand. This comprises 41 centres in both markets, making Scentre Group the leader in the industry. As part of Scentre strategy to transform digital and physical retail space, they created the Customer Technology Experience (CXT) team, responsible for increasing customer intimacy and accelerating agility and innovation.

As part of these goals, Scentre engaged Alembic to create a platform to sell Digital Out of Home advertising campaigns. Westfield shopping centres have a network of almost 2000 smart screens delivering premium ads to discerning customers. We helped design and build the tool which enables the sales team to work better and faster using highly targeted screen selection based on the campaign goals.

The Solution

Alembic worked closely with the CXT teams to research and architect the platform to process large amounts of data provided by different systems. One of the goals of this project was to provide a centralised platform for the sales team as well as deliver a maintainable and documented system for CXT engineers to manage after Alembic's engagement.

The team designed a platform powered by a front-end in React and TypeScript, consuming data from
a GraphQL API in Node.js, developed also in TypeScript. The choice of using Typescript was one of the most important decisions because it simplifies the JavaScript code adding types, making it easier to read and debug. This is trully important for a platform that has to be maintainable over time.

The most complex part of this project lives in the GraphQL API where the system has to work with all the data related to the Westfield centres and the super screens. Over this data, the filters are applied in order to suit the sales team requirements and target the most effective screens to show the clients' campaigns. Most of the data comes from an enterprise Data Warehouse, but other external systems are integrated with the solution, creating a complex data system able to apply filters in real time.

The first end-to-end version of the application was created in 3 months, where we deployed into staging environments and connected to the data APIs to collect the information related to the screens. The entire platform took less than 7 months to be production ready and used by the sales team to process the advertising campaigns.

The Outcomes

Alembic delivered a platform for Scentre Group's sales teams to be able to filter and select smart screens and retail sites where Westfield companies run their advertising campaigns. Alembic worked directly with the Customer Technology Experience team on site as well as remotely to deliver the project. We had daily stand-ups and fortnightly iterations so the team could receive feedback from all the stakeholders and adapt the system while in development.

The application had to get large amounts of data from a Data Warehouse continuously to have the most recent information regarding the smart screens to avoid collisions on dates between the advertising campaigns. The architecture designed ended up being a good approach for the data aggregation that is made.

Why We Love Scentre Group

We love that Scentre Group embraced a modern technology stack and methodologies for the project. We also loved that we felt part of the team which made collaboration easy and fun.