Coffee supply chain management platform with traceability story
Era of We is a global coffee marketplace and community that brings together all members of the supply chain and gives a higher value of the coffee brand back to the estates.
Estates can trade directly with the roasters thus empowering them towards socio-economical progress.
The platform comprises multiple portals serving the coffee supply chain – from estates growing coffee to roasters processing it into roasted coffee products and finally to the end customers buying the coffee.
The portals provide extensive custom made features making it easy for all actors to perform their roles in the chain.
The application has been developed with Golang as the main programming language, Aurora MySQL, Elasticsearch, Redis, and multiple AWS services like SQS, SES, SNS, S3, etc.
The front-end portals are built using the Angular framework to include modern effects while ensuring a high level of user-friendliness. A robust backend API service powers the platform’s multiple front-end portals.
Additionally, a traceability story is generated as the coffee bean moves through different stages of the supply chain.
This adds transparency to the process of coffee sourced on the platform and aims to make the supply chain more equitable by shifting a higher portion of the revenue to the estates’ end.
The project started with a Proof-Of-Concept phase which took nearly 40,000 man-hours.
Read more about the application’s core features built by our team here.
Golang has been the primary programming language used considering its high performance and efficiency, required to cater to the huge load from multiple frontend portals and services.
Aurora MySql DB is the primary data store, with Elasticsearch used as an extended store to help with advanced searching. Redis helps with server-side caching, decreasing the load on the primary store.
A Websocket API has been built in Golang for the messaging system to allow for instant messaging. Real-time event notifications are also pushed through this service.
AWS SQS is used as part of a queue-consumer setup to handle time-consuming processes that can be pushed to the background. Email notifications are sent out using the AWS SES service.
Application assets are stored and accessed on AWS S3, with AWS Cloudfront providing a global caching service to make for a faster user experience. Application activity logs are pushed to Elasticsearch and monitored using Kibana.
CI/CD was configured using AWS CodePipeline and containerised applications which allow faster, frequent and automated deployments. This was set up and managed by our competent DevOps partner Opsio AB.
In-built translation support is planned to bring down the language barriers that Estates/farmers face when communicating with roasters across the globe.
Third-party E-commerce integrations – Seamless, full-fledged integrations with custom third-party E-commerce applications to ease large-scale management as more roasters are onboarded to the platform.
Some other future challenges expected include using IoT to gather remote sensing info related to green-coffee cultivation, storage and transport, business intelligence reporting to help strategic decision making, etc.
The platform has multiple portals built to cater to the specific requirements of each major stakeholder in the coffee supply chain.
This portal is used by estate users to handle the sourcing and processing of green coffee. Key features include managing estate information, coffee lots, green coffee information, employees, roaster orders, support requests etc.
It also comes with a custom CMS that helps each estate to build and showcase its brand profile, which improves its visibility in the supply chain and helps earn higher margins.
Operators provide a variety of services to facilitate green coffee sourcing. Milling, coffee grading, exporting, import and delivery are some of the key services.
The portal enables operators to manage the services they provide and process the service requests received.
The main purpose of the portal is for roasters to source green coffee from estates and manage roasting it in batches into a variety of products.
Roasters can manage green and roasted coffee product catalogues which are then sold to their B2B and B2C customers.
Partners are the B2B customers of roasters and include hotels, restaurants and cafes. Partners can access the roaster’s E-com shop and purchase coffee.
They can also set up an outlet portal, a digital shopfront to attract and enhance customer experience.
Micro-roasters are B2B customers that purchase green coffee from roasters, and then roast and brew the coffee to end consumers.
Micro-roasters can express their interests in coffee from specific estates which roasters can consider when sourcing green coffee.
End-consumers are the B2C customers of roasters. They can visit and make purchases at the roaster’s E-com shop.
They have access to the coffee lab where they learn a lot about coffee and get their questions answered by experts.
This portal is used by the platform admins to view, manage and provide support for all activities on the platform. Admins could onboard/invite new estates, operators and roasters onto the platform.
They can manage the commission earned from roaster sales and their invoices. An informative dashboard with analytical info helps the admins to monitor activity on the platform and make strategic decisions.
The traceability story showcases the coffee’s journey from farm to cup. Extensive details are shared like:
Overview of the estate/grower and roaster organization
Key facts like species, variety, SCAA cupping score and flavour profiles identified, elevation, etc
Factors that affect coffee quality like elevation, temperature, sun exposure, etc
Processing details and key stats – both wet and dry milling
Roasting process details and stats
Overview of the hospitality partner serving the brewed coffee
Customers purchasing coffee sourced through the platform get a QR Code. Scanning this takes them to the coffee experience portal.
Here, they can experience the traceability story. This offers an unprecedented level of transparency and traceability to the supply chain and gives more visibility to the estates and their significant role in the chain.
The Coffee Lab
Referred to as the “Coffee University” is a space where experts share knowledge on coffee-related topics such as articles, recipes and answers to questions posted by end-users. This is a marketing medium to attract and retain users on the platform.
A centralised real-time direct messaging system has been implemented that allows communication between users in different portals across the platform.
It can be used for direct chats between any two users of the platform, and also for group chats dedicated to specific service requests, disputes or orders.
A dispute management system has been developed in the roaster and estate portals. Authorised users from the roaster or estate organisation can raise dispute tickets linked to any purchase order by adding the error category, description and file attachments.
The messaging system has also been integrated with the dispute management system to assign custom chat threads to discuss and facilitate amicable dispute resolution.
A centralised access control system has been developed to allow setting custom permissions and roles for all users on the platform.
The system was built to also support Single Sign-On so that users can access the different frontend portals with a single login.
Each organisation of any of the portals can create their own custom roles that fit its organisation structure and assign one or more roles to its team members.
Based on their roles and access, team members will be allowed to/restricted from accessing specific sections of the application.
A third party e-commerce application was integrated as a shopfront for roaster’s products. It fetches the product catalogue and inventory data from the Era Of We platform and pushes back the order and payment information when new orders are placed.
Externally accessible APIs
The platform also exposes a few externally accessible API endpoints which can be used by partners and micro-roasters to fetch the coffee traceability info and use it on their own E-commerce, web and mobile applications.
LiteBreeze helped create our highly customized project. We are impressed with their good service quality and adherence to deadlines. We are happy to recommend them as a reliable development partner. - Daniel Hedlund