At Youwe, we work with many different clients. Each client case is another unique case where the Youwe team works together with the client to find the best solution. We talked to Klaas, tech lead of the Pimcore team at Youwe. He is a part of the project that helps a big player in the agriculture sector in the Netherlands in their digital transformation. Like many companies, this company faced the challenge of replacing their many outdated internal systems by one central system. This is when Youwe stepped in and developed a system that generates documents from different data sets. Additionally, it can convert these documents to PDF files, ready to send to the company’s clients.
Finding a solution
Klaas and his team faced a challenge when starting this project. How do you find a solution that contains all the previous systems? The team started small and checked with the client if they were on the right track, improving the system one step at a time. Some of the requirements of the system were that the client needed to provide certain information to their customers. This would include product information like toxic substances, explosion danger warnings, but also guidelines and legislation. As this information differs from product to product, this was a large set of data that needed to be managed in one system, and the team chose to use Pimcore as the core of the solution.
The client went from having to manage data in countless excel files to a system where they can manage, import and export everything they need. Klaas and the Pimcore team built a system from which data can be sent to the clients directly.
Every product in the system has a lot of fields and other entities under it. Pimcore is a product information management tool, but it can do a lot more, especially in this case. Klaas: “Pimcore provides the building blocks for projects, it gives us full freedom and flexibility to build exactly what is needed. This applies to the design, but most importantly the functionalities that are important to the client.”
Growing beyond the initial goals
We asked Klaas if the team reaching this goal meant that the project is now over. Klaas: “Actually, most projects are being worked on continuously. There are always improvements and upgrades that need to be implemented in the system we initially delivered. The great thing about this project is that we have a large amount of data, leaving us with so many possibilities to work with this data in different ways. During this project we already had ideas that if we made this system, we can do a lot of other new things, like integrating data from suppliers. There are many options.”
The tech challenge
Building a system when a client is figuring out what they exactly need it to do can be a challenge: “As I mentioned before, to make sure we fit the requirements of the client, we had to start small and check in along the way with the client. This made the start of this project a little bit of a challenge. Figuring out all the components of the system was quite complex, however, the client is very happy with the system we have built and how much flexibility it provides to be able to generate the documents so easily.”
What it's like in the project
Klaas has been with Youwe for 12,5 years. We asked him what he enjoys about his work: “The nice thing about my job is that I get to work with many different clients, and I am able to get a glimpse of what every client is doing. That makes it a versatile and interesting job. In this project I was able to learn a lot about Pimcore itself. I have high standards when it comes to the quality of code and this turned out to be very useful during this project, to me and my team.”
We were curious what the biggest difference was when Klaas received more responsibilities with becoming a tech lead: “I still write code as a tech lead, but I am more involved in other matters as well. The main difference is that I am in touch with our clients a lot more, making sure we are on the same page. Next to that we also have regular tech lead meetings where we share knowledge and experiences and think of ways to implement (technical) improvements within the organization.”