Animal Genetics

A New Point of Sale Experience for a Leading Animal Biotech Company

Gilberto Parada
Gilberto Parada
Client
Animal Genetics is an international bio technology company that provides zoos, veterinarians, breeders, and pet owners with genetic testing that is clear, accurate, and affordable.
Challenge
Animal Genetics operated for years with a dated web application backed by a large desktop database housing millions of records. The architecture of their existing systems made it difficult to provide the best customer service. Internally, their staff relied heavily on manual processes and paperwork for basic business functions such as accepting new orders and processing payments.
Tech & Services
Brand
User Experience
Data Transformation
JAVA
JQuery
SQL Server
Online Gateway
e-Commerce POS
We rebuilt and expanded on the company’s existing technology platform to improve internal processes, expand its business volume, and deliver a new customer experience.

We believe that in order to provide the best consultancy, it’s fundamental to have a clear understanding of the company and the business landscape. Thus, we approached Animal Genetics with a keen desire to understand their people, company structure, roles, processes, and marketplace. We were able to create business requirements to address all internal and customer-facing functions, focusing on the changes that would bring the most customer value.

We saw two main opportunities in this project: first, to streamline the way that Animal Genetics administrators handled their influx of business, and second, to drastically improve their customers’ ordering experience

Customer-First

AG leadership wanted to position the company as a customer-first service, which led us to place emphasis on their point of sale and overall customer experience. Our team evaluated competitors’ messaging, language, and e-commerce workflows to better understand which improvements could be brought into the customer-facing aspects of the project. We paid particular attention to the process of purchasing genetic testing and tracking those test results. 

  • Our team evaluated competitors’ messaging and e-commerce workflows to ensure that what we delivered would be both future-proof and competitive.
  • Order tracking, the most important aspect of the customer experience, was drastically improved by 1) creating a series of emails that update customers on the status of their order, including when DNA specimens are received and in what condition, when they are processed through the machines, and when the test results are ready to view.

During analysis, we paid particular attention to the genetic test purchasing and order tracking. This meant creating an intuitive, easy to follow e-commerce experience with usability best practices in place. We took into account audience, age, and business location to ensure that our design team crafted an experience that was on-brand and easy to use.

  • We designed a genetic test purchasing process that resembled a traditional e-commerce shopping cart, making it easy for customers to understand. 

  • AG’s idea of customer-first means passing discounts to customers whenever possible. When making selections, choosing enough tests would automatically opt buyers in to bundled deals and apply discounts at the checkout page.
  • Fonts, buttons, and forms are large and easy to identify. Workshops and demographic research informed us that many users fall into an age category above 50 years old, so we made sure the new ordering system takes this age group into account.

Process Change

Mozym collaborated with the AG team to align on a shared understanding of how their technology goals would impact current processes. Implementation of a new e-commerce experience meant that some important internal processes would be affected and we needed to be vigilant of internal users’ process changes. To mitigate this, we agreed to have a direct point of contact from within the AG organization to communicate and demonstrate in fine detail how our solutions would impact their day-to-day work. 

  • The way that test results are released to customers is infinitely more automated. Before, administrators had to manually release results in a timely manner after the results had been entered into their system. Now, the system auto-releases results 24 hours after being entered, and the admins retain the option to manually release and un-release test results at any point.
  • The amount of orders that admins process manually is reduced drastically. Before, all customer orders came in on paper forms and customers would call frequently to see if their order form and DNA samples had arrived and if their order was even processed. That meant that admins would spend hours just placing orders for customers and relaying order statuses via phone and email to inquisitive customers. Now, customers can place orders and receive confirmations instantly, reducing both the workload on the admin and the amount of phone calls and emails coming in.

Development

We introduced improved planning and project management using Agile Development Methodology using the Scrum framework. Agile (or Scrum) calls for breaking up large features into smaller, incremental releases which allow for faster testing and feedback along the way

As with most organizations with existing/legacy technologies, it was important that we collaborated closely with AG’s in-house DBA. The success of the project depended heavily on a successful migration of old data and records from the old database to the new system. We made sure that data was tested often for accuracy through unit tests and dedicated database reviews.

We were able to validate our progress through planned rounds of Beta testing. We believe that in modern software development, Beta testing ought to be an integral part, regardless of project size. We collaborated with the client to source power users that would be willing to try new features and share their feedback. End-user feedback allowed us to identify areas of improvement along the development cycle.

Outcomes

When order forms arrived in the lab without a DNA specimen, lab technicians in the company mail room used to send those forms up to the administrative office to be checked for whether or not the animal in the order already had a DNA specimen in storage. The upstairs admin would check the database for a specimen ID number, and then relay that identifier back to the lab tech, who would then pull it from storage. Now, specimen identifiers come in printed on the order form, a process improvement that eliminated the need for an admin to check the database. 

Customers used to fill and mail paper order forms, handwriting information, and checking boxes for which tests they wanted, all to be entered later by an admin. Now, customers can view hundreds of tests online and order instantly via credit card or PayPal.