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Argid Technologies

Creating a future-proof product solution for a leading luggage delivery company, powered by service design, data management and continuous improvement

Argid Technologies offers seamless B2B and B2C ‘door-to-door’ delivery solutions that move luggage or other belongings anywhere they need to be. Cyber-Duck has supported Argid’s transformation and driven its rapid growth into new sectors, markets and brands, with the design and build of a powerful, scalable bespoke web application - the Argid Luggage Management System – that minimises effort and maximises experience for colleagues, customers, and end users alike.

Key stats

20+ brands

Supported on a single web application

83%

conversion improvement for First Luggage

Man on laptop viewing the Argid homepage

Who are Argid Technologies, and what did they need from Cyber-Duck?

Argid Technologies is a technology organisation operating within the worldwide travel, hospitality and relocation industries. It provides seamless ‘door-to-door’ delivery solutions that move luggage or belongings anywhere they need to be with minimum effort via both B2B services and direct platforms for consumer customers.

Argid houses a variety of brands, including its pioneering flagship brand, First Luggage. Established in 2004 as service for high-net-worth individuals, First Luggage was one of the world’s first self-serve luggage booking systems, offering a way for travellers to travel with no baggage, save time at check-in, and avoid the queues at luggage carousels.

First Luggage’s unique proposition developed from the deep empathy Argid had gained from its long history in travel logistics. Not only did it aim to remove all friction and pain points from the customer experience (CX) but also to do the same for all stakeholders throughout the luggage delivery process, including suppliers, transport and delivery companies. There are no forms to fill in; First Luggage handles all requirements, such as customs forms, communications with customers, airline bookings and more besides. Proactively looking for potential flaws in the process, pre-empting them wherever possible and proactively tracking and resolving whenever a roadblock comes up.

It was First Luggage’s powerful proposition that Cyber-Duck has been working with Argid Technologies for several years to develop into a bespoke digital product capable of scaling globally into multiple B2B partner, white label and new B2C brands in new countries, sectors and markets like relocation services. This product takes the form of the Argid Luggage Management System (AMS) and self-service Customer Portals, all based on the Laravel framework. The new platform built by Cyber-Duck empowers the Argid team to effectively manage their global operations from one centralised, streamlined platform, serving all their partners’ delivery needs, however the service is configured.

Objectives

  1. Analyse the business and operational requirements to generate a service design blueprint and technical architecture for a new single platform capable of meeting the needs of all potential users
  2. Work collaboratively with Argid’s team to translate the findings into UX designs and high-fidelity prototypes to generate a sustainable roadmap for development
  3. Design and build an API-focused, performant front- and back-end web application that can be highly bespoked by Argid and its B2B clients, while minimising manual input and effort for all users
  4. Support the ongoing maintenance and growth of the application, enabling the rapid development of new features to meet Argid’s growth ambitions

Discovery, design and prototyping

We began our transformation programme with Argid Technologies by systematically mapping out their operational and human requirements. This was achieved through a series of user flow audits and service design blueprinting to unravel the commercial/business logic, use cases, and the various layers of management and integration.

As Argid had a system in place already, we baselined and benchmarked the performance of the existing code framework, design, and hosting configuration. This helped us to identify challenges and limitations from the perspective of user experience, data scalability, and flexibility.

From this Discovery phase, we identified the following areas to work on:

  • Data – we would break down silos on the data side to achieve a more cohesive system.
  • User experience – we would build more self-service features and a customer dashboard to ease user flows and give customers more independence with their bookings and information.
  • System integrations – working with multiple carriers was a must. We would make integrations more flexible through a modular architecture that can leverage numerous APIs.
  • Management layer – we would make the process of entering information less manual, helping to save time and reduce overheads.
  • Documentation – we would put a detailed, thorough documentation process in place, helping to make maintenance more efficient and improve knowledge sharing between different departments.
  • Reducing reliance on developers - we would ensure there was a single source of truth for developers, simplifying development work and improving efficiency.

In parallel with this Discovery work, our design experts worked with the client’s internal teams. We produced and translated their service design blueprint and functional requirements into low-fidelity wireframes and prototypes. Alongside this, we also created a new, user-centred artistic direction for the new platform. 

Backed by iterative usability testing, this process led to the creation of a series of high-fidelity, clickable prototypes. These demonstrated the effectiveness of the new user journeys, and solidified a sustainable roadmap for the new platform that worked for both internal teams and end users.

Diagram of the discovery progress conducted with Argid Technologies

Transforming Argid Technologies with a new Laravel platform

Working from these prototypes, we built a scalable, modular, and secure web application-based service for the client using Laravel, the open-source PHP framework.

Our challenge was to deliver this complex platform at pace, all while Argid Technologies were still operating their business as usual. To achieve this, we set up the client with dedicated management from a Cyber-Duck Product Director, who would put in place the right Agile methodologies for the different workstreams.

One of the client’s key requirements was the ability to manage multiple brands and user workflows from a single codebase. We designed and developed a new, centralised platform which integrated with their in-house accounting and payment processing platforms, offering a single source of truth for sales.

First Luggage website presented on different sized screens

Implemention of various technical innovations

  • A Content Management Platform to author and create widgets for white label customers (such as airports), edit and manage all the countries and regions, allowing users to make bookings via third party websites.
  • A myriad of third-party integrations to facilitate luggage transfers and tracking including carrier APIs with FedEx, DHL and others.
  • Integration with Zendesk through APIs to power customer support functionality within the Argid Admin portal.
  • We integrated Xero to generate accurate invoices, issue credit notes, and give the ability to amend bookings seamlessly within the system.
  • We reimagined the customer portal by mapping out the prior ‘as-is’ state with new ‘to-be’ journeys, flows and blueprints, and developed a new customer portal that was developed through continuous customer feedback and iteration.
  • Implemented a single customer view which displays all the orders, spend to date, all interactions, and invoices with behaviour analysis via New Relic.
  • We set up advanced Google Analytics e-commerce funnels that track activity and conversions across booking widgets to visualise lags, frictions and stumbling points at scale to optimise performance.
  • We developed extensive transactional mail, guiding and supporting customers through the entire lifecycle of registration all the way to fulfilling orders.
  • Set up monitoring dashboards to capture, log and articulate any user and system errors in real-time to effectively troubleshoot.
  • Implemented AWS (Amazon Web Services) infrastructure with scalability, security, and resilience throughout the technology stack.

Future proofing and ongoing governance were extremely important in this project. Firstly, we set up a Product Management function to govern Agile methodologies such as Kanban, logic around acceptance criteria, ticketing, escalation, and to manage the documentation standards and rituals around workflows, meetings and gathering requirements.

A key aspect of product management was creating a culture of continuous improvement on all aspects of product management, delivery, stakeholder engagement and design, technology, and marketing performance. This was handled through frequent end-of-sprint review and retrospective sessions.

Secondly, by working closely with the Argid team, we set new architectural and database standards, providing a robust framework for security, disaster recovery and business continuity.

This approach ensures the high quality of the Argid platform will be maintained long into the future. As a result, there are now rigorous standards for acceptance criteria, so all new features and developments are clearly documented, empowering the client team, designers, developers and QA analysts.

Diagram of the Technical Innovations progress with Argid Technologies

Creating a knowledge-sharing culture

Communication and documentation were key to this project. They would lay the groundwork for future governance and iterative work, and empower the Argid team to become more self-sufficient.  

As part of this, we developed a central document centre based on ClickUp. This stores relevant information about the various integrations, APIs and custom business logic so all stakeholders and contractors can understand them easily. At the end of every meeting, a highly articulate suite of documents is generated, including links to Kanban and/or Scrum workflows, to help the collaborative culture continue to thrive.  

This style of delivery, ownership and the open culture we developed were critical to the project’s success. Thanks to this approach, maintenance, new features and product expansion pivots have been highly successful, serving as an example for other projects. Everything we have done for Argid is underpinned by sustainability and governance, illustrating our future-proof approach to digital transformation. 

Front cover and first page from How to scale Laravel projects and applications White Paper

Increasing resilience, speed and security

Based on a new cloud architecture, we tailored the AWS infrastructure. We incrementally improved widget performance by 400% in terms of speed, and 83% in terms of conversions for the First Luggage product. The Customer Portal and Widgets were hosted on a scalable cloud platform. In terms of security, the system has been developed using Secure by Design (SbD) and Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) principles. This approach ensures that the platform is fully compliant to all required data security standards.

Diagram presenting results from First Luggage and Argid Luggage project work

Results and ongoing work

The First Luggage product proposition has evolved over many years of learning, both within the business and in the wider world. Since 2004, when the brand was first launched, people have become much more comfortable buying and booking online - particularly post-pandemic. Everyone – customers, employees, suppliers - want, need and expect fast, seamless and easy services and experience. This empathy for every user is embedded throughout the Argid Luggage Management System product code, business logic, and service. 

Guided by this user-centred mindset, as well as in-depth technological investigation, Cyber-Duck has transformed Argid Technologies’s back-end technology into a future-friendly, scalable and highly user-friendly platform which can evolve as the business continues to grow and keep up with the market’s ever-changing demands. It was a real challenge to create code with so many different complexities and interdependencies – ironically, it took a deeply human-centred approach to successfully remove as much human requirement from the end luggage delivery process. Due to the scalable and flexible engine, the platform is now far more powerful and usable, helping First Luggage to win new B2B enterprise clients with global user bases.  

We continue to work in partnership with Argid Technologies to deliver lasting, tangible value incrementally, with ongoing project management and regular deployments of further features. Throughout the last 6 months, Cyber-Duck has been coordinating and leading a multi-stream programme of development, working on multiple initiatives in parallel. Our multi-disciplinary team of experts continue to plan with relevant stakeholders, including third parties, to create a roadmap for Argid’s ongoing development and evolution.   

As demonstrated through our key examples, Cyber-Duck is vastly experienced at leveraging the power of emerging technologies, the importance of clean data management, cultivating an Agile mindset, and focusing on scalability and how sustainability underpins our future-proof approach to digital transformation.  

Throughout this project, there was a major emphasis on estimations, acceptance criteria, retrospectives, release notes and communication to maximise effectivity, efficiency, and ROI. The style of delivery, ownership and the open culture developed was one of the biggest single factors in the project’s success. Due to this, maintenance, new features, and product expansion pivots became highly successful and an exemplar for other projects. You can read about how we’ve integrated this approach in our How to scale Laravel projects and applications white paper here.

Key stats

20+ brands

Supported on a single web application

83%

conversion improvement for First Luggage

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