Started in 2015, Parcelvision offers a unified logistics platform that enables retailers to communicate with multiple delivery providers with the goal of maintaining competitive, efficient logistics operations. The Parcelvision platform has a robust set of features including price optimization, transit time estimation, parcel tracking, and self-serve issue resolution. Parcelvision is integrated with all major couriers including FedEx, UPS, DHL, DPD, and many more.
ParcelVision provides price quotations for shipping packages to and from a variety of locations. A quotation is generated for each courier, and the customer chooses the best option. High-quality historical data allows Parcelvision and its customers to quickly demonstrate ROI with the platform.
In the retail industry, the cost of shipping has traditionally been averaged and calculated offline and reviewed and configured only periodically. Calculating averages, unfortunately, under-delivered in several respects, including allowing for little control over deliveries to users in remote areas, shipments that were outside of normal parameters, and any additional requirements and costs involved for those shipments. With ParcelVision retailers can offer very accurate and up-to-date cost estimates to their shoppers.ParcelVision needed an approach that collected and maintained a detailed record of quotations, orders, and tracking data. But the company also required strong, out-of-the-box temporal modeling capability. In short, they needed to be able to say with authority whether or not their retailer clients could have saved money with their deliveries in the past had they used ParcelVision. In order to achieve this capability, the Parcelvision team needed to be able to compare carrier invoices with historical rates. They also needed to be able to handle requests for despatch and delivery in the future. What was needed to accommodate all of these requirements was an event database.
“We’re now using EventStoreDB for 90% of our business logic”Savvas Kleanthous, Head of Engineering
Chief Architect, Savvas Kleanthous, knew that by storing the data in an Event-Sourced system such as EventStoreDB, where a perfect, ordered log of all the business events is kept, Parcelvision would be able to meet all of their requirements, and more.
“Software is a manifestation of the business’s spirit, and Event Sourcing is the most natural way to record business decisions. All processes that record business changes are best stored in the form of domain events”. In addition to the key application features it enabled, EventStoreDB, the only database powered by Event Sourcing and CQRS, also allowed Engineers to go back through the events in any system and see exactly where issues occurred and more easily correct them. They saved untold hours and aggravation dealing with maintenance and cumbersome reporting issues.
ParcelVision had outgrown the deprecated open-sourced database it had been using. They sought peace of mind for their business-critical system and knew they needed a more robust solution. They turned to EventStoreDB and Event Store Support. “It’s actually quite hard to not find Event Store if you’re working with Event Sourcing!” said Savvas.
The inherent benefits of an event database, and the levels of support at Event Store, made EventStoreDB a natural choice. EventStoreDB would allow Savvas and his team to keep the context of the business decision, not just a snapshot of the current state. Keeping context for a decision is useful for Business Intelligence and analytics, giving the team unprecedented insights into why events happened and how they can be better.
For Savvas, support weighed heavily in his decision to use a third-party event database provider. “The fact that we could call Event Store at any time and they would fix any issues was most appealing to us,” said Savvas. “We didn’t want to [have to] become experts in Event Store… we were happy to delegate the support of the product”.
Event Store Support allows Parcelvision to have a smaller Engineering team that is focused on their business requirements and streamlining their cognitive load. Parcelvision can provide up to 50,000 quotations per hour, with each quotation generating multiple events. EventStoreDB easily handles all the events and quotations, freeing up their developers to focus on the business needs rather than the onerous maintenance of the database.“We didn’t want to build event sourcing capabilities [on top of] a different database, or pick an open-source one which we would have to provide production support for. Now that [there is] a hosted solution, that’s even better!”
“EventStoreDB is a mature database that we are very happy to go with. It is the support from Event Store that makes it the best choice available. Event Store is the best choice out there for Event Sourcing.”Savvas Kleanthous, Head of Engineering
Savvas and Parcelvision are using a local version of EventStoreDB, but are looking forward to migrating to Event Store Cloud in the near future.
“[Our] idea is to move everything over to Event Store Cloud as quickly as possible, ready to launch a new product connecting clients and couriers in a broader, more international way. This product will be entirely Event-Sourced, so it’s only natural that it will be built on EventStoreDB. We’re now using EventStoreDB for 90% of our business logic”.