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Celebrating 10 years with Tesco

This month, April 2019, will mark our 10th year working with Tesco Stores, and I’ve been taking a raw look back at the decade of projects, code old and new, relationships built, and opportunities won and lost.

Looking back, March 2009 was a seminal moment in the direction and strategy for Haefele Software as an opportunity to make our mark presented itself. As is often the case, this opportunity was disguised by a cloud of risk, uncertainty, hard work, and stress, but stands today as the first time we stood up and took a swing despite the cloud, and this blog pays respect to that moment, and what has been accomplished since.

10 years with leading British retailer

Seldom a dull moment in the last 10 years, it feels like just a few years since that first exciting invoice to the leading British retailer, but on reflecting on all that has been learnt and achieved, it truly does stack up to a decade worth of highs and lows. Highs that have built some awesome software and directly attributed to the growth we’ve seen in Haefele Software today, and lows that all but crippled the business, and my confidence, in earlier years.

During this time, we have seen, transitioned and continued to build software through three significant restructures in Tesco, each bringing fresh challenges, fresh opportunities and fresh relationships. As such, Tesco continues to be our model of how businesses can be made, and broken, on relationships.

From a personal perspective, while Haefele Software has been engaged with Tesco for 10 years, I have been involved with their teams since January 2002, wearing and enjoying multiple hats over 17 years, from coding in Cape Town, workshopping in London, to training in Hong Kong, making Tesco deeply part of my DNA, and this moment even more important to me with having a hand in the retailer’s primary Packaging & Workflow application, from birth through adolescence to maturity, through numerous projects and countless improvements, rebuilds and refactors!

Taking pride in work

While there have been so many emotions over this time, the clear emotion I feel this month is pride. Pride in what we are achieving in the highs. Pride in how we handled the lows, holding our nerve and coming through stronger as a business, and stronger in our relationships. And pride in the team members that have been behind it all.

Thank you to the many teams over the years, so many names stand out.. more than 20 of us in Haefele have made a mark on Tesco over the years, some who have moved onto new challenges in Haefele, but many current members breathe their values in Team Tesco today – Johan, Marius, Zak, Zubair, Claud, Lance, Andre, and Josh in dev, Bodhi and Andrew in BA, Ricky, Lucky and Tyler in QA, and Teri, Simon and Grant in Support. Thank you guys!

And of course, thank you to Tesco for this partnership and for the approach they have with suppliers – it’s been an absolute pleasure to build our business alongside you.

In this, our 10th year, we are excited not only to still be involved, but to be providing our largest team yet engaging in new projects in new areas of Tesco, coupling my 17 years in Tesco with 10 years of team know-how to build something special, both in software and in relationship.

We are marking this notable 10 year milestone in a special way – from 20-27 March, a small group of us based in Cape Town spent a week in London to share the experience of Tesco first hand. This trip brings Guy (one of our Technical Directors, and previous Tesco team lead), Johan (current Tesco team lead), Ricky (Tesco QA lead, and previous Support lead), and Monique (Operations, People, Finance, & Accounts) to the UK, not only to further and deepen our relationship with Tesco, but to provide an opportunity for members of our team to better understand how our software makes a difference in our longest-standing client.

Written by Alan Haefele, Managing Director at Haefele Software

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