Client: Svenska Retursystem AB
Role:Digital Solutions, web apps, integration platform
Business objectives Svenska Retursystem AB (SRS) is a company owned by the major supermarket chains in Sweden. The business model aims to simplify logistics, increase efficiency, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the Swedish grocery industry. Their unique crates and palettes are built for continuous reuse instead of being disposable. SRS already has over 130 million reusable items in circulation, and over 500,000 units are used daily to transport fruit, vegetables, and other products to shops and restaurants. A large proportion of fresh produce consumed in Sweden is transported using SRS’s system.

As part of their mission to continuously improve the service they deliver, and find new ways to reduce the environmental impact, SRS identified the need for a new and improved digital solution to be the basis for their digitalisation journey. This system goes under the name SmartPooling.


“We wanted to have a strong development partner who could work in an agile way, with high quality, but at the same time keep development costs down. Polar Cape has the right attributes to be our long-term partner in the exciting development we have ahead of us” says Jonny Engel, the CIO at Svenska Retursystem AB.

”SRS strives to deliver the best possible value to their customers, supermarkets and food retailers in Sweden. Polar Cape’s business model is to deliver value through our highly skilled consultants both in Stockholm and in Skopje, and by being innovative with new technology. That’s why Polar Cape is the right partner for SRS”, explains Simon Forshaw, CEO at Polar Cape.

Project solution SRS chose Polar Cape Consulting AB as the design and development partner for the new pooling solution. SmartPooling is built as a responsive web application, built with a mobile-first approach. The system allows users to easily create and approve transactions, and has a mediation workflow for disputes. It also provides self-service for the clients to easily add locations, users, and user rights to put the control in the clients hands and reduce administration overhead.

The system needed to be extremely reliable, high performance, and robust in order to handle the large volume of transactions. It is critical for the producers and shops to be able to rely on the information in the system, and to be able to complete transactions with a minimum of fuss and effort. This places high demands on the usability of the application, for example on mobile devices which are often used in loading bays around Sweden to receive goods.

The technical implementation is based on the React JavaScript framework as front-end, and a Java based API-platform for integration of different online and batch interfaces on the back-end. The solution is designed for reliability, to guarantee transactions are handled correctly, and speed and ease of use towards the users.

Polar Cape’s model for quick, high quality, but cost-efficient software delivery is based on having a technical project manager on site in Sweden, and a nearshore development team in Skopje, Macedonia. The technical PM has full control over the scope and delivery with a tight cooperation with the client team, and the top-notch developers in Skopje. The team in Skopje works according to Scrum, an agile development methodology, to deliver features in sprints with continuous testing and feedback. In this way, Polar Cape could get the best of an agile product development with a cross boarder team.

The application is now live as of June 2017. This means it is fully rolled out to all clients who are actively using the new digital solution.

SRS has ambitious plans for the platform. In future they want to develop capabilities such as position tracking, and measurement of temperature, vibration and other metrics to provide even better service to their customers.

Technology used:
  •  Javascript
  •  Java