Europe’s biggest wine trader used nearshore to get ahead

26. Oktober 2021

How a nearshore team in Ukraine kept Hawesko ahead of a very ambitious development curve.

The Hamburg based wine trader is Europe’s largest with over 600m Euros in annual sales. The role of eCommerce is critical and growing. In 2017, Hawesko chose Conscensia to provide it with the development capacity it lacked in bringing a couple of new platforms to market.

As Hanno Sislian, who led the process puts it:

“With rapidly growing online business and ambitious plans, we needed a modern tech stack and people to fuel our growth. Finding software specialists locally was becoming too difficult and this was holding us back. We were aware of the very good reputation enjoyed by software developers in Eastern Europe, so the decision was taken at a high level to get ‘nearshore fit’.” 

Hawesko explained which competences they needed, and Conscensia put together a dedicated software development team specifically to meet their challenges. Over a period of a couple of years, this integrated team ploughed through its tasks. In retrospect, Hanno says:

“Our experience of using a supplier with access to so much talent was excellent. At no point during the process were we in any doubt about what to expect. We always felt we were in good hands. Conscensia had all aspects of all processes under control and made all stakeholders on our side aware of how to mitigate problems before they became a drain on resources. The cost savings we achieved were significant, but actually secondary to reliability of process and quality of result. With the great guys in Lviv, we got all three.”

Hanno, Head of Corporate IT at HAWESKO Holding AG, explains what he and his team learned during this cooperation:

“That process is king! We discovered that running distributed teams is not very different to running collocated teams, if you get the processes right. Mostly this is the result of good internal communication. It also became clear that a cultural mix adds a certain dynamism to the team. Both sides inspire each other to some extent, and this benefited both the team and it’s results.”

Topics such as GDPR, IPR, Temporary Employee Laws etc. also had to be dealt with. Hawesko is a stock listed company with uncompromising standards. Hanno says:

“At the outset we were somewhat unsure about how/if such a cooperation would work in respect of regulations. However, together with Conscensia’s management and our legal department, we got through all of the topics one by one. We produced watertight documentation that insured us on all fronts and gave us peace of mind.”

Make things happen or they happen to you; a short story about getting things done. Whether you’re a small privately owned company or a stock listed monster, if in house software development is business critical, the likelihood is you will be faced with the challenges we helped Hawesko to solve.