Nuwo: Homeoffice as a Service on NextJS and Crystallize
Nuwo is a home office-as-a-service solution that provides companies with personalized online stores from which their remote employees can pick and choose furniture/equipment for their home office.
When COVID sent everyone in Germany on lockdown in 2020, many started working from home. With it came the question Who bears the costs of home equipment? All of a sudden, there was a huge demand in the market to solve this problem for companies across different industries and their employees.
Since the beginning of 2021, the startup nuwo, founded by Lisa Rosa Braeutigam, has been offering office equipment for remote workers and those that just started working from home on a leasing basis.
In essence, nuwo rents out office furniture and technical equipment to companies’ employees.
Every company customer of nuwo has its own online shop with individual branding and logo from which its employees can order ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable desks, mobile containers, desk lamps, and other office equipment available in the store. The delivery and assembly of the office furniture and equipment are taken over by specialist dealers with whom nuwo works, and the lease contract period is two to five years, after which the employees can return the furniture or keep it.
Having an idea is one thing. Making it work is something else. Lisa and Lukas knew from the start that the solution they would opt-in to needs to be 100% customizable in terms of the presentation layer, i.e., the frontend, while relying on a single source of truth, the backend, for the work from home equipment they will be able to offer.
This would allow their clients/companies to customize the offer (pick and choose items) and personalize the look and feel of the shop for their employees and allow them to deliver any message they want at the same time.
The easy frontend of the PIM is amazing; everybody from our team is able to create or edit products. The support we received from Crystallize was also great and always very fast. We enjoy working together!
Lisa Rosa Braeutigam, Founder & CEO at nuwo
The nuwo team used the Next.js framework for their presentation layer to build a completely flexible user experience with the option of using React Components to establish a consistent code base. For all of their requirements, Crystallize headless PIM was the ideal fit on the backend.
This works as follows. All Shops run on the single Crystallize tenant. To keep things organized, they use the PIM’s folder structure to separate all the shops’ information into different folders. But since the vast majority of their products need to be
- selectively available in all of their stores and
- have to be consistent when they need to make changes,
They maintain folders for the shops but also have folders that contain all the products on a higher level. Then, within each store, they only reference the products from the higher-level folders.
By developing a specific Shape called Product Relation, they were able to accomplish that. This allowed them to keep a solid overview of the products and be able to modify products without worrying about which shop they needed to persist the changes in and include products in appropriate stores.
Another significant challenge was the requirement for distinct user interface appearances, including images, texts, links, etc., in each shop. To make this work, nuwo team created Content Shapes, which they can customize within Crystallize, and the components of their website simply need to obtain the information received from the Service API. They selectively include these content shapes as a relation in the individual shops.
That way, the team was able to create custom-fitted appearances of individual shops according to their client's needs without the need even to touch their code and risk implementing bugs, etc.
Take Ramboll, for example, one of nuwo’s biggest clients. Ramboll is a multidisciplinary engineering, architecture, and management consultancy company with close to 800 people working for them in Germany. nuwo equips Ramboll’s employees that are working from home through a customized and personalized webshop fueled by Crystallize.
nuwo believes in a hybrid working model in the future: a mix between working from home and working in an agile communicative office space. Creating a workplace where employees feel comfortable at home or the office will still be an issue, and the goal nuwo as a company is turned to.
As for the tech stack behind nuwo there is no doubt new challenges will appear along the way. The first thing that comes to mind is adding more customization, scaling, or porting to different frameworks. Nevertheless, it is much simpler to envision a successful future for the business when trustworthy partners, like Crystallize, are supporting the core business offer.
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