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Case study: idealworks

Pioneering smart logistics through infrastructure optimization and engineering effectiveness

idealworks is a startup company that is leading the charge in logistics innovation. Born from a forward-thinking initiative at BMW Group in 2015, it’s dedicated to providing top-notch robotics solutions for the logistics industry.


Its mission is clear: to streamline logistics processes with reliable software and hardware. idealworks believes in trust, collaboration and fostering innovation while supporting the growth of its team.


With these values at the forefront, it aims to help its clients build robust robotics ecosystems and create a workplace that attracts and retains exceptional talent. Together, idealworks and its clients are shaping the future of transport logistics, one innovative solution at a time.


Enabling logistics of the future with scalable robotics ecosystems


idealworks aimed to boost growth by deploying more autonomous robots on a monthly basis. The main challenge was to expand while staying profitable and agile. It was facing an uncontrolled increase in cloud costs and started to hit bottlenecks around developer productivity and efficiency.


To reach its growth goals, idealworks needed to focus on tackling foundational issues like infrastructure costs and time-to-market delays. It partnered with Thoughtworks to shift its mindset and adopt best practices for managing cloud cost management and improving software delivery processes.


Our partnership


The focus of our engagement was enabling the idealworks teams, which involved teaching, promoting, coaching and shifting mindsets. In both areas, our team enabled idealworks to learn and implement new practices based on our sensible defaults. We began by targeting the easiest improvements in both areas, identifying and suggesting ways to tackle the most valuable changes with the least amount of effort.


We formed two streams to collaborate with the client in implementing these changes, allowing idealworks to experience our distinctive approach. At the outset, we established OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to measure the delivered value.


For the first stream, we were tasked with conducting an infrastructure review aimed at identifying actionable measures to reduce costs sustainably. Our initial focus centered on optimizing AWS infrastructure costs to meet end-of-year objectives. We presented prioritized recommendations based on feasibility and potential business impact, targeting low-hanging fruit for maximum returns while minimizing effort. Throughout, we carefully assessed associated risks and system health, yielding actionable insights for cost and risk reduction alongside the establishment of system health KPIs.


For the second stream, we were tasked with improving the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) for Anyfleet, a complex robot fleet management system crucial for warehouse and factory operations. The frontend and backend teams encountered challenges due to a complex codebase, resulting in bugs and slow progress. Thoughtworks intervened by implementing industry-leading practices to streamline development and boost productivity.


Our interventions encompassed: 


  • Reviewing and guiding the automated testing strategy

  • Implementing rapid unit and in-browser tests

  • Introducing tools for code complexity measurement 

  • Advising on architectural changes for scalability, performance, and security, including adopting the Backend for Frontend pattern

  • Addressing observability with new dashboards for proactive system performance analysis, integrating web server and queue consumer metrics across all Anyfleet environments

What we achieved

30% decrease

in infrastructure costs.

Reduction from 4 to 2.8 weeks

in lead time for changes.

20% decrease

in QA team rejections.

 Furthermore, our initiative cultivated a culture of accountability, with teams taking ownership of service costs and deployments, ensuring alignment with budgetary constraints.


Pleased with the outcomes, idealworks opted to extend our partnership. We're now in the midst of executing a second phase, focusing on different objectives.

Looking for a long-haul type of tech partner?