Customer Stories | Plexus

Rollbar Significantly Reduces In-Production Error Resolution Time to Recover Revenue

Plexus

Highlights

  • Significant improvement in web experience for customers
  • Cost savings of $250,000 in debugging and troubleshooting
  • 40% decrease in new defects logged by QA team
  • Industry Health & Wellness
  • Employees 9500+
  • Developers 150+
  • Using Rollbar to Monitor
    Node JS, Browser JS

  • Integrates Rollbar with
    Slack, Jira, Bitbucket

Goal

Find In-Production Bugs and Win Back Lost Revenue

Plexus® Worldwide is a leading brand within the health and wellness industry helping hundreds of thousands of consumers meet the healthiest, happiest version of themselves. With cutting- edge science, premium wellness products, and a supportive worldwide community, they offer an empowering health journey which allows people to experience how good healthy feels from the inside out. Plexus helps people live better with products focused on gut health, weight management, nutrition, kids’ health, skincare, and more. To sell these products, Plexus relies on a traditional e-commerce model as well as independent distributors known as Plexus Ambassadors who receive various commission types for product sales to their customers.

Because of these two sales channels, Plexus needs an e-commerce platform that allows people to buy directly, as well as a software platform that helps Plexus Ambassadors manage their own Plexus businesses.

Needless to say, the Plexus team is managing a robust tech stack which includes Javascript and Angular applications, backed by a mix of Express and Resity servers that are operating microservices. They use New Relic for APM and infrastructure monitoring, and Loggly for log aggregation and curation.

Still, the engineering team at Plexus was blind to some critical customer issues, despite how much time and energy was spent trying to understand them. These issues impacted revenue since Plexus Ambassadors couldn’t properly set up their businesses and some customers had difficulty checking out. Before implementing Rollbar, the team was losing revenue due to in-production bugs.

The team at Plexus came to Rollbar because they suspected a browser-cited log collection might help detect these bugs. They were also extremely interested in future capabilities of the platform. Mark George, Director of Software Development at Plexus, began to ask peers at other companies what they were using for the task. Rollbar came up as a potential solution.

We were able to use Rollbar’s query language to determine all the errors that happened in an Ambassador’s back office, and actually see the occurrence count go down for that person afterwards, after we fixed it for them.

Ethan Salisbury Principal Software Engineer, Plexus
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Strategy

Use Rollbar for Monitoring, Capturing, and Fixing Bugs

A Transparent Sales & Smooth Onboarding Process

When the Plexus team began exploring their options, Rollbar emerged as a clear winner. Not only did it have the features they were looking for, but the overall sales process made the team feel at ease.

“We talked to another team that said they had features we wanted on their roadmap, but when we asked to talk with their product team, they couldn’t deliver,” said Kelly White, Solutions Architect. “Rollbar got us a call with their VP of Product who worked to ensure Rollbar’s vision for the future of their product was in line with what we needed.”

Onboarding went very smoothly as well, and George said that the contract process was a cinch. “Rollbar was one of the easiest vendors we’ve worked with in terms of getting the contract done. It was easy to navigate the process and the Rollbar team was very responsive,” he said.

A Smooth Implementation for Order Flow and Core Websites

Rollbar tackled Plexus’s challenge in two parts. They worked on an order flow portion, as well as the core websites. The team rolled out a proof of concept to core e-commerce and enrollment sites, then out into production.

The team then rolled out this solution to 12 websites, using Slack integrations for alerts. “We needed to get Rollbar integrated into our existing services, so that when crashes or issues arrive, we would be alerted immediately in Slack so that we could diagnose and fix immediately,” said White.

Immediately after rollout, Plexus found and solved an issue with a vendor, a process that previously would’ve taken a couple of days. With Rollbar, it took minutes.

On the order flow portion site, Plexus used Rollbar to catch one-off errors for Plexus Ambassadors. “We were able to use Rollbar’s query language to determine all the errors that happened in an Ambassador’s back office, and actually see the occurrence count go down for that person afterwards, after we fixed it for them,” said Ethan Salisbury, Principal Software Engineer.

Before Rollbar, we only had Loggly and New Relic, so we had to jump through hoops to see what the customer was experiencing. That led to substantial time spent looking through proxy logs and error captures. With Rollbar, we have so much more visibility.

Ethan Salisbury Principal Software Engineer, Plexus
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Results

Plexus is Recovering Revenue and Seeing Many Business Benefits

Reduction in Time Spent on Incident Management & Increased Visibility

Before Rollbar was implemented, team leads would have to manage incidents for customers once or twice per week. Often, these issues needed to be resolved late at night or on weekends.

“Before Rollbar, we only had Loggly and New Relic, so we had to jump through hoops to see what the customer was experiencing. That led to substantial time spent looking through proxy logs and error captures in New Relic trying to understand issues that arose for a particular user. With Rollbar, we have so much more visibility,” said Salisbury.

Additionally, Plexus was aware that some bugs existed for a small portion of customers, but had difficulty identifying where these issues arose so that they could be resolved. They even announced a “bug bounty” to incentivize the team to figure out what was causing the reported issues. Once they had Rollbar, though, the QA team was able to find these bugs quickly and resolve them.

Decrease in New Defects Logged by QA Team

The implementation has also resulted in a decrease in new defects logged by the QA team. That’s because the team is now able to prioritize what’s critical and what’s not.

In fact, since implementing Rollbar, the number of defects dropped by 40%. Additionally, Plexus is seeing the average age of defects to increase, which is actually a good thing because it means these are not mission critical defects coming to the surface.

“Before implementing Rollbar, our average age to resolution was around 12-14 days, and it’s currently 40 days,” said George. “That means we’re seeing fewer critical issues– the bugs we are seeing are ones that we know we can fix down the road.”

Substantial Cost Savings Due to Reduced Triage

Thanks to Rollbar, Plexus is saving substantial costs. “Our cost savings thanks to Rollbar are well north of $100,000, potentially $250,000, because of how much it used to cost us to track down issues,” said George. “We didn’t have the visibility we needed, so we were dependent on our QA team to spend countless hours trying to reproduce symptoms reported by our customer base.”

Reduction in Customer Support Contacts Related to Bugs

The customer experience on the web has improved substantially thanks to Rollbar. In fact, the customer support team has seen a decrease in communication from customers related to bugs. “We have seen a decrease in the volume of customer contacts related to web experience issues,” said George.

Our cost savings thanks to Rollbar are well north of $100,000, potentially $250,000, because of how much it used to cost us to track down issues.

Mark George Director of Software Development, Plexus
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"Rollbar allows us to go from alerting to impact analysis and resolution in a matter of minutes. Without it we would be flying blind."

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