Just over two years ago, Hy-Vee’s R&D organization looked much different than it does now.
Hy-Vee is a $10 billion dollar company with 85,000 employees spanning more than 245 stores across eight states in the Midwest.
Just two years ago, the majority of engineering efforts were centered around internal applications to support our brick and mortar stores and database analysts. The entirety of Hy-Vee’s customer-facing digital properties were outsourced to a handful of clients. This included Hy-Vee.com, Aisles Online, Market Grille, My Pharmacy, and more.
Aisles Online, our online grocery shopping platform, serves millions of customers every year. As online grocery shopping has revolutionized the industry, we’ve had to scale our engineering organization to meet the demands of our customers. This meant decreasing the number of external resources and bringing talent in-house so we could customize our own applications. To accommodate the scale we were trying to achieve, we built a new office in Grimes, Iowa, called HST or the Helpful Smiles Technology innovation center.
HST, which is housed just outside of Des Moines — one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest, is part of Hy-Vee’s vision for the future. The 104,000-square-foot facility houses 230 information technology, digital development and brand marketing employees with space for more. (Des Moines Register, August 2017)
Since HST opened, we now have more than 270 employees in R&D spanning across 12 different teams. The engineering organization has increased 200% in a mere 18 months. As we’ve scaled, we’ve solved a lot of hard problems and developed a multitude of new features for our customers.
This blog will dive into the technical details of how we’ve resolved challenges that we face in today’s ever-changing retail space. We will also discuss our decision-making process for different technologies or products that we choose. With those stories, we will highlight how we develop our fun and intriguing culture that has attracted groups from around the country to come visit us at HST. Finally, our blog will announce our new product releases as well as career opportunities at Hy-Vee. Who knows? Maybe one day you will join us!