Type: E-commerce website
Stream Interactive was approached to deliver an e-commerce website with a bespoke product catalogue, including customer and online order handling that would directly connect with an offshore ERP system.
The project Vision was:
“Rebuild the Trailcom website to make full product catalog information readily available over all modern devices. Establish e-commerce, including integration with the parent company ERP (Enterprise Resource Planner) system to support real-time customer pricing and order fulfillment. Lay a platform for extended future development.”
The target audience was identified, and largely consisted of 1,500 existing business customers. This audience was being serviced through a printed product catalogue and basic website. The printed catalogue was costly to produce, difficult to distribute and quickly outdated, while the website was missing information and lacked functionality.
The process was cumbersome and as a result customers were lacking the necessary information and often needed to directly contact staff for basic information.
A secondary market included public customers looking for towing parts and accessories for boats and caravans.
Scoping and development included the following services and features:
streamSWEET's Content Management System (CMS) laid the foundation for production of a modern website, with support for the range of extended services necessary to drive online business.
Similarly the streamSWEET Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system was core to the overall solution, and integrated seamlessly with the CMS system. Customised roles were created to govern login profiles and page access rights.
The streamSWEET email marketing Module was utilised to provide for direct email marketing to the people in the CRM. The solution included customised design templates.
This project scope included complex categorisation, presentation and pricing of products. The SHOP system serviced all needs with ease.
The initial work was to analyse the business needs and technical environment, and this flowed into a plan of attack. An important outcome of this was recognition that the ERP system holds the master list of products and customers. However it was also recognised that the website would be used to significantly append extended product information, such as images, features and benefits, and technical information.
To deal with data transfer a number of custom Web Services were developed to connect with the unique API face offered by the ERP system. The resulting code allows for thousands of products and customers to push into the website system in just a few seconds. This was configured to run automatically, but can also be triggered manually at any time by Trojan using their online admin interface. All imports have detailed logs, providing useful analysis to understand whether any issues existed during the data transfer.
The customer said:
"The upgrade of our Trojan website was long over-due, it was tired, very dated and did not present the company well. The project to upgrade with Stream Interactive was not just to do a cosmetic facelift the back end software had to provide us a tool that would enable us the grow and enrich the product catalogue over time, it had to interface orders into our ERP system and had to give our customers real-time pricing and available information automatically. Stream Interactive delivered on all counts they came up with ideas that hit the mark straight off the bat. We are very happy with the outcome and look forward to continue to grow and make the website more relevant for our customers."
A web service was developed that operated at the point of sale to calculate live pricing for the logged in customer, by interrogating the Australian based ERP (A web service allows one system to share common data live with another system).
This meant costings and subsequent pricing information calculated in the ERP could be interrogated by the Stream website at the time of
purchase, allowing pricing to vary from one customer to the next (rather than one price per customer per product).
Any live changes in the ERP system are then taken into account immediately at point of sale.
The project also included customised programming to allow for cash sales on the site to be treated differently from existing account holders.
Special analysis tools were also developed to ensure validation of data across both systems, so that the integrated approach worked effectively.
Intended benefits on project completion included the following:
- Seamless pricing delivery to 100% of target audience
- Reduced customer inquiries
- Increased customer service
- Increased sales
- Ease of customer ordering
- Standardised communication and promotion of products