High Tech Online Order System for Manufacturing Company

Scalable Framework-Based Architecture Allowed Flexibility and Better Customer Experience

Summary

  • Improved Gross Margins
  • Expanded Revenue Opportunities
  • Immediate Scalability
  • Increased Supply Chain Efficiency

CLIENT BACKGROUND

The client, founded in 1967, has a media division offers product through three sales channels; direct-to-user, OEM, and dealer/reseller. Order management was handled via the company’s PeopleSoft ERP system resident on an AS/400 platform. The company wanted to review it’s existing web-based application architecture and functionality and find a solution that would deliver a pleasant and secure ordering experience to existing customers, new customers and internal staff into the web-based application or directly to the ERP by customer service agents.

CHALLENGE

The web-based order entry application, built a number of years ago, was functional, but difficult to navigate, for both external and internal users. The application performed minimal error checking and required a large open text description (requiring human interpretation) before an order was processed, reducing time to shipment. Additionally, some orders were produced and shipped with incorrect configurations and required returns. Finally, the web-based order submission process was so complex, that direct-to-user orders were virtually impossible to accept, resulting in missed high margin sales opportunities.

SOLUTION

After the Spitfire review, the proposed solution was architected so that, in the future, other divisions may leverage the application to improve similar order submission activities. Using a framework-based architecture, Spitfire constructed a service-oriented foundation for the order processing system. This approach offered the client maximum flexibility amidst ever-changing configuration requirements as new products are released. The new application provides a central point of entry for all customers, OEMs, dealers and internal order processors.

RESULTS

The proof review capability significantly reduced the number of errors and integration with the MRP system allowed the client to ship orders in less than 2 business days. Additionally, customers could easily order online and track the status of items thereby reducing the cost of sale.